January 27, 2023

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Tech’s growth story has shifted this year. How has this affected transparency? • Eureka News Now

When Vijay Chattha was building a startup, his competitor was what some would call a media darling. The competition had a good story that attracted investor interest. This interest, in turn, helped attract key customers. And so the cycle repeated itself. Chattha eventually sold that company in a tepid exit, taking an important lesson with it: Earned Media has the power to be a kingmaker.

Chattha is now the Founder and CEO of VSC, a public relations firm that has helped launch over 600 companies. The firm works with startups at all stages and recently launched a $21 million venture firm to support the companies it advises. (Or, as Chattha puts it, to bring some skin into play).

Now, 20 years later, Chattha muses on how the cyclical nature of technology has affected her relationship with the media, the power to share real numbers, and whether founders should prepare for it, in the name of transparency on it to fall sword.

“I think it’s a dangerous thing. It’s like water. If you don’t have ads, you may be dehydrated. But if you have too much, you can drown.” Vijay Chattha

You can find my entire conversation with the entrepreneur wherever you listen to podcasts. So listen up if you prefer audio over words (in that case what are you doing here‽).

Below we have extracted some key excerpts from the interview for your reading pleasure.

What’s your temperature reading of how vulnerable founders are right now when it comes to publicly sharing hardship?

Vijay Chattha: It depends on the founder. Is it your first startup, your second or your third? In general, I find that the more successful and the more wisdom you have, the more transparent you are over time and maybe even cynical, right? But the first founders are under a lot of pressure [to do] whatever the VCs or staff people around them tell them what to do. You have to do it. They are very worried about the competitors reading this stuff.