MAWG – Middle Aged White Guy

From Pattern Recognition by William GibsonPattern Recognition

He reaches into a shirt pocket and pulls out a card. Stepping forward, he offers it to her. She takes it and squints, through the dust in her eyes and the hard white light, at

PETER GILBERT

MIDDLE-AGED WHITE GUY

“SINCE 1967”

She looks up at him.

“Music business,” he says. “In Chicago, if you’re a certain type of musician, you need one.”

“One what?”

“M-A-W-G. Mawg.”

Middle Aged White Guy.

In a lot of way the job of a venture investor is similar to that of an A&R (Artist & Repertoire) scout in the music business.

You’re a talent scout looking for promising groups. When you find one, you give them money and advice to try to help them grow.

Early on A&R guys wade through the tapes submitted to labels by bands and spend a lot of time at clubs trying to discover something for themselves. VCs go though decks sent in and troll demo days and networking events.

Essentially I’m a talent scout that helps manage the band after they get a record deal; Middle Aged White Guy since 2011.

And yes, this analogy makes founders the Rock Stars.

Funny thing is I know some EX A&R guys. They love music, so its odd that they are hated as ‘The Man”.

Macklemore even wrote an entire song lambasting record exec Jimmy Iovine.

And VCS get the same wrap today.

And it is likely that this metaphor extends further. Music  discovery and financing was disrupted; Macklemore is the perfect example. That process is also happening in the venture world.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming changes, no one really wants to be known as a Middle Aged White Guy.

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