Poke Around First
I read on Twitter that an article in Forbes this past week noted me as one of the top 50 Angels based on investment volume and successful exits. The information in that particular article, written by someone who supposedly wrote a best-selling book about fundraising, was incorrect. Did I receive a call asking to verify how many investments I made, no. Is the actual information available with a little bit of digging, yes.
Today, more than ever, fake news is not acceptable. The term fake news is used to define deliberate misinformation, crude exaggerations of the truth and illegitimate information. These days, it is easy to just find one source on the net, and essentially push out false data in the hunt for eyeballs. Forbes is a contributor network, a shadow of its former self, so not entirely sure if anyone is actually doing any fact-checking. Based on the article I was in, I would say no they are not. Yet this speaks to a bigger problem.
I consistently get cold emails from founders looking for advice or capital. Many of them do not take the time to do their research. Founders who have companies that are directly competing with a company I already have an investment in. I ask myself every single time, did these people even look at my investments to see that I am already deep in the space? Are they doing their research or just sending out blind, easy to copy and paste emails from a list that they made for themselves late at night? I am pretty sure it is the latter because it is so damn easy to do.
I actually got an email from someone in Executive Recruiting from one of the largest companies in the world, which we all use every day, to speak to me about a job as a Director of a new initiative. Seriously? Just to add to that, the job was in the Bay Area. The person was hunting on LinkedIn but obviously went no farther than that. It is no different than getting emails through LinkedIn when there is no question that the person did not take it upon themselves to launch a separate browser and do a little diligence. For the record, I do not correspond on LinkedIn.
Perhaps it is the ease of information. Perhaps it is pure laziness. Whatever it is, do yourself a favor, and poke around a little before writing blindly because, in my book, this type of behavior isn’t going to get you anywhere….and it is definitely not a good look.