Redeye VC

Josh Kopelman

Managing Director of First Round Capital.

espite being coastally challenged (currently living in Philadelphia), Josh has been an active entrepreneur and investor in the Internet industry since its commercialization. In 1992, while he was a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Josh co-founded Infonautics Corporation – an Internet information company. In 1996, Infonautics went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

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No voice...

Istock_000002891120xsmall I spent all day yesterday on the phone. 12+ hours of phone conversations – and I went to bed last night with a sore throat. So when I woke up this morning with no voice, I wasn’t completely surprised.

I had two entrepreneur pitches and one board meeting in New York City today – and I felt OK – so I decided to take the meetings. Initially, I was extremely concerned that my laryngitis would dramatically reduce my effectiveness and productivity in the meetings. However, as the day went on, I noticed something interesting. Because it was so difficult for me to talk, it forced me to make every word count. Where I previously might have interjected with a question, now I was writing them down to see if they got answered elsewhere in the presentation. If I wanted to provide feedback or an opinion, I was much more concise than I otherwise would have been. And, I found that my meetings were just as productive/effective as they would have been if I could speak freely.

So what should I learn from this? Well, I guess it shows that I should talk less and listen more (something my wife has been saying for years). And when I do choose to speak, I should conserve my words. It will be interesting to see if I have the discipline to continue this when my voice returns…\


David Stone

Let's hope your wife doesn't read your blog, otherwise, you'll hear it for years to come as well! ;)

Bob Monsour

Just mouth, two ears.

Tim Norton

Interesting call, I have a way of letting a lot of words out during my days too, its part of the energy that people like, but also as you say means things aren't as concise as they could be.

This is definitely evident if theres a few holes in the product which I feel I have to sell hard through.

In contrast when I catchup with people late in the evenings when I've started to slow down and are a little sick of hearing my own voice, theres more space and I think I manage to get more out in less.

David S. Rose

I once had to give an important speech, and came down with laryngitis that morning. Since bailing on it was not an option, I took a deep breath, added interstitial title slides to my Powerpoint (rather like the titles in an old silent movie), and gave a half hour speech with no sound. It turned out to be the best speech I have ever given, and got a standing ovation...


This is generally one of the main complaints of entrepreneurs have fm their experiences doing VC pitches. Too many questions before the VC has heard & grokked the pitch. This may have been a great experience towards making you an even better VC than you have been to date.


I have read your profile and your company's background with much interest. My NYC based company is at a major crossroad and is looking for a venture capitalist. I am putting out feelers. We are NOT in technology though. Please have someone send me contact info. so that we can formally get introduced.


This what you want from your sales team, less talking and more listening, providing you a better understand of the customers needs.

Larry Chiang

Ginger lemon honey tea is what pro speakers use to get their vocal chords in tip-top shape

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This what you want from your sales team, less talking and more listening, providing you a better understand of the customers needs.

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