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Adeo Ressi Unplugged

January 12, 2008

Here’s the Q&A I promised with Adeo Ressi, the grenade-tossing founder of Sorry for publishing it one day late!

Why do you hate venture capitalists so much?
The real question is why do VCs hate me? I don’t think they hate me. I think they feel slightly threatened by TheFunded especially because they don’t know all of the data that it has, since 70% of the content is reserved for members only. That said, the ultimate goal of TheFunded is to improve the relationship between the entrepreneur and the VC. I consider VCs to be among some of my best friends. I have nothing against VCs.

Did your unveiling in Wired magazine change your life? Any regrets?
It’s definitely changed my life. I don’t have any regrets. I had no intention of ever revealing my identity. I was concerned that it would leak out. Rather than have it leak and surprise me one day when I was working in the office and phones start ringing off the hook and I get cease-and-desist letters, I decided I would manage it and plan my coming out.

What’s the worst thing someone said to you as a result of the site?
I haven’t actually had anyone say anything bad to my face thankfully. But in some of the forums people are trying to say slanderous things about me. I presume that it’s people who are threatened by the site’s existence trying to discredit the founder.

Why do you like to stir things up so much?
I didn’t want to stir things up but VC definitely needed a kick in the pants. The way it’s been running the last five years with very complicated terms and strained relationships between entrepreneurs and their funding partners was troubling at best. TheFunded is designed to correct that relationship by adding some transparency. I did guess that it might stir things up but that was not the goal.

Since your site provides a forum for people to criticize the VC industry, do you think you could get venture capital funding for ventures you start in the future?
A number of VCs have offered to finance TheFunded. That presents the ultimate conflict of interest. I could imagine walking into a board meeting: “How are things going? How were we reviewed?” Obviously, taking VC for TheFunded can’t happen. My feeling is that it will be difficult going forward to raise VC.


Venture Capital Gadfly Adeo Ressi

January 11, 2008

Here’s a link to the “Show Me the Money Men,” a profile I wrote about founder Adeo Ressi in this week’s issue of BusinessWeek. I got to know Ressi over the last month or so and he’s a really smart, funny and provocative guy. Although “visionary” is one of the more over-used words in technology, I would go so far as to say that Ressi is a visionary of sorts., a Web site that lets entrepreneurs to anonymously rank, review and comment on venture capitalists, illustrates a vision of creating a more transparent and smoothly functioning VC industry. Ressi’s vision, though, is even more apparent with his latest entrepreneurial venture, which is revealed in this story. Ressi is setting up a Web site that will allow people to contribute ideas and plans for building more sustainable urban developments. He hopes one day to use the contributions to build what he calls the City of the Future. Check out this sidebar to main story, “It Takes a Wiki to Raise a Village,” that explains Ressi’s idea to create a Wikipedia-like site for planning and building a new urban utopia.

Later today I will post a short interview with Ressi. So come back and check it out. Ressi always has something interesting to say.

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