Shoot for capturing the world

Bambi Francisco Roizen · July 31, 2008 · Short URL:

VCs don't want to hear what you can do, they want to stretch you

Entrepreneurs shouldn't think conservatively about goals because it may only serve to make them lazy. Moreover, they'll fail to realize their abilities. This is a lesson we've heard from entrepreneurs and one underscored in this "Lessons learned" segment with Keith McCurdy, CEO and founder of Vivaty, a 3D platform backed by Kleiner Perkins and Mohr Davidow - to invest $9.2 million in his company. Keith advises entrepreneurs to "think big" mindset, even though he came from a culture where promising what you can't do wasn't acceptable. "I worked at Electronic Arts and I was trained to promise what you can do. We were a company of execution," he explained. " The problem is that VCs "don’t want to hear what you can do," said Keith. "VCs want you to shoot bigger than even you can believe you can do. They want to stretch you. You have to think what could this do, and shoot for that."

The reality is that if you hit 70% of a big goal, you're 30% ahead of your conservative objective. 

When it comes to pitching VCs, "it's unlikely you'll capture their imagination or enough excitement" with a conservative plan, he said.

One of my favorite pieces of advice from Keith was about money and working at a startup. 

Being at a startup shouldn't be about the money. "If you do a startup because you think it's going to be a good money maker, then you're just a hired person working for yourself," said Keith. Finally, Keith warns entrepreneurs that sometimes the road is very lonely. 

"The classic entrepreneur mistake is to expect that anyone is going to save you," he said. "You’re on your own. There’s no safety net."



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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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What's Vivaty?

Vivaty Scenes is a web based virtual community where users can personalize their own virtual scene and avatar and socialize with their friends.

Vivaty's vision is to make the Immersive Web a reality by transforming the flat web into a more visually rich and expressive experience that amplifies socialization and engagement. The company's end-to-end web platform is designed to enable distributed virtual experiences anywhere on the web. Founded in 2007, Vivaty is led by a team of web, gaming, and graphics experts, and is backed by venture capitalists Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), and Mohr Davidow Ventures (MDV).


Acquired by Microsoft.