How I Added Value by Helping Destroy Silicon Valley Bank

As a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, there’s nothing I love more than adding value to my portfolio companies.

Sometimes that value comes in the form of inciting mass panic in the market that results in the destruction of a 50-year-old institution that has always been a close ally of the very startups I aim to provide value for.

To this, all I can say is “whoopsie.” You see, I didn’t mean to help destroy the only bank willing to give a mortgage to pre-revenue tech founders. But as a VC, I believe one of my core responsibilities is to spend all day on Twitter parroting the opinions of other VCs in an effort to make it seem like I know what I’m doing. You may think that’s hypocritical, considering I’m a self-styled “contrarian,” but you don’t know how good it feels when Keith Rabois retweets you.

Everyone wants to criticize VCs for the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history—and I’d really prefer they didn’t. For one: we wouldn’t have been able to fan the flames of economic collapse if not for SVB’s risk management (or lack thereof), rising interest rates, and Trump’s deregulation of the banking industry. And two: criticism hurts my feelings.

The way I see it, betraying a pillar of the startup ecosystem in its hour of greatest need was a necessary sacrifice to the god of social media clout. If I didn’t join the chorus of VCs trying to “sound important” on the internet, I might not get allocation in the next Sequoia-backed AI startup.

As for the financial crisis my tweeting helped cause, my solution is to demand the government intervene. You may think that’s hypocritical, considering I’m a self-styled “libertarian” who loves to criticize any form of government intervention, but remember that’s just for social media clout. I’ve actually benefitted immensely from the government’s policy of low-interest rates over the past decade, which pumped billions of dollars into the startup ecosystem. This allowed me to raise enormous funds and charge obscene management fees, which subsidized my daily Twitter tantrums against the government.

Since the mess I helped create has now been cleaned up by the government I loathe, I think it’s important I take credit for getting them to appease me. After all, if I didn’t tell all my portfolio companies to withdraw their money from the bank, the government might’ve not needed to step in. And if I didn’t spend all weekend tweeting “CONTAGION” in all caps, we’d probably all be living in “The Last of Us” come Monday. You’re welcome Janet Yellen.

Now that the dust has settled, it’s clear Silicon Valley is less stable, less resilient, and less trusting than it was this time two weeks ago. This will almost assuredly lead to a less innovative, more regulated tech ecosystem—which I will eagerly criticize. You may think that’s hypocritical considering my culpability in the outcome, but the guys from the “All-In” podcast just retweeted me, so who cares what you think?

If you’re still angry at VCs in the wake of the SVB collapse, remember that we were just doing our job. Many of us who stoked fear in the market are also investors in the startup banks that stand to prosper now that we’ve helped massacre their largest competitor. Like I said, there’s nothing I love more than adding value to my portfolio companies.

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