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When it comes to startup board participation, VCs and CEOs must do their part • Technology Flow

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There is someone else Connie Loizos’ recent article, Coming Out of Covid, Are Investors Losing Their Passion for Board Meetings? The stories and quotes in the article about investors reducing their interest and attending board meetings, not showing up, sending a junior associate to cover, etc. are eye-opening and disturbing.

Reasons like overextended investors, Zoom fatigue and new directors are logical. “Privately, VCs admit they don’t add much value to boards,” notes Connie, which is funny to read as a CEO who says how much value he adds to boards (albeit good ones). do Add a lot of value!).

For the most part, everything about the premise of this article pissed me off.

Dysfunctional or dysfunctional boards aren’t just bad for CEOs and LPs; They are bad for everyone. If the board meeting has truly become a frustrating place for CEOs and investors to feel that it’s a tax they can’t afford, it’s time to hit the reset button on boards and board meetings.

Here are four things that should happen in this reset:

Investors must do their job well or stop doing it

Dysfunctional or dysfunctional boards aren’t just bad for CEOs and LPs; They are bad for everyone.

The argument that investors have made so many deals during the pandemic that they don’t have time now is an especially silly one, since the pandemic has reduced the amount of time VCs need to spend in in-person board meetings. I hold four in-person board meetings each year with directors who travel to meetings, have dinners, spend time with the team, and sit in on committee meetings.

Today, boards are lucky enough to meet one person a year (more on that later). And since everything else takes less time and less transportation, any VC should double the time they spend in board meetings.

Serving on a post-investment board is central to an investor’s role. As their primary duty is to “find deals, execute deals and manage the portfolio” they have responsibilities back to founders and the LPs they represent.

If they don’t have time for a third job, both founders and LPs should agree to that before they step down. If the VC can’t be bothered to focus on their investments and adding value, they should work with the company to find their replacement.

CEOs must take their job as board leader seriously

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