I had a brief email exchange last night with an investor I really respect. I reached out to introduce him to the basics of what we are building with Coach Wizard and of course asked him to check out and follow our Angel List profile.
Even though he’s super busy he promptly checked out our profile and then quickly responded with “we recently made an investment that has some competitive overlap so I don’t think we are a good target for you”
Though obviously not the response I was looking for, I have to say the fact that he took a look so quickly and responded openly and honestly, speaks volumes to what great character this investor has (and is exactly the reason he was on my radar in the first place).
Don’t get me wrong, it wrecked my night to get that response (and frustrated me to no end that he also couldn’t reveal the company name or any other details yet as they have not announced the investment)…but I don’t hold it against the investor personally.
He had no previous knowledge of what we’re building and my connection to him is not so strong as to be on his radar or mind unless I happen to reach out directly (ie. he wouldn’t think of me when looking at the space directly or indirectly).
An opportunity came up and he liked it enough that he made an investment. The bet was placed and there’s no changing it after the fact.
And really it’s OK. The market is big and there is plenty of room for multiple players. If the company really is a competitor to what we are doing, I honestly hope they are good enough to be the Avis of the market and provide him with great returns (we will be the Hertz).
The truth is, though I’m frustrated on a personal level by the situation, I’ll recommend even more people to this investor down the road because of how quick, open, and professionally he handled my random request.
Honestly, if the answer has to be no…getting to it quickly and having a previous bet is about the best you could hope for.
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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