Global Themes

On Globalization & Venture Capital

Missed opportunities, sour grapes…

A few days ago, I did my good deed* of the day by introducing a start-up to a potential customer of theirs.

Nothing unusual about it except that the start-up was not one of our portfolio companies (and neither was I a shareholder or a beneficiary in them).

I am not usually this altruistic 🙂  … but this was a special company.

I was first introduced to them more than three years ago…and at one point we came very close to doing a “deal”. Although we ended up walking away (for reasons of valuation and some other concerns), I continue to remain excited by the opportunity that their technology offers and I am reasonably confident that – with a little bit of fair wind – this could be a great European success story…

Now – as I said before – we actually ended up not doing the deal…so on the face of it, there is little reason to stay engaged and even less to actively help them.

In the larger scheme of things though:

  • The world is a small place (and the VC community even more so)
  • Life is too short to complain about sour grapes and
  • What goes around, does come around (including good deeds and great ideas)…

So nurture your relationships carefully – good friends and great entrepreneurs are hard to find (and harder to maintain).

bharat-scout-logo.jpg For more on good deeds (or good turns, to be precise) read this. I was a Boy Scout once – old habits die hard!

* Scout logo courtesy:

April 26th, 2007 Posted by | Entrepreneurship, What VCs really do | 3 comments


  1. “I did my good deed* of the day by introducing a start-up to a potential customer of theirs.” keep up the good work if you can.

    Comment by Adrian | April 26, 2007

  2. Shantanu,

    You’ve some distinguished company to keep (where it comes to missing out on early investible ops)-

    Quoting –

    “[David]Cowan’s college friend rented her garage to Sergey [Brin] and Larry [Page] for their first year.

    In 1999 and 2000 she tried to introduce Cowan to “these two really smart Stanford students writing a search engine”. Students? A new search engine?

    In the most important moment ever for Bessemer’s anti-portfolio, Cowan asked her, “How can I get out of this house without going anywhere near your garage?”

    End Quote——

    David Cowan never really recovered from that.

    For more on such bold admissions of goof up, Check out (if not already)

    Comment by Krishna | April 27, 2007

  3. Thanks Adrian…

    Krishna – thanks to you too…Bessemer’s anti-portfolio is indeed one of the most refreshing display of humility I have seen amongst VCs !

    Comment by Shantanu Bhagwat | April 27, 2007

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