What disappoints me most about the entire "AngelGate" affair is the willingness of entrepreneurs to believe the worst of the very people who have been working so hard to make starting companies easier.
Have people forgotten what it was like to raise money before the rise of the "superangels"? Searching desperately for angel investors, or trying to pitch VCs before traction?
Like Mark Suster, I sit on "both sides of the table". I'm an investor, but I'm also an entrepreneur, and thanks to my work as an unpaid advisor, I might very well help an entrepreneur negotiate a funding round in the same day I'm negotiating one of my own investments.
Like any entrepreneur, I complain about the cluelessness of investors. Like any investor, I complain about the cluelessness of entrepreneurs. But even though we're on both sides of the table, fundamentally, we are all on the same side. We want to change the world (and make money in the process).
I'd call on all the entrepreneurs who have been funded to make their voices heard--what do they think of the men and women they've been working with these past few years? While I agree with the point of view that this is a worthless sideshow to the real Silicon Valley, now that good men are being dragged through the mud, we need to speak up.
Angel, VC, entrepreneur--we're all jerks at times. And even if we weren't human, the fact that our interests conflict (investors want to buy as much of the company as possible for their money; entrepreneurs want to sell as little as possible) would cause friction. But the answer is to work to soothe those frictions, not exacerbate them.
As I've said before in a previous post, follow the money. Who benefits from all this? If you can answer that question, you'll have a better shot at penetrating the real conspiracy.
(Originally posted as a comment to this excellent post by Mark Suster)