Question

What sort of advice would you give to a young woman who is a PM but wants to end up in the VC world later on?

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merci's avatar
6 months ago

Getting a venture job is about timing and your network. If you have the opportunity to join a venture firm, it's worth a try to see if you like it. There are a few times in your career when the door may be open to you:
- You went to business school for a career change post-product roles. In this case you can join a firm as an associate or principal.
- You started & exited your own company, in which case you can join as a partner.
- You were in an early leadership role at a hyper growth company, in which case you can join as a partner.

Age is also important, and an uncomfortable truth about timing that many people gloss over. It's easier to get a venture role when you're younger. Firms want to know that after 3-5 years you're good to generate returns for the next 15 years. The less of a risk you are, eg you had a huge outcome and are a draw for other founders, the older you can be when you start.

For the network, start meeting VCs, angel investors, and founders now. Help people out. Be good to the people you work with, it's not obvious who is going to start a successful company early in their career.

2 points
fares_khadidja's avatar
@fares_khadidja (replying to @merci )
6 months ago

Thank you for answering my question! I do have a follow up question :) I'm starting a full time job as a Product Manager in July but before that I'm interning at a VC firm as a summer fellow starting in May. Any advice or books to read to better prepare me before my VC summer fellowship? Also, is Twitter the best way to reach you? Would love to run into you while I'm in SF to grab coffee.

4 points
merci's avatar
@merci (replying to @fares_khadidja )
6 months ago

Yeah, Twitter is the best way to reach me. DMs are open. :-)

To prep for your summer internship, read Venture Deals if you haven't already. Read posts on the blog of the firm you're joining and follow the partners on Twitter. Get to know the partnership and ask them to take you through how they won their best deals, how they navigated xyz issue with a company (like a CEO replacement or down round), and how they spend their time. There isn't an objective way to be a venture capitalist, so treat it as an apprenticeship first and foremost.

3 points
fares_khadidja's avatar
@fares_khadidja (replying to @merci )
6 months ago

Thank you so much! :)

3 points
sarah's avatar
@sarah (replying to @merci )
6 months ago

Why did you join Lightspeed? What are some red flags to look for when determining whether to join a particular venture firm?

1 point

This question is part of an AMA with Merci Victoria Grace.

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