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As part of the VC Advisory Board for Microsoft’s Emerging Business Technology group, I like to say that I work for Microsoft three days a year (this is how often the EBT VC Advisory Board meets). We have a meeting coming up this week and – as I get ready to trek up to Redmond – I was pondering the meeting agenda when I came across Dan’l Lewin’s (who runs EBT) recent post titled “Should Microsoft Invest in Startups?”
I have huge regard for Dan’l and have always really enjoyed working with him. While I’m not a Microsoft shill, many of the companies that I’ve been involved in – going back to the very first company that I started – have had “deep and meaningful” relationships with Microsoft. While I’ve been on the wrong end of things with them at times, the benefits of the relationship have far outweighed the costs. Today, Microsoft is a huge place and understanding how to navigate them, work with them, and be effective is non-trivial. Dan’l and his team do a great job of helping VCs and VC-backed companies – it’s rewarding to see some of the ideas and philosophy that we bandy around in our Advisory Board meetings come out in Dan’ls public thoughts.