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An Engineer's View of Venture Capitalists

Stashed in: 106 Miles, Venture Capital!, Silicon Valley!, Engineers!, Startup Advice

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10 years ago IEEE Spectrum published a piece that was highly influential and still espouses the 106 Miles philosophy that says that companies that are started by engineers should also seek funding from entrepreneurial engineers.

This part resonates: "The engineers building the future deserve a fair equity share in the value they create; today they don't get one. For them to get their share, wealthy engineers must fund start-ups. And they don't have to be Bill Gates to do so."

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Isn't the engineer's view of venture capitalists approximately the same as Noah's view of the whale?

Do you mean Jonah? If this were Quora I could suggest edits!

I think Noah's view of the whale was, "Seriously? I need to fit two of these on an ark? WTF for? They can swim!"

Interestingly, Noah and the Whale is the name of a UK indie folk band.

Rereading the Engineer's View of Venture Capitalists, I am struck not only by how frank the authors are, but also how they generalize the relationships between engineers and venture capitalists as necessarily at odds.

The tone of the Engineer's View article reminds me of Venture Hacks' Why VCs are disliked by entrepreneurs and Joyce Park's OSBridge talk Naive Developer's Guide to Venture Capitalists. All three articles demonstrate a healthy engineering skepticism that nonetheless is optimistic that there are ways for engineers and venture capitalists to work together to build successful companies, as evidenced by Google, eBay, and Facebook, to name three recent examples.

Ultimately, everyone involved wants to build a successful company, and it's helpful to remember that.

What's interesting to me is that even in 2011, most wealthy engineers are not funding startups.

This is why there might be room in our ecosystem for an investment fund by engineers for engineers.

"most wealthy engineers are not funding startups"

How so?

Most wealthy engineers, I have found, are either busy building something new (no time to invest) or have retired from Silicon Valley (so they're not part of the scene).

Have you found otherwise?

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