Big timing

“Big timing” is a phrase I’ve heard a lot lately which refers to people who are “higher ranking” acting disrespectfully toward people who are “lower ranking”. Example usage: “so and so VC partner big timed my associate,” meaning they talked down to him/her or didn’t meet with him/her or whatever.

Big timing is a huge mistake. Why? 1) big timers vastly underestimate the degree to which senior people trust their junior people, 2) most non-jerks (no matter how successful) interpret big timing to be an insult to their firm and therefore to their senior people, 3) junior people are often far more active and informed than senior people and therefore great people to spend time with.

It would be great to think that in the startup industry, people would realize that today’s junior person could become “big time” tomorrow, and that you should therefore be meritocratic and respectful to everyone. But that’s not my experience.

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