Being a VC vs. a CEO

I had lunch with a VC friend of mine, who previously was a CEO. His firm this year has returned a billion dollars to their investors.

We were talking about the VC job, and he made a very humble comment after I congratulated him on all the success:

As a CEO, the harder I worked, the more results I produced for the company. As a VC, I don’t find that to be the case. Working harder doesn’t guarantee success.

I know what he is saying. IMO, there is a huge amount of luck needed to do well as a VC. Part of it is because you’re not the management team. You’re not coding or selling. You’re advising.

Many friends ask me if they should go into VC. I don’t really have a great answer for that other than this question: are you comfortable with not being the star?  As a VC, you’re a member of the supporting cast. You either are very comfortable with that, or you should not be in VC.

The entrepreneur is the star of the show. VCs are service providers.

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