They met with me because they knew my name and because I knew things that they wanted to know.
This is such a complicated topic, and I thought to myself: "Just don't get involved. Some of what I might say may also be unpopular or difficult to hear.
I spent my 20s in bars recruiting traders, so "bar business" was not new or intimidating to me. It's so hard to get meetings and raise money that you are willing to meet wherever and whenever to get some air time.
But here is where I have to be really honest with you and myself about what happened. I was the one who decided this was a business meeting.
I had befriended a founder of a VC-backed startup who really believed in my vision, and he told me to go pitch VCs. He gave me books to read, helped me with my deck, and helped me practice my pitch, and then he made intros to VCs like Redpoint, Battery, Trinity, Kleiner, and Norwest.
I will say this: To their credit, they all met with me on his recommendation.