Garry Tan

Garry Tan quotes on venture capital

Founder Initialized. PM/designer/eng turned Forbes Midas List Top 100 VC in startups worth over $40B, before product-market fit.

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Lots of college students reach out to me asking me about how to be a VC. I tell them: be a founder first. The best VCs are chosen by founders based on how much they can help bake the 10 year overnight success. Power laws plus adverse selection equal bad returns. Be a founder.


New founders generally should avoid over-indexing on what is hot. What reporters write about, and what VCs post about on Medium are almost always the thing that was viable to work on 6 to 18 months ago. Look for first-hand problems that you can directly solve. Then solve them.


VCism that I wish wasn’t true: OK founders in a great market usually succeed. Amazing founders in a bad market always fail.


Startup stock is either life changing or worthless. VCs have a portfolio but employees only have one shot. Choose well and make it count.


Some VCs like taking risk in early teams and buying ownership at low valuations. Others airlift cash into all star teams with enough proof points and try to use capital to derisk ventures as much as possible.

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