When I moved to California, people told me I'd miss the seasons. And indeed, it can be hard to tell when one season bustles aside another; time passes like mellow west coasters waving each other through at a 4-way stop intersection. But, alas, I've got the unofficial private equity calendar to keep me in tune with the rhythm of nature. Instead of falling leaves, I always know its autumn when my wallet grows fat with receipts for cab rides and drycleaning claim checks in the far-flung and disparate cities that comprise the LP rota.
And since I'm going to be in the usual haunts with some regularity and a bit of free time, I thought I'd hold office hours for private equity and venture capital GPs who might have random questions about anything from fundraising pitchbooks to annex funds to partnership tumult — it can be anything that you wanted to confidentially ask a live LP, but were afraid to ask one of your own.
But here's the deal: no pitching! Let me be clear: this isn't an opportunity to get in front of me to sell your fund. Doing so will dump you in the interminable expanse of despair known as my to-do list. In fact, just like your introductory macroeconomics or organic chemistry professor, I will probably not even remember your name afterwards, but I will take comfort from having been able to dispense a pearl or two of wisdom in 15 minutes or so.
Here's a good description of what to expect, pilfered from some orientation materials at Cornell:
Most professors and teaching assistants do not have lessons planned for office hours. They expect students to “drive” these meetings with their questions and their thoughts . . . Do not be surprised when the professors and teaching assistants reply to your questions with questions of their own. They are working with you to uncover the source of your questions . . . They may ask you to generate alternative ways to solve a problem. Hopefully they will help you change how you think about the material so that you can answer many different kinds of questions about it – not just the question on the homework that is stumping you. Don’t be surprised if they ask you to solve another problem before you leave the office.
So here's the lineup (you will know me by the crimson of my t-shirt):
[times and locations may change; I'll post updates the day before]
New York City: Weds 10/6 in the Lobby of the Marriott Marquis (1535 B'Way) 1130AM-1PM.
Boston: Thurs 10/7 in the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental (776 Boylston) 6-730PM.
NYC: Tues 11/2 location TBD 1030-noon.
Boston: Thurs 11/4 location TBD 230-4PM.
Chicago: Weds 11/17 in the lobby of the Peninsula (108 E Superior St) 830-1030AM
Dallas: Thurs 11/18 in the lobby of the Rosewood Crescent (400 Crescent Court) 10AM-noon.
I may add a Seattle time and may do a "home game" in Palo Alto. I look forward to seeing you.
I notice you’re back in Boston on 11/4 but currently without a location. New England Venture Capital Association uses the Venture Cafe currently at the Cambridge Innovation Center 4th Floor from 3-6 PM and will be hosting office hours on 11/4 as well ( http://bit.ly/NEVCAofficehrs). We’d love to have you share the ample space, and it’s certainly a location with a bit of built-in humility as everyone is there to give or receive a little adviceGPs and entrepreneurs alike.
Thanks for the offer. Definitely tempting. I may be stuck closer to H Square, but it might be cool to hop the T over to Kendall. Let me get back to you via email if that turns out to be the play.