Mark Suster, GRP Partners: Venture Typology

Video interview with Mark Suster, Partner GRP Partners

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Video interview with Mark Suster, Partner at GRP Partners Mark Suster is a 2x entrepreneur who has gone to the Dark Side of VC. He joined GRP Partners in 2007 as a General Partner after selling his company to Salesforce.com. He focuses on early-stage technology companies. You can find Mark @ his blog Both Sides of the Table & on Twitter @msuster
This is PtIV.
Transcript follows & video above
  • You mentioned in one blog post The Danger of Crocodile Sales a while back that venture capitalists are often a certain typology on the Myers Briggs Indicator.  Often advice for sourcing venture is equated with dating, implying that there is a matching that has to happen with an entrepreneur & investor.  What do you think are the key ingredients that need to exist between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs that promote attraction & synergy between them to develop a great startup?  Do you think there is a certain typology that would be linked with entrepreneurs, if we generalized?

I think all types of entrepreneurs can succeed.  I think the most classic entrepreneur is an ENTP. But some of the most successful entrepreneurs are actually an I (Introvert).  I don’t know whether they are an INTP or INTJ?  I think some of the more successful, thoughtful people are actually introverted. I think it would be hard to argue that the founders of Google or Eric Schmidt or any of those people are extroverted.  Or that Mark  Zuckerburg?

I couldn’t remember what typology you said that most venture capitalists were?

I think almost all of them are ENTPs. So just in case anyone doesn’t follow Myers Briggs  typology or whatever you want to call it.  They tend to be extroverted, talkers more than thinkers, not to say that they don’t think but they talk. They tend to be intuitive.  They are also highly analytical, but I think they tend to be talkers, thinkers, dominators, type A personalities.  They tend to have gone to Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton.  They tend to have gone to Harvard Business School or Stanford Business School.  They fit a very typical profile.  I’m not arguing that’s a good thing, I’m just arguing that’s probably reality.

That’s the venture capitalist profile and the entrepreneur’s are similar is what you’re saying?  Is that right?

You get a balance, you’d probably get more extroverted than introverted. But in particular these days with most tech companies have technical founders I think you get more people that are analytical as opposed to intuitive.  I think you tend to get more people that are slightly more inwardly facing than externally facing.

So what I’m hearing is that there’s some combination of opposites between the venture capitalists & the entrepreneurs & some similarities so obviously they can work together?  Would you agree with that then?

Yes that’s fair to say.

Mark thanks so much for this time & all this feedback.  It’s always so informative for me reading your blog posts or speaking to you.  Thank you so much, appreciate it.

Thank you, appreciate you setting it up.

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Pemo Theodore

Pemo Theodore is a Media Publisher & Event Producer and a great people connector.. She is Founder/CEO Silicon Valley TV which has served the San Francisco Bay Area for 11 years! She has produced Silicon Valley Events for Investors & Startups for 9 years. Pemo loves to video interview venture capitalists & founders to engage the human behind the success stories.. She has been Executive Producer of FinTech Silicon Valley for 5 years, organizing twice monthly FinTech talks & panels in San Francisco & Palo Alto. She believes in learning through a great discussion with experts in the domains. Pemo has a talent to bring the right people together and is an incredible networker. Pemo's events have been seen as supporting Venture Capitalists & Angels in sourcing great deal flow from startups who attend her events. Many founders have received funding through meeting investors at her events. Her favored medium is audio & visual media and she has built up a great body of work of podcasts & videos of panels & interviews in Silicon Valley.startup ecosystem.

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Written by Pemo Theodore