I was fortunate to spend time with the Splice and Namely teams last week on my trip to NYC.
Most of my interactions are with the Founding team members of a company – especially the company’s CEO – but I really enjoy meeting and spending time with the broader team for meals or a group activity. Startups are truly a human experience and every company has an incredibly different culture – and by spending time with the broader group, you get a better idea for how the company is growing.
Especially at the earliest of stages, the strength of the core group is exceptionally important – Founders have the most influence on culture during the seed stage of the company – when the business starts to scale – the values and quality of the team is directly related to how the team was built in the beginning.
Related, with all the superstitions and stories about “bad VCs”, I think its helpful to make yourself available and known – and more importantly, let the team know that you’re not looking to destroy the company or culture (which different individuals have told me more than once was their initial concern about investors in general)