Mukund Mohan writes on VCCircle about entrepreneurs' problems with VCs. The piece is about Indian VCs and entrepreneurs but it could just as well be a generic lament about the two species anywhere in the world.
I don't know him and while he seems to have taken some creative licence in writing the piece (he doesn't seem to be a first-time entrepreneur!), I certainly see his point of view and even agree with many of his complaints. The same VCs speak on the same old topics with the same panelists at every conference. It's also true that many VC firms tend not to support or even understand product companies.
I also confess that I myself am guilty of not responding to some emails in time. That's rude. But I also tell people who want to get in touch with me that, if an email doesn't garner a response in a reasonable timeframe, it probably means that I'm too swamped to reply and, blunt though this may seem, there are other higher priority items occupying my time. This prevents me from taking the 10-30 minutes needed to review the email and reply to it appropiately. BUT I'm usually open to have a quick phone chat where I'll happily take 2 minutes to explain my views and suggest next steps. If I were to take those same 2 minutes and expend them towards writing an email, it would be a curt or even seemingly impolite one-liner. I don't want to do that. So, if you email me about something and I don't reply soon enough, please do me a favour and just call me.
The next thing I'd say is that, while I often help connect entrepreneurs (and others) with people in my network, some people appear to take this for granted. Or worse, there's a sense of entitlement of the, "Can you do this for me" variety. Notice there's no question-mark at the end of that sentence. This "spoils the market" for more considerate people with some semblance of etiquette.
Another thing to note is that India is flush with capital today. Absolutely flush. Whenever I begin evaluating a new investment opportunity, there's always the thought at the back of my mind that it may not be worth the effort because someone else who is frantic about deploying capital to the detriment of making a decent return may outbid me in the end. (I generally try to counter this by going beyond just valuations and try to build a relationship with the entrepreneur and show how else I can help him, assuming I can. This isn't always enough.) In a market like this, if it's hard to interest anyone in having a chat about your business, it may mean simply that it's not an investable opportunity for whatever reason. I suspect that, being an experienced entrepreneur, Mukund already knows this.
The final thing I'd like to say to Mukund and others like him is that this VC at least is hungry to find world-class product companies in India. This is one example. Leave a comment here or otherwise get in touch with me if you'd like to chat.