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Fred Wilson has an awesome blog on The VC’s Customer. The first few sentences summarize the post.
Many of the people I know in the venture capital business think their customers are their investors, called LPs in the industry vernacular. I’ve always thought that was dead wrong. The entrepreneur is the customer and the LP is the shareholder. That’s the only way to think about the venture capital business that makes sense to me.
I agree 100% with Fred’s perspective on this. Both my shareholders (my LPs) and my customers (the entrepreneurs) are critical to my business. But I (and Fred) think it’s important to be clear on which is which.