This is naturally an ego-centric activity. Many, smart, hardworking, well-educated individuals will pursue you and try to convince you to give them money. It is easy to be a jerk… I’ve seen many investors that are dismissive, treat meetings with founders like speed dating, act overly critical toward founders and their decisions… and I don’t think this serves the startup or the investor well. When I first started, I recall grilling startups with a barrage of quick-fire questions and what I found is that the really strong opportunities weren’t returning my calls. While I thought I was being efficient, I just came off as a jerk and probably someone that they didn’t want to deal with for the next 5-10 years. Remember that investing in a company is very much like a marriage. You will go through ups and downs and know each other inside-out by the time your investment runs its course. You need to choose startups that you can weather the storm with and they will be choosing you as well. Often the good ones have a breadth of investors to choose from.