As desperate as founders often are to get angel capital into their companies so they can really start to do the work that they want to do once they have capital, it’s incredibly important that they’re getting capital from somebody that they can work with.
Money is money, but you’re taking in a partner when you take in an angel investor. In the same way that an angel investor is going to put you through the wringer with lots of questions about the company, about yourself, about your motivation, about the way you look at the world, and how you decipher things and what answers you come to when faced with different information. The founder needs to be doing the same thing with the angel investor. They have to understand where they’re coming from and what is their motivation. Obviously they want to make money but they’re engaging in a high-risk activity of angel investing, there are other motivations that go with that; how closely they want to be working founder, is this angel investor somebody who’s going to want to be engaged with you on a daily basis, or weekly basis, or monthly basis. All of those things make a great deal of difference to how you’re going to work with them. So you want to understand that working relationship upfront and a lot of that comes from who that individual is and what’s driving them to be interested in the company you’re building.
I’m a big fan of telling everybody to exhibit huge amounts of curiosity in everything they do. Ask lots of questions, and listen hard. That goes for the angel investor when they’re meeting with you and it goes for you too when you’re meeting with the angel investor.