You probably recognize Bonobos, wildly successful purveyor of pants and other stuff (I think?), as that company that's always on your goddamn Facebook news feed, no matter how many times you click hide. But here's one reason to dig it: the CEO is a no-bullshit sage.
In a blog post titled "Dear Dumb VC," CEO Andy Dunn issues a text lashing to the same investors who just helped his company raise $30 million—but clearly not without some butts of the head. Choice call-outs include:
Dear Dumb VC, you are going out of business, but you work in an industry where mediocrity gets a long sunset.
Dear Dumb VC, it’s so painful to sit in meetings with you and hear your vision for what the company should do and what’s going to happen in the industry. Just so you know, Dumb VC, the top 2% never do this. They’re too busy using their superb judgment getting into great deals and bowing out graciously from the ones they don’t want to back.
If you are known to be world-class, and if having you on my board would mean that everyone thinks that our company is amazing, then you can be a bit late.
I’d be lucky to have you as an investor, so I’m willing to wait.
Otherwise, consider this cautionary tale an entrepreneur once told me: "This VC was seventy-five minutes late to meeting with me. He never called to say he was running late...That night, as he had flown into town to see me, he kept offering drinks or dinner to make up for it via email. He then went so far as to say his partners would be livid with him for screwing this up. I never took the meeting with him and I never rescheduled. I’d never get another meeting with him if I blew off his time like this, so why should he get another meeting with me?
Dunn comes off as a hothead and maybe a little bit of a dick, but it's not unfair to read this as exasperation, not mere prickishness. He's trying to run an honest pants-selling business just like any other seller of pants, and this is what he's up against: the people who hold the money are systemically rude, proud, distracted, inconsiderate, and uninformed. The same people who are considered the new heroes of finance. Men like Dave "You Lying Bitch!" McClure are lionized as monetary bad boys. The culture of tech rewards the outliers, the bold thinkers, the disruptors—without any pause to think maybe these are all codewords for unprofessional and insufferable. Maybe.