It's pretty hard to bomb a middling startup conference in Nebraska, and yet blowhard venture capitalist Dave McClure did just that today in a rambling, faux-edgy, profanity-crusted rant about nothing. I think he lost the audience somewhere around when he called one member a bitch for no reason.
His talk—an uninspired, insulting, meandering ripoff of Louis CK's famous "Everything Sucks" bit—never got off the ground. McClure vomits at length about how pathetically uninspired most startups are, then says that nobody should bother trying, and leave real creativity to men like Elon Musk. OK. Listening to a fuck you-filled screed on the importance of innovation is a tall order coming from a guy who has directly invested money into an underpants delivery company. He quickly lost control of his mega-lame "discussion," and resorted to picking on members of the audience. When one woman answered a question about her iPhone's battery life (!), McClure called her a "lying bitch." What showmanship!
It was exactly as obnoxious as it sounds, and the conference's attendees—who came to receive advice and insight about their dreams—are already flocking to Twitter:
McClure, to his credit, is already apologizing en masse via Twitter (can you really say something so trivial is to someone's credit? Never mind, no you cannot). McClure has long prided himself on being a bad boy, in-your-face venture capitalist, which only works when you're really a bad boy, and anyone wants you to be in their face. If the only x-treme truth you have to offer is the persona of an insecure 9th-grade boy at a Rage Against The Machine show, we all ought to start to question why this man is in charge of investing large sums of money on a regular basis.
Update: McClure has provided the following counterfactual clarification: