Friday, June 29, 2007

Love thy founder

More Yahoo noise.
Six months ago, Bart Schachter, VC, Blueprint Ventures had said only an illegal immigrant from Mars wouldn’t notice the growing irrelevance of Yahoo. He has strong words how the Terry Semel tenure at Yahoo is a lesson for VCs, who tend to want to bring in professional CEOs and jettison passionate founders.

Here’s from this superb post of his -

“Perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned by entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The habit of venture capitalists is to insert professional managers as CEOs of their start-ups. However, the impulse of these professional CEOs is to excise the highest compensation they possibly can (plus a healthy severance package). The alignment may or may not exist, but the passion always rests with the founder. That’s where the story starts, and that’s often where it ends.

The Yahoo story has is a classic Founder Odyssey. Like Ulysees (ok, maybe more like Steve Jobs), Jerry returns to reclaim his home and land. This has the making of a great story, one played out at Apple, Microsoft (how many Presidents paraded through Bellevue in the last 20 years?), and more recently Dell. True, Jerry’s odds are against him. As a college graduate he lacks the college-dropout credentials of other Founder Odysseys. But perhaps he has the passion and alignment needed to bring the company home. Who is next? Vive Le Founder.”

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