I would keep in mind that there are two sides to every story. My favorite saying is that "behind every problem in a person's life is a lie." The worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves, "like we will work that detail out later." The point of contracts in business is so people don't need to rely on trusting each other. In start up business things change fast and what starts as a great relationship with lots of ambition can turn when money is at stake. That being said VC's have more experience than the average entrepreneur so they are more likely to make contracts that protect their interests and mitigate their downside risk in the event that the entrepreneur fails to hit milestones. Also note that there is a big difference between ownership and control. You don't need to have majority stake in a company to control a company. Control is more valuable than ownership in any organization until there is a liquidity event or distributions. Many VC's take minority stakes but are actually in a position of control.