There is a time, as rare as it may seem, when both VC's and start-ups tend to be exactly alike. This is basically right after they raise fresh money. Either the start-up has closed a new round of funding or the VC has just closed a fund. This is when you want to put on your bullsh!t filter and set it to max. It's almost a given that the VC is going to be talking about all of the opportunities currently present in the market and how they are best positioned to take advantage of these opportunities. Oh yeah, and by the way, every other VC is poorly positioned and the VC industry is going down the drain. Same goes for the start-up who obviously has the next best product ever and zero competition or basically really weak competition. You get my drift. Heed the optimism and self-promotion inherent in a topped-up bank account. Don't listen to just one perspective and make sure even if you get a couple opinions, these are not all from people freshly bathed in money. Sometimes those about to go out of business (or at least weathered and scarred from the battle) can give you much better insight than those sunning themselves in their own glory.
This post is going to be quite short. If you're a start-up and launching discussions with VC's, don't have Maseratis, Porsches, Ferraris, Bentley's or what-not as company cars. I don't care even if you started friggin' Google or Skype! Sports cars have no business being expensed to a start-up. Maybe it's just me but this seems like common sense. At the same time, over and over again during due diligence we find small start-ups with these types of cars on their books! If you want my take on it, these are deal-breakers. I simply will not invest in your business if you think it astute to have such cars as company cars.