As cofounder of an early stage venture fund myself, I’m here to tell you that while these statements are accurate, they’re also misleading when trying to understand the broad impact these implosions may have upon a firm. Before you start tweeting ‘Man in the Arena’ quotations to me, my experience here isn’t limited to sideline punditry — although Homebrew has yet to be involved in any Unicorn->Zero events, I can think of two investments where we were “all in” across the seed, A and B rounds, only to see the companies ultimately return 0x, losing us almost $10m combined.
Look, I’m not picking on any specific company or firm, but rather this is what happens coming out of a pretty crazy few years. If a venture partnership is around for long enough they’ll end up experiencing all types of highs and lows, some self-induced and others almost nearly out of your control. It’s part of the business. But as an industry we’ve become experts at content marketing the shit out of our wins, the shiniest versions of what venture and startups can be. It’s my POV we learn much more together by sharing honestly and broadly as a community, even if the “why we invested” blog post from a few years ago sounds dumb in hindsight.