By Dan Primack
March 23, 2012

Bessemer Venture Partners has one of the VC industry’s strongest portfolios, with investments in such companies as LinkedIn (LNKD), Pinterest and OMGPOP. It also has an awesome bathroom.

Until yesterday, however, Bessemer also had a website that most of its portfolio companies wouldn’t have been caught dead with. Dated, difficult to navigate and exceedingly dull (save for its anti-portfolio). But the firm recognized the errors of its ways, relaunched and sent out my favorite press release in quite some time. Perfect reading for a Friday…

Asks People Not to Visit until They’re Sure It Works

Bessemer Venture Partners today admitted that they knew they had an awkward and out-of-date website.  “It was like the 70’s shag carpet you bring to a marriage straight from your dorm room” said Bob Goodman.  “At first your spouse doesn’t object too much because of the sentimental attachment, but after a while it starts to smell and she starts referring to it as ‘that thing’.  That was our website…so we drew straws and the loser had to oversee a rebuild.”

The loser, David Cowan, conceded, “While I didn’t exactly welcome the challenge, in a partnership somebody has to do it.”  Cowan solicited bids from web developers and chose a proposal from a pair of local middle school students, because “We support education, I guess?…and it was free.” Cowan then fobbed as much of the work as possible off onto analysts, administrative staff, and candidates for positions at Bessemer Venture Partners (under the guise that website design was a regular employment test at BVP). Jeremy Levine commented:  “I lost at least two great associate candidates to David’s web site “test” so I’m particularly glad this thing is finally getting launched.”

There was some debate among the partners as to whether they should launch it now or run more user tests and performance upgrades. The firm’s Chief Operating Officer Ed Colloton said, “We often advise our startups to just get products out there fast for market feedback, but with a venture firm’s web site, users seems to expect a certain level of quality and accuracy.” Rob Stavis disagreed: “I’ve never expected quality or accuracy from our website.”

Byron Deeter commented, “It’s as done as it’ll get, let’s just get it out there already.”

Not everyone agreed with the decision to update the site.  “We’re an old firm, what’s wrong with an old site?” asked Chris Gabrieli.  While Felda Hardymon agreed the old web site should be discontinued, he wasn’t on board with replacing it. “The internets are a fad. What we need is a costumed mascot on Sand Hill Road with a sign pointing to our office. Maybe a duck.”

Bessemer is asking people not to tweet the new web site until it is production ready – likely sometime in 2015. Until then, up to seven users at a time may visit the site at

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