Singing VCs

It’s really Onset‘s fault. They put out this great holiday card every year, and for 2004 it was a holiday songbook. Randomly at the ESVCA event this summer I was talking with Tim Chang of Gabriel Ventures, and he mentioned that he sings, and since I sing too, we got chatting about it and somehow hatched the idea that we should sing the Onset songbook. I knew Randy Haykin of Outlook Ventures also sang, since we had both sung (at different times) in the Voices in Harmony chorus, so I got him involved too.

Since I have 4-part mens arrangements of most of these songs, we looked for another singing VC. The one we found, who shall remain nameless, backed out before our first rehearsal, saying he was “too busy”. I tried to argue that this activity would be good for deal flow development and foment strong relationships within the business, so it should count as “work”, but for some reason he just laughed at me.

In the end we brought in David Binetti, who is an entrepreneur considering becoming a VC, and (by the way) a great singer. We had a couple of (short) rehearsals on the roof of our building – we didn’t want anyone to hear us – and spent a little time reworking the lyrics – they were so 2004! We were a little surprised that we actually sounded pretty good. We also joked about picking a name, settling on Up-Round Sound. Other contenders were Top Quartile, Here’s the Pitch, and J-Curve. We decided we weren’t old enough to be the 4X Seniors.

With the songs ready to go, we talked to a number of VC firms (who shall also remain nameless) about singing at their holiday parties. Turns out most VCs are very particular about their holiday parties, and don’t want random groups of people breaking out into song in the middle of them. So, quite a lot of people were deprived of the enjoyment of laughing at themselves while listening to our close harmony renditions. We did end up performing at the Gabriel Ventures party, where we were very well received. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that everyone was 3 drinks in and pretty much everything was funny. We will be singing for the Band of Angels party tonight and that’s probably it for this year.

We have no idea if this quartet will continue to sing together, but we are in the process of acquiring matching socks. Most likely we’ll be available for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and funerals any time all 4 of us are free at the same time, which is approximately as often as pigs fly.

Read on for the lyrics we wrote to Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls (once again, with thanks to Onset for the idea and some of the lyrics).

Jingle Bells

Dishing out the dough
In the new Web two-oh way
O’er Sand Hill we go
Seeding all the way
Bells on cell phones ring
Mobile deals look bright
What fun it is when startups sell to Google overnight.

Jingle Bells, YouTube sells,
Facebook’s on the way,
Oh what fun it is to do
A hot deal every day.

Jingle Bells, YouTube sells,
Facebook’s on the way,
Oh what fun it is to ride
The bubble of the day.

A year or two ago
I thought I’d make a play
Put five million bucks
In a high-priced Series A…

The team was rather poor
The business plan was weak
But what the heck, it’s AJAX-based
We sold it at the peak.

Jingle Bells, YouTube sells
Facebook’s on the way!
Oh, what fun it is to do
A hot deal every day! (ka-ching!)

Deck the Grid

Deck the grid with cleantech power, fa la…
Ethanol deals every hour, fa la…
Khosla Ventures, we all follow, fa la…
Valuations high, we swallow, fa la…

See the broadband growth before us, fa la…
Click the ads and join the chorus, fa la…
Viral growth is what we’re seeking, fa la…
Buy us when our traffic’s peaking, fa la…

Fast away the old web passes, fa la…
Hail web two-oh lads and lasses, fa la…
Fund we joyous, blog or wiki, fa la…
Any content that is sticky, fa la…

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