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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable look at technology entrepreneurship and venture capital
Tarang Shah has provided an insightful and expansive look at technology venture investing. Drawing upon his tenure at global venture firm SoftBank Capital and world-class network of entrepreneurs and investors, Shah presents 35 in-depth interviews with well-known investors such as Roelof Botha at Sequoia Capital, Mike Maples at Floodgate Fund and George Zachary at...
Published on November 24, 2011 by ASG

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, awful format
The intent of the book is fantastic: Interview a very lengthy and impressive list of venture capitalists, founders, and CEOs, and then present their collective wisdom to would-be entrepreneurs. The problem with the book is that, while the advice that it offers is absolutely indispensable, the format is horribly inefficient and repetitive. The authors ask each of the 35...
Published 21 months ago by Dan


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, awful format, April 2, 2013
By 
Dan (Campbell, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes (Paperback)
The intent of the book is fantastic: Interview a very lengthy and impressive list of venture capitalists, founders, and CEOs, and then present their collective wisdom to would-be entrepreneurs. The problem with the book is that, while the advice that it offers is absolutely indispensable, the format is horribly inefficient and repetitive. The authors ask each of the 35 subjects virtually the same questions, and to a large extent receive the same answers. Rather than organize the results by topic or even perspective (e.g. founder vs. investor), the interviews are simply regurgitated in complete form as "chapters". Halfway into the book, having read that "the most important thing is a great team" for the 17th time, I found myself scanning through the pages looking for something different. It feels like the authors squandered a tremendous opportunity to more efficiently and effectively communicate such great wisdom; instead of turning it into an actual book, they simply printed the transcripts of the interviews, slapped them together and offered the resulting patchwork up for sale. It feels like a lazy effort that falls short of a potentially seminal work.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable look at technology entrepreneurship and venture capital, November 24, 2011
This review is from: Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes (Paperback)
Tarang Shah has provided an insightful and expansive look at technology venture investing. Drawing upon his tenure at global venture firm SoftBank Capital and world-class network of entrepreneurs and investors, Shah presents 35 in-depth interviews with well-known investors such as Roelof Botha at Sequoia Capital, Mike Maples at Floodgate Fund and George Zachary at Charles River Ventures.

When reading Shah's book, it feels as if you're in the same room with Shah and his interviewees. While Shah rightly asks identical questions of each investor, the answers are fascinatingly diverse and thoughtful.

If you're a new or experienced entrepreneur, the advice and insights in Shah's book are priceless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for more than just entrepreneurs and VC, February 7, 2012
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This review is from: Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes (Paperback)
There are several things that make this an outstanding book - and certainly well suited for an audience far larger than just those entrepreneurs trying to figure out how to best work with VC. Fundamentally, this is an extremely revealing book on how one ought to do business, regardless of position or business domain. Although the arena is staged at the very heart of the venture capital world, the lessons apply universally. The importance of integrity, honest analyses of the situation, recognizing and responding to the need for change, building leading teams, innovating, inspiring - these are great buzzwords, but the beauty of this book is that it gives these buzzwords real life through true examples on one of the most vibrant stages of the business world.

Another strength is that the book is extremely easy to digest. Focused, seemingly "real-time" interviews that pull you right into the heart of the conversation, as if you were there. It is also an easy book to put down, because each interview with a leading venture capitalist or entrepreneur is relatively short. I found I could pick the book up between appointments, digest a quick chapter (which pretty much always left me fired up for whatever it was that I was about to do next), and set it down without loosing sleep (literally and figuratively).

In the weeks since I began reading this, I've written the name of this book and its author down on half a dozen white boards and suggested everyone in the room go pick up a copy - and suggest you do the same. Great work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get the right stuff for startups!, December 12, 2011
By 
Tom C Taulli (Monrovia, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes (Paperback)
I've known Tarang for some time and got a chance to read the galleys for his new book, Venture Capitalists at Work. I wasn't disappointed. He provides detailed interviews on the world's top VCs and the break-out companies they have helped to launch, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Groupon and Twitter.

It's exciting stuff and the VCs go deep on the factors for success. They include: team-building, crafting the business model, dealing with the competition, building a brand and getting the technology right. You'll get insider accounts and concrete details about what works. I'm not sure where else you can find this kind of valuable information.

