The Las Vegas tech community was excited to see downtown regular Erik Moore featured in USA Today on March 17, 2014. The tech feature, titled “Erik Moore: A real deal venture capitalist” was written by Nishat Kurwa.
Below are our top three takeaways from this feature:
#1 – What Moore thought of Zappos.com when he first heard about the idea.
At the time, Moore told Tony Hsieh, “I’m not sure I have ever heard of a more stupid idea than selling shoes online.” But, deciding that Hsieh’s talents outweighed the apparent dead-end nature of the service that became Zappos (later acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion), Moore made an investment that eventually provided seed money for his venture capital fund, Base Ventures.
#2 – Moore’s thoughts on the value of building relationships over time.
“It’s not easy knocking on doors and asking for millions of dollars,” Moore wrote via email about the challenges of building a venture fund from scratch. One key, he says, is building relationships with influential people, even if it’s not immediately clear how they might figure into your career path. Moore’s done this is by knocking on the doors of boys clubs that don’t tend to be populated by black men from the hood in Richmond, Calif. The latest is the secretive Bohemian Club, for which Moore waited for more than a decade to gain admittance.
#3 – Why phenomenal founders catch his eye.
“I don’t invest in any of these deals out of obligation. That said, a large portion of my portfolio happens to be with founders who are phenomenal — oh, and by the way, happen to be black, or female,” Moore said. “I am very much a certified, classic capitalist. I am interested in making money, not just for me, but for my limited partners in my fund.”