Very high on ego! Only thinking of ways to prove a point and competing for influence!
Erik was our first check and has been our strongest supporter from day 1. He's helped us close a key engineering hire. He's made many investor and customer introductions. He's one of the most founder friendly, well-networked investors I've met.
Erik has been there with us since the start, supporting, making intros and welcoming us into both the Village Global and On Deck communities. He has an incredibly strong network, and is always available when we need help from him.
Pretty clear the newer 10 star reviews are those that Erik asked his portfolio founders to make for him, unlike the more honest ones that people left at first. Doesn't change the truth - he's full of hot air and is in it to build up his personal brand (which is based on being a twitter influencer, not an actual successful entrepreneur or operator) and not to help his portfolio companies. They openly say that their fund's strategy is writing small checks into 100+ companies, how helpful can one be at that point? Avoid - it's easy to get funding from people who are actually value add.
Erik is hands down one of the most helpful investors I've met, and on our cap table. He wasn't afraid to back us with a first check before anyone else, and then was extremely helpful with dozens of intros & backchannel-ing to help put together our next round of funding. He has a genius community builder & marketing mindset, and is always available to help and incredibly well connected.
Over the past few years as our investor, Erik has: introduced me to my co-founder, made introductions that led to four hires (and many other strategic introductions), Sent in a couple dozen customers (way more than any other investor, and we have some big firms), Helped us figure out our business model, Helped us raise our series A, Been there for me during a key crisis to the business, Regularly made himself available as a sounding board for ideas, and keeps us accountable as a team for following through on them. I know he has a lot going on and is being pulled in different directions but I also feel I can call him at any time of night on any given day and he is committed to our success as a company.
Stay far, far away. This guy falls into the class of investors that founders whisper about as being full of hot air. Treats founders very differently based on how much he thinks they will contribute to his personal brand (regardless of actual success of the founder). His lack of any serious operational experience is belied by the mostly-fluff advice he gives founders or tweets about. Erik is purely about clout chasing and trying to seem smart/important on Twitter without actually having anything useful to contribute. There is so much capital out there you don't need it from a deeply insecure status-chaser.
Has been extremely helpful sanity-checking early-stage ideas and pivots, and was a great confidential ear when I was having serious cofounder relationship issues. Has also introduced me to a bunch of investors. As others noted, he's much more responsive through texts than through calls, but I find it more efficient to communicate this way so it hasn't been a problem. I'm not raising right now, but he's the first person I'll be texting when the time comes.
A riddle wrapped inside of an enigma. Who is this guy and what is his endgame? The first time I met him I was surprised to feel the realization that his reputation may have built on smoke, mirrors, and—as another reviewer mentioned—seemingly propped up by his twitter follower numbers. I mean, he's even given private classes on growing your Twitter following and how to tweet to optimize for engagement. To state the facts, Erik really doesn't have enough experience himself as an operator to be an effective investor to a founder. Can he introduce you to literally every other Silicon Valley investor and some Product Hunt alumni? Sure. But where does that get you? Perhaps the ability to impress a few first-time founders and young twitterati by namedropping the hypebeast investor on your cap table. The more time I spent around him, the more I realized that there's significantly little value he could bring besides the check. So, seeing an opportunity, and even being a chosen member in one of his 'communities', I reached out to pitch him at my early stage... and got the ghost, twice. He's hired a few bright folks to build a unique community with OnDeck but I just fail to see much else. This is business, not a reality show. 3/10, do not recommend.
Erik is one of the best investors I know. He is super accessible and broadly curious. He is in the top 1% of people deliberately building a diverse community of founders / angels / technologists and is extremely generous with his network -- angels, customers, experts in the field. I have personally benefitted repeatedly from the depth and breadth of Erik's network. It's easy to underestimate community / network, but enduring companies are built on long term relationships not short term tactics -- and Erik is optimizing for the long term. If you're a tech bro he's probably not right for you. If you're a cultured empathetic long term thinker who cares about the tech community broadly and pushing your thinking / network beyond the typical tech/VC bubble then there's no better person to partner with than Erik.