So, if you want to create the next-big-thing, make sure you get this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Resource for Entrepreneurs Looking for VC Funding, December 12, 2011
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This review is from: Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes (Paperback)
Venture Capitalists at Work is a great resource for entrepreneurs who are raising, or thinking about raising, venture capital for their startup. While I am still reading the book, I have already been impressed by a number of aspects of it, including:
1) The caliber and diversity of VC partners that the author has been able to tap into for his interviews.
2) The no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point approach of his interviewing format, yielding very informationally rich responses.
3) The honesty and directness of his interviewing subjects (even when talking about their failures), who seem eager to provide their candid responses
I am a serial entrepreneur with three startups under my belt and have spoken to over 100 VC partners over the last 15 years, either while pitching, or at social occasions and gatherings. Despite that, I still found the interviews interesting and informative.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in getting an inside look into the world of venture capital and its main players. If you are interested in raising venture capital money, it will be of great help to know how some of the top VCs in the country think.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for startup founders!, December 3, 2011
This review is from: Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes (Paperback)
This is essential reading for founders and investors in Internet startups.

For most startup founders, it's incredibly difficult to get a meeting with one well-known VC, let alone the 16 VCs interviewed in Tarang Shah's book. After reading the first few chapters, I realized what Shah was doing...he is letting us into the mindsets and thought processes of the top venture capitalists worldwide. Through his interviews, Shah helps us understand how VCs think about potential investments, why they make certain investments, and why these investments ultimately succeed or fail.

While well-known VCs will occasionally share their thoughts at industry conferences and startup sessions, you rarely get the level of candor and insight that Shah brings to light here...this is great reading!

One of the few books I've read recently where I hated to put it down. Thank you, Mr. Shah!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super VC Tour!, March 12, 2012
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This is a book that is illuminatingly insightful and fits together brilliantly. It should come as no surprise if you are compelled to applaud while reading.

The curtain has been pulled back in order for entrepreneurs and innovative business leaders around the globe to observe the clarity of thought and empirical observation skills that venture capitalists utilize to help build game-changing businesses. This collection of interviews serves as a guided tour, written in a simple style, which teaches lessons on how to approach generating tremendous value for new market opportunities, as well as disrupting established markets in need of cutting edge solutions. And furthermore, elaborates on how to execute these advances in such a way that rapid progress occurs in a remarkably short period of time, with a dramatic buzzsaw effect on large complacent companies.

Fasten your seat belts, for you are about to embark on a journey into a world of revolutionaries, imaginative discoveries, and boundless possibilities. And during this tour, you will experience mind-expanding views and razor-sharp perspectives of: Venture Capitalists at Work!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for a VC? Read this book first..., February 15, 2012
This review is from: Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes (Paperback)
Everyone in business has their own understanding, definition and experience of a venture capitalist. What Tarang Shas did was genius. In this book, he interviews a bunch of leading VCs and shares their approaches and what is important for them. Most importantly he shows their personalities and the fact that not all VCs are the same.

If you are an entrepreneur, whether a first-timer or a repeat, you will definitely benefit from this book. You will learn not to give up and try to find the VC who will understand you the most.

A good, personable and enjoyable read...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read., February 13, 2012
This review is from: Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes (Paperback)
Venture Capitalists at work is a must read for anyone considering or is a start up. The candid interviews with some of the most influential VCs give you an insight look at how they view a startup's potential, very insightful and powerful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VCs for Dummies, February 12, 2012
This review is from: Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes (Paperback)
Very insightful read for any tech entrepreneur looking to raise money, survive the process, and come out somewhat on top... Like fellow reviewers have pointed out, certain patterns do start to emerge after having read 4-5 of the interviews and Tarang does a superb job identifying the key parameters VCs look for in a potential deal, what makes a start-up a success (or failure) and how to sustain the business.

Organic wealth generation as a result of start-ups funded by VCs has been and will hopefully continue to be the growth engine of this country. This book will give a very good idea on how the VC world works for the uninitiated, while providing some excellent pointers to even the most experienced serial entrepreneur.
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Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes
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