Today, I was driving in the car with my Dad, and I was eating Doritos. Now, bear in mind that at the time I had been awake for about 11 hours and hadn’t actually had any food at all before those delicious Doritos started tempting me with their delicious cheesy goodness.
My Dad reached over and (HOW DARE HE!) grabbed a Dorito from the bag. And I swear to you, even though he’s a good Dad and a nice guy and he turned 77 today and yes it was his birthday…I swear to you, I almost bit the man’s hand off at the wrist.
Why? Because I was STARVING. And those were MY Doritos, dammit. The voice in my head screamed, “But that’s the only food I have!”.
This got me thinking about the articles I’ve seen lately, all screaming about the tightening of the VC belt, how angel investment is drying up, blah blah. Even though there’s significant evidence to contradict this, and the VCs themselves tell us it’s not true…people keep talking about it.
Why do I think we should all just STFU already?
Because just like packs of wolves in the wild, when the perception is that resources like food (say…Doritos) are scarce, the pack stops sharing and starts hoarding. Even if there’s plenty of food, in fact, their social networks break down if they perceive a change in their supply. They start snarling and snapping at one another, regardless of the bonds of the pack.
And This behavior is dangerously bad for the startup ecosystem. We’re built on, we survive on, we succeed because we share. We openly and honestly share connections, experiences, introductions, advice and much more.
If we startuppers start to circle inwards, we all suffer. Connections wither, conversations wane, our value decreases as a community and as individuals.
And if we stop sharing with one another, the imagined “VC crunch” may very well become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So here’s my pledge to you—just like always: I will share my Doritos. Even if they’re the only Doritos I have, and even if I’m really really hungry. Because we’re all in this together, in some sense. We’re a pack. Let’s make sure we all keep eating.