Tom - Somehow my message on VC and PE got deleted so here we go again. You are right about PE firms and how they operate - though PE firms do ask partners to participate in investment funds they manage so its not as clean as you present. More importantly ONLY Angel investors match your description of a good investor risking just their own money. VC firms raise investment funds just like PE firms and also invest their own money in them. VC's don't use leverage BUT they do encourage portfolio companies to spend their money as fast as possible, then invest again taking more equity and gaining control. With that control VC's screw the low level employees of these companies by maximizing the value of VC shares and minimizing the value of employee stock options - through dilution and other structures. So VCs are not these saintly job creators and it pains me to hear them described as the opposite of PE guys. Excepting Angles they really are all the same - its just different flavors of the same thing.

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Why the Web of Life is Dying...

Could you survive with just half of your organs? Think about it. What if you had just half your brain, one kidney, half of your heart, one lung, half a liver and only half of your skin? It would be pretty hard to survive right? Sure, you could survive losing just one kidney or half of your liver, but at some point, losing pieces from all of your organs would be too much and you would die.