Adventures in Venture Capital

VCs Dave Tisch, Adam Ludwin and Others are Now Ready to Take Your Questions

Someone ask them a question so we don't have to watch them look bored on loop.
picture 34 VCs Dave Tisch, Adam Ludwin and Others are Now Ready to Take Your Questions

High Peaks cofounder Brad Svrluga, whom Sidetour cofounder Mark Webster thinks is handsome. (Photo: VYou)

When we first joined VYou back in its beta phase, it seemed like just another platform for innocuous oversharing, albeit a higher maintenance one: instead of oversharing from bed in your PJs, you had to look rather presentable to record a video of yourself.

But now, as celebrities flock to the video question and answer platform as a new way to connect with fans, VYou is focusing on building out another aspect of its site: video-based knowledge sharing. In the upcoming weeks, VYou will be assembling groups of experts in various areas. Users can ask them questions and get responses directly from the experts.

To inaugurate this upcoming feature, VYou has launched an “Ask Angel Investors & Venture Capitalist” group, featuring a slew of New York bigwigs like Dave Tisch, Adam Ludwin and Alex Taussig.

“This is the first group that we’ve done and it’s the first one that’s really focused on expert knowledge,” Steve Spurgat, VYou’s CEO, told Betabeat by phone. “In the past we’ve had channels; many of what were formerly channels will become groups. But we’re evolving this even further into the ability for people to define themselves as having a certain level of knowledge or a certain interest and then be able to accept question or answer questions that are around that interest. This group is our first foray into that.”

Mr. Spurgat admitted that this Q&A knowledge sharing effort does bear some resemblance to Quora, but that asking and recording answers on video “gives a more intimate view into how people are sharing information.” It also lends legitimacy to experts, who users might otherwise assume have assistants run their social media accounts. Of course, just because you’re video recording your answer doesn’t necessarily keep you from bullshitting.

“Venture capitalists are definitely people that others want to learn from and interact with, but they don’t always feel very accessible,” Mr. Spurgat added.

And yes, all of the VCs that VYou got to participate in this group so far are investors in VYou themselves (surprise, surprise).

The folks at VYou were kind enough to allow Betabeat to ask a handful of questions of the investors and we expended a lot of energy controlling ourselves from asking flat out, “Do you ever feel like you’re full of shit?” Instead, our questions touched on hardware vs. software startups, vulture capital and portfolio financial metrics. We also asked, “What’s a thing that a portfolio company could spend money on that would annoy you?”

Mr. Taussig was unfailingly diplomatic in his response, but when “forced,” he replied that “other than gross offenses like private planes,” he would have to go with “spending a lot of money on paid advertising before you’re ready.” Mr. Nova was equally gracious. “Most of the companies we invest in are pretty smart with our money. We typically don’t like to see fancy office spaces or furniture or crazy travel and entertainment budgets. But in 20 years of investing I haven’t seen a company overspend in these areas.” Mr. Tisch said that really excessive founder salaries “don’t make sense.”

You can watch some of their answers here, or embedded below.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com

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