I’ve been spending more time researching public-market companies this year—specifically, technology companies that offer solutions I’m familiar with whose founder is still CEO. I’ve noticed that a lot of the public companies that fit these criteria were backed by venture capitalists (VCs) before they went public.
I’ve found a hack for researching these CEOs and companies. The VC firms that backed these companies often have a deeper understanding of them and their CEOs than most because of the duration and closeness of their relationship. (They’ve been close to the companies since well before going public was a possibility.) Companies that go public are often high priority for the VC investors who back them, so some investors will speak and write about them extensively. Much of this content is available online, and I’ve found it often contains golden nuggets about these companies or their CEOs that aren’t in any public filings. In combination with public filings, I’ve found this content helpful in evaluating whether a CEO and company are good or the company might be one of the rare great ones.