I’ve been contemplating starting blogging for quite some time, from time to time getting a strong itch to share some thoughts on startups and venture capital industry, plus to have a way to structure certain ideas and thoughts for myself for future use. Previously, amidst other activities, I’ve never got to do it, unfortunately. But today, with my stint in venture capital ending (at least, for now) and moving on to attend business school, I think it’s time to finally do it.
Over the last several years, I’ve been answering questions from dozens of people about how to get into venture capital, pros and cons of going VC fund right out of undergrad, the key skills required for the job and so on. Granted, there is plenty of information on the internet nowadays about what it means to be a pre-MBA VC. Most of it is scattered over multiple sources, though, making it a little bit hard to discover for someone just starting to research the field. Besides, I believe there is significant difference between working for VCs operating on established markets vs. ones that work in developing countries. I joined a venture capital fund in Russia in 2012, when the local market there was only starting to shape. This gave me an opportunity to witness (almost) all stages of startups’ ecosystem maturation with all its ups and downs. That’s why one topic I’d like to focus on is what it meant for me to work in venture capital.
I’m also hoping to spend some time writing about is what it takes to build a successful tech startup and what matters most in this process. Of course, it would be naive, if not downright stupid, to believe that spending several years in venture capital with no prior experience have provided me with some magic bullet insights in the process of building companies. Thus, anything I write on these topics should be viewed only as individual observations, and nothing more.
Still, I believe venture capital is a great place to gain broad exposure to the field of entrepreneurship, as it allows one to work with and learn from some great entrepreneurs, witnessing the failures and successes of many startups in a limited time frame. I believe such an experience can be very useful for someone aspiring to build and run his own business one day, or even looking to join some of the more established internet companies, as quite a lot of skills still remain transferrable.
Right now, I’m myself have no plans to return to venture capital anytime soon. Rather, I’m aiming to use this blog to reflect on things learned during my time in venture capital, and then continue to use it to funnel my thoughts on certain matters of startups’ and broader tech world.