Mark Cuban thinks YC founders are entitled. PG thinks Shark Tank is a waste of time.
PG is right, because of the way founders behave.
Context: I’ve been through YC twice and Sacca was an investor in my last startup. I think everyone involved here is bright.
Founders put a lot of weight in Shark Tank, and invest too much in getting there and performing. Sacca and Cuban are acting like the founders got up that morning with no plans and spent 10 minutes pitching millions of consumers. The problem isn’t Shark Tank but the way founders behave around it.
This is a specific version of the general phenomenon: founders seek some magic bullet, some golden ticket to solve growth. I’ve written about that here, “The #1 Mistake in Driving Growth”. It’s a mistake. Founders should focus on making the best product for their customers. They should do marketing too — focused on sustainable progress (probably not PR).
Cuban saying YC founders are entitled is both 1) obviously true and 2) difficult to distinguish from Cuban’s anguish over the price of the rounds for YC companies. The fact is that there is a market for company stock, and YC companies get higher prices. They expect higher prices and more, which is entitled, but they get them, to Cuban’s chagrin.
Is it lost on the people looking on that Cuban has a strong business interest to dismiss the value of YC so that he can get a better deal? It’s so transparent it is barely worth mentioning, but apparently people don’t notice the conflict of interest. Plus people like Cuban predict that deflation of prices in some bubble burst as often as founders complain that VCs are slow and lack vision.