If You Have Nothing Good To Say (Say Nothing?)

The tech and VC scene is not a big industry. It is, however, a very gossipy one and people talk a lot about what others are up to. Folks try to reference one another all the time, be it by talking to people who had worked or done business with a potential new employee, business partner or an investor.

I am generally positive towards other people in the field and we really like working with others, share deals and the like. And if you do not work together you may compete, lose or win, and that is OK. But sometimes people do things that I feel should not be happening, that are wrong and unfair. Be it investors leveraging their position in an extremely aggressive way or folks being totally unreliable or lying outright. These situations bother me when I witness them, even though I am fully aware that fairness is in the eye of the beholder and every story has two sides.

Here is where it gets challenging. Sometimes I am still not sure what the right level of disclosure is when it comes down to sharing these bad experiences with others. On the one hand, I strongly dislike and feel uncomfortable when I have to report bad stuff about others. Being positive is much better. But on the other hand, I do not want to lie or hide facts when being asked about my previous experience in dealing with someone, especially if it was very negative. I also feel obliged to warn people I trust and value about wrongful behaviour of others.

I would be curious to find out how you handle these situations, so feel encouraged to share your views and practices.