Day in the Life of a VC-Backed CEO

A good VC friend sent me an email this morning with a tid-bit from an article from Danny Gillespie over at Private Equity HUB.  It certainly made me laugh with it’s sarcastic tone and I think a lot of us will resonate with bits and pieces of it.  Here it is…

3:45 am – Wake up in cold sweat, pray that the rising star CFO that VC1 brought to the company doesn’t mis-forecast $3MM in cash like he did last quarter.

4:14 am – Wake up in cold sweat, pray that the rising star VP Sales that VC2 brought to the table doesn’t confuse the saying “Under Promise and Over Deliver” again. If he does, prepare for the revolt in Engineering. Note To Self (NTS) maybe show Gandhi @movie night so the notion of peaceful demonstrations are fresh in their head.

5:47 am – Wake up for good, blackberry is buzzing with an email from the “rising star” partner @ VC3. Little puke probably had a developer write an app to auto-send every morning @ 5:45. NTS – find out if his testicles have dropped yet.

5:48 am – Crawl out from under desk, roll up futon, join head of engineering in break room to start water for French press. Shoulda thought long and hard about this job when every bathroom in the building had a shower.

6:23 am – Latest Wired RSS feed must be out  ‘cause I just got a voicemail from partner @ VC4 asking if we are considering genomics in the strategic plan.  I remind him that we market Chia pets (, he tells me to call him later once I’ve socialized the idea with my staff.

6:30 am – Still pondering how the f%^& my predecessor managed to screw up the cap sheet and get 8 VCs in this deal.  Might be worth it to take a haircut and reduce the “counseling” churn.

7:00 am – Call home, ask wife what day it is, asked her to remind me how old the kids were and reminded her that we’re in this together and it’ll all be worthwhile. Hang up phone and do best Stuart Smalley in the mirror… need a cardigan. Call wife back and tell her “Happy Anniversary”…damn cell signal dropped the call.

7:03 am – Begin prep for upcoming board meeting. Feels like we are having one of these every three weeks… oh wait, we are.

1:00 pm – Rev 9 of board pitch done, stomach churning, ponder whether the stomach can actually digest itself, shrug shoulders and pop another Prilosec and score a Pop Tart from the break room vending machine.

1:15 pm – Call from partner @ VC5 asking me if I knew that genomics was hot. Notify him that he has the wrong guy on the line and that he needs to call Rob at his other portfolio company, NanoBioGenomicBlogwerks. He tells me “Sorry, man it has been go, go, go, so gotta go.”  NTS – contact Kauffman and find out if they have been giving out grants to VCs hiring kids from the short bus.

1:30 pm – Meet with new VP of Operations. He asks when he gets to meet his staff, I tell him to go look in the mirror. He asks about an admin, I inform him that VC5 has a portfolio company that does outsourced administrative duties and no, they can’t take your clothes to the cleaners but sure can screw the living sh*t out of a plane, car and hotel reservation. I didn’t know there were flights into Austin, MN but now I do. Remind him to specify state and country when booking.

3:00 pm – Sit down to answer email… 250 new since this morning… support pharm industry and pop Ibuprofen, Sudafed and chase it with a cold cup of French roast.

5:00 pm – Shower and put on something with a collar. Off to VC6’s portfolio CEO networking event otherwise known as “Dead Men Walking.” 3 in 5 of us won’t be around at the next one and not because we attained a liquidity event.

7:00 pm – Slip out of networking event. Receive call from VC7 asking if we can find value in looking at a niche marketing play they have. Remind him that he is calling me about using our company’s product. Apologizes saying, “man, it’s been just go, go, go lately. Hey, what about using an outsourced administrative play?” I tell him that we are considering genomics and he gives me a “Hell Yeah”.  NTS – find out if that guy was in banking or consulting before… probably both.

9:00 pm – Remember to thank the vending company for populating the machine with Pop Tarts, Chex Mix and Ding Dongs… one day I might ingest something other than carbohydrates.

11:00 pm – Call from VC8, wants to check on how I am holding up. “Wow” I think, “nice to see some humanity in this madness.” Check that, bad cell signal, he asks me why I am holding up the board pitch for his review. Reminds me to setup the hotel for the board meeting. I tell him I’ll use our outsourced admin to handle it. Hope he likes Holiday Inns, Geo Metros and flying on AirTran. Remind myself that passive-aggressive behavior has served many in my chain well.

Midnight – Collapse in a pool of drool on my desk.

  • JTreiber

    This is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. Darren, I didn’t know you were turning your blog into a stand-up routine. This is awesome!