Perspective, Pontification and Propoganda about Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital, brought to you by David Hornik of Lobby Capital.

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David, this is pretty funny. I got a good laugh out of it. Your have a keen observation and refreshing candor.


Robert Hoffer

I stumbled upon this definition on the web of PRONOIA and I think it might be just what the 'Doctor' ordered:

"Pronoia is the suspicion that the universe is a conspiracy on your behalf, the opposite of the popular sense of paranoia. It seems to have been invented by the sociologist Fred Goldner in an article in Social Problems in 1982, in which he defined it as "the delusion that others think well of one", the unreasoning belief that your superiors think you are indispensable, that your colleagues adore you, and that you are doing brilliantly in your work. He was warning against the dangers of the rose-tinted view, in which an over-positive view of oneself and the world around one can lead to fatal mistakes. It was later taken up by the short-lived group called the ZIPPies (the Zen Inspired Pronoia Pagans) invented by a London club promoter named Fraser Clark. The word has a small continuing niche, though its adjective pronoid is less common."

I've got another one I'd like to coin: Proentreprenoia - this is the belief that the VC Community will love your latest business idea ... but .. that if you pitch it to them they will steal it and give it to one of their friends to implement instead of you ...

Jonathan L. York

Nice catch. As a psychologist, entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I would add, at times, another, non-DSM IV disorder: sociopathy. To quote, "Sociopaths are characterised by certain personality characteristics, including personal charm, selfishness, impulsiveness, lack of guilt or anxiety, and cruelty." Describe anyone you know, especially when things get dicey in a portfolio company...?

BTW, the great thing about "controlled" narcissists and sociopaths is they succeed in business!

Thanks for your posts.


franco cumpeta

Yes, arrogant persons are really disgusting; fool people may be funny to meet; everybody of us may become matter of healthcare, even if not required.

But when somebody set from the year 2000 to ahead what had to be the internet in the future, and wrote that here
there's not any care on the way, if not the request: "why, why damn you set your damn money other ways?" then there's another request, since from Sand Hill Road and Mountain View it's only twenty minutes drive (good traffic conditions allowing) why, why now financers greedy flow there when I set the way for first five years ago, and nobody says to them: "boys, it's Franco Cumpeta, the first, sorry, now it's his turn; you manage the search engines; the web city is copyright by him?"

No, David, let me say that tricks aren't allowed; I don't care whether many people wants somebody, and you must find answers someway to them; here is the fact I found an answer for the internet and I got no interest and money by persons too much involved in other projects.

But the fact is I found an answer. One, good, "in re". No jokes.

Now who have to pay because that lack in answer? Who's to be cared under surveillance, who anticipated the future and uselessly asked to be made reliable on the project he developed, or who recklessly forgot to understand the project, and now, maybe, wonders if that person is nervous?

Put your money in the right way, build up the future (not a past with some engineering added) and this is sane. For you, for me, for everybody.

Bye. Have the best.

Franco Cumpeta

"poli" Inc.


While I'm sure that I suffer from several of these symptoms, I'm absolutely positive that one of my CEO's suffers from *all* of them. This explains why the investment hasn't gone that well. Thanks Dave for finally putting a clinical name on this terrible business affliction.

Mable Yee

Dave, thanks for the great read. I posted it on my site and for continued chuckles....check out Bessemer Venture's "Anti-Portfolio" listings.


Jason M. Lemkin

VCitis works great for the VCs when the entrepeneurs have no options. When the founders have been through it before, and have choices, it backfires.

Franco Cumpeta

Maybe it sounds silly, but somebody forgot the ideas, here and now? It's ok to manage, but the future, the future, who will draw it? God? I don't think God is so involved in our everyday lives to set up projects, and maybe also care them along the way. I don't think simple management makes all the difference.

I think we have challenges nature sets on nowadays, and we answer either not. I see, by my experience, many would prefer to have right at hand old solutions to apply, so the world stays quiet. It's right, I agree, when something runs, there's no reasons to change it. Just keep in mind this shall be not an habit. As long as old performances grow old, we shall find new performances to grow and nurture. Old may rest, new (new not as joke or nonsense, new as new paradigm) shall take place. If not, how the new could grow old?

Europe is setting the local network on internet, want do you collaborate? More than Europe, focus on the Friuli-Venezia Giulia and ask for more. I'm creating the local world here; you shall, if honest, endorse the process, don't allow others to trick on "poli", duly scrutinize, leave funds, allow by yourselves to send "poli" to the people.

It's now a your duty. I hope you, Sand Hill Road, don't betray this your alleged committment.

Money is for plans, crumble are for gans.

Slave Girl

Just barely getting around to comment on this article. Here is a link discussing psychopathic traits, narcissistic disorder among CEOs

As a VC assisant, I've worked for/come across guys that like this all the time...

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