As Dimitra Taslim prepares to head off to Harvard Business School, he reflects on the 10 important lessons he learnt as a VC at Monk's Hill Ventures.
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In the world of startups, there is a schism between real value creation and the irrational funding market. Strange as it is, these two things can co-exist without much correction for a sustained period of time.
What is this schism?
On one hand, there is an ecosystem of startups hard at work, disrupting incompetent, traditional models of business, whilst making markets more efficient and creating real economic value. This faction works for the long-term and is completely rational.
On the other hand lies the venture capital industry. It thrives on opacity and is driven by egos and primal instincts. It is fearful during bad times and greedy during good times. It is an almost dysfunctional utopia where valuations could shift by the billions in a day, even when the needle hasn’t moved on value creation. This faction is emotional and largely irrational.
What is the truth that everyone knows?
An insider observation on what kind of person you need to be to work in a VC by Omid Scheybani, our MBA intern this summer. Coming from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Omid previously worked at Google, specializing on product distribution in emerging markets.
As someone who is doing his MBA right in the heart of Silicon Valley, I notice a lot of people talking, dreaming, wishing to work in Venture Capital. In fact, not that surprising considering that a recent study of 151 VC Partners in the US found that 53% of them had MBAs — 60% of whom from either Stanford or Harvard (source).
At some point I was so intrigued by the industry that I decided to find out for myself. Given my passion for emerging markets, I wanted that experience to take place in South East Asia, so I ended up with Monk’s Hill Ventures (MHV) which is an industry-agnostic fund that invests across the region (focused on Series A investments). [more]