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on April 29, 2010
This book offers valuable insights for anyone interested in the venture capital process, entrepreneurs and VCs alike. If you'd like to better understand how VCs think, this is definitely the book to read. There are great anecdotes interspersed throughout, which makes it a fun and quick read--I read the whole book in a part of one day. Bussgang shares his in-depth knowledge through stories of successful entrepreneurs such as the founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey; founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman; and founder of Constant Contact, Gail Goodman, one which I personally found inspiring.

What I appreciate most about the book is the great advice and wisdom that Bussgang offers, not just from his personal experiences, but also from those of his colleagues and mentors. By openly exploring the VC process through captivating accounts of entrepreneurs and VCs, Bussgang shows that finding the right VC-Entrepreneur partnership is not only essential, but can also feel like a match made in heaven. If that's the kind of partnership you're interested in making now or ever, this is definitely the book to read.

Mastering the VC Game really is the only book of its kind.
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on September 8, 2010
A year ago I had decided to pursue a dream and build a company that will change the world. It is my first attempt at entrepreneurship and the journey is not linear to say the least. The effort, skills and commitment are something I never experiences, but mostly - it is a lonely journey of a single person's passion and dreams.

I met Jeff at a NY tech meetup where he discussed the book and bought the copy that day. Always eager to learn from the experience of others who have walked the path and powered by the motivation to get a sneak peak into the mind of the VC. What I found is an very well written book the flows like a story (a story/movie is something that Jeff discusses several times in the book BTW). The arrangement is natural and I feel I have gained clarity about who the VCs are and what the game really is.

One of the direct results are being able to discuss matters with VCs at their terms on their field. The first time I took action on this new knowledge, I ended up with a 45m conversation with a leading VCs in NYC where 5 other people are listening intensely.

I read the reviews here, specifically the more critical one(s). I understand how entrepreneurs who have been around may find this too basic. For me it had hit the spot. I think a follow up book, that gets into more details about the term sheet, negotiations, IP and other 'technical' issues can be useful.

If you are a first time entrepreneur I think this book will serve you well and provide you with tools to better understand this game and come out as a winner.
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on May 28, 2010
... but > 75% of the reviews are by people who have only reviewed this one book ever. This kind of a slant always makes me wonder if these are legit or are written for purposes of kissing up.
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HALL OF FAMEon November 22, 2010
Just a lot of bland overview, lacking specifics and not of much use to anyone either interested in learning about VCs or wanting specific advice on obtaining good VC support.
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on May 3, 2010
Jeff Bussgang has written the definitive book on how venture capital works. Jeff was previously a multi-time entrepreneur and is now an experienced VC. He combines real world stories (his and others) with interviews and analysis is a very logical and readable format to explain the dynamics of VC and venture-backed companies. I've read a lot of books on this subject, was an entrepreneur for 10 years and have been a VC for 15 years. Jeff's book is by far the best to date on this subject.
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on January 19, 2016
I'm a practicing VC and live inside an incubator and university associated EE / industrial engineering academic school of excellence. This book is regularly recommended to aspiring entrepreneurs. Some in my ecosystem may feel "been there, done that." But this is for those who haven't and it"s a good read. And for those "been there, done that" take a few hours and pick up a few sensible tips. VC is a lot about common sense, human nature and trust. One of the great last bastions of meritocracy among political and corporate dysfunction. Yes. I've been there too. Prefer TRUE market driven meritocracies.
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on September 29, 2011
I bought this book thinking it would be more like a 'how-to' 'step-by-step' but it was more a biography of the big kahuna's in the VC world. Mr. Bussgang interviewed several of them and basically added tid-bits in along with their stories.

Overall its a good read and helpful in seeing into the mind of how VC investors think and what they are looking for. It was also very informative on how the VC crew get along with and how relationships are made or busted with the CEOs of the start-up companies.

I gave the book four stars only because it wasn't filled with more 'how-to' content. That being said, I still recommend this book. Hope this helps.
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on May 28, 2010
This book is an easy read that accurately and clearly explains how VCs do their work. Venture capitalists face uncertainty every day and the industry has developed some tried and true rules of thumb. These are well explained here. You will also be introduced to a wide cast of successful VCs and entrepreneurs and have a chance to hear from them directly through quotes.

Bussgang does an outstanding job at balancing the viewpoints of entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He might appear biased in the chapter on term sheets because he defends some onerous and potentially deceptive provisions (participating preferred) proposed by VCs however many of these are must-have provisions from a VC perspective. He also urges the entrepreneur to be sure to hire an attorney experienced with negotiating venture deals and that is strong advice.

The book covers the periods after financing as well... the CEO/Board relationship, the 'soap opera' that comes after the funding, and several types of exits. Bussgang wisely reminds the entrepreneur at several places in the book that an exit is NOT the main focus of most successful CEOs. The best entrepreneur is "an audacious visionary seeking to change the world" and he cites one top CEO who says "the driving force behind entrepreneurship is to do good for the world."

If you have not raised venture money before, and even after you have early stage financing, you will be tremendously more effective after reading this book. Highly recommended.
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on May 22, 2015
This was a great book to get you warmed up for venture capital. The stories and the outline provide great context for what venture capital is and how it works. I was also reading Venture Deals at the some time which is a more thorough approach to covering terms, but this provides reach stories and cases the other does not. I recommend covering this as a great introduction before covering more dense (and recommended) reads such as Venture Deals which covers more terms in an academic approach, but gives the real opinion of the authors. This book gave the stories and context that made it all easier to remember.
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on January 26, 2014
This is a great book for providing an overview of not only what are the important elements of a successful venture capital raise, it does a great job of providing you context as to why those elements are important. Most of the points are obvious retrospectively, but having them laid out gives you a great overview of what to focus on. The book also does a good book of placing the entrepreneur in the seat of the investor, which helps elucidate why the various recommendations are important.

The other book I would recommend for a first time entrepreneur is "The Startup Game: Inside the .. " by William Draper.
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