For VCs and founders, building in public is about filling the top of the funnel

“Chief Meme Officer” was once Turner Novak’s tongue-in-cheek job title, and his 161,300 X followers probably know why. Yet, he has it clear: “If you think about raising a venture fund and you need to raise $50 million, somebody’s not going to say: ‘Wow, that’s a great meme, here’s $10 million.”

Why all the memes, then? Because “it’s a good way to fill up the pipeline and maybe meet someone,” Banana Capital’s founder said at TechCrunch Disrupt.

Novak was sharing the Builders Stage with fellow emerging fund managers Noramay Cadena and Mac Conwell. The three of them have one thing in common: They are building their venture firms in public.

“Building in public” means different things to different people. “I don’t practice absolute transparency in any aspect of my life,” Cadena said, eliciting laughs. Her firm, Supply Change Capital, also leans more toward blogging and LinkedIn posts than memes and tweets. But she, Novak and Conwell agreed that creating content is a pipeline strategy.

When launching his firm RareBreed Ventures while being very active on social media, Conwell noticed firsthand that it wasn’t a panacea. “In my first 90 days of fundraising doing the Twitter strategy, I did over 1,100 meetings; that only soft-circled $3 million because at the end of the day, . . . they still have to want to invest in you or invest your fund because you have a thesis, because you have a point of view, because you have a product.”

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