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Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business, + Website
Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business, + Website
by Matt Blumberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $24.14
56 used & new from $16.26

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusually detailed look at startup leadership, August 30, 2013
I received a pre-release copy of this book, and I really enjoyed it. Unusually candid, detailed, and useful look at how to not just get started but to scale a startup.


Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur
Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur
by Brad Feld
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.30
69 used & new from $2.34

5.0 out of 5 stars A rare honest glimpse at real startup life, January 23, 2013
I don't think there's ever been such an honest and candid look at the issues that come up in the hectic and high-pressure lives of startup. If you want to know what it's really like, here's your chance you see up close and personal.


Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1
Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1
Offered by Moore Brothers Music
Price: $149.00
14 used & new from $135.00

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dramatic improvement, January 13, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1
Bought this for my Shure SM7B connected to an mbox pro. The Pro simply does not have enough gain for my relatively noisy home studio, so this helps.

One thing I wish was clearer from the description and reviews of this item: it uses phantom power. So it doesn't work by magic - it's just a microphone pre-amp that you don't need to plug into the wall. So you can't use the CL-1 with a condenser mic or any mic that expects phantom power.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 8, 2016 8:01 AM PST


Avid Pro Tools + Mbox Pro High-Resolution 8x8 Pro Tools Studio Bundle for Mac and PC
Avid Pro Tools + Mbox Pro High-Resolution 8x8 Pro Tools Studio Bundle for Mac and PC

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome, January 13, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I wasn't sure if this would be worth it, but so far it's a major upgrade from my previous setup of Garage Band + m-audio FastTrack Pro


The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life
The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life
by Timothy Ferriss
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.00
166 used & new from $8.63

7 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tim always entertains, November 20, 2012
Just flipping through this massive tome, you are almost guaranteed to learn something unusual. I've only had the book a few hours, and I already know what kind of cocktail to drink to avoid insulin spikes, how to memorize a deck of cards, and exactly what kind of OXO spatula I should buy. If that doesn't make sense to you, then you don't understand Tim's unique blend of infotainment. But you will...


Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist
Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist
by Brad Feld
Edition: Hardcover
67 used & new from $17.97

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like having a startup super-mentor on your shelf, August 4, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was very pleased to receive an advance copy of Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist the other day. After reading it, I've concluded that it's like having a super-mentor on your shelf.

I have been extraordinarily fortunate throughout my career to have been blessed with amazing mentors. Men like Will Harvey and Steve Blank have been there to help me, encourage me, and push me to do better. For any entrepreneur, these super-mentors are one of the secret weapons that can make a difference: answering difficult questions, making key introductions, or offering sage advice.

However, there is one thing that the best mentors do which is most important: they can help you figure out what the $@%@$ is going on. When things get really tricky, often we find ourselves asking the wrong questions, or not even knowing enough to ask.

When raising money, for example, you might think that most negotiations happen in a rational way, over just a few deal points that have a clear meaning. You might think that "company valuation" refers, naturally, to how much your company is - you know - valued. But this kind of thinking will get you in trouble fast. Because in reality, these negotiations hinge on hundreds of hidden factors, incentives, and sources of agency bias. Nothing is straightforward, especially if you haven't done it before. These are the moments when the truly great mentors stand out in their ability to cut through the BS and help you understand the motivations and systems that are driving seemingly incomprehensible behavior.

All of this is by way of saying that if you already have a mentor of the caliber of a Steve Blank or Brad Feld on speed-dial, you probably don't need to read Brad's new book Venture Deals.

What's that you say? You don't - or you're not sure? Well then, you absolutely, positively, without-any-doubt have to read Brad's new book Venture Deals.

When I received my advance copy, I was a little worried. I generally try and stay away from topics like "how to raise VC" or "how to sell your company" because the startup landscape is already saturated with tips and tricks. And reading a term sheet has all the entertainment value of watching dried paint get even drier.

But Venture Deals is quite a surprise: it's readable, engaging, and addresses issues way below the surface.

It is not a how-to manual or a collection of tips. It's an in-depth explanation of what the @$%$ is going on when an entrepreneur considers raising money or doing an M&A transaction. And even if you don't think you're going to do that for your startup, this is very valuable information to have - because you never know who might approach you in the future. This is a book you'll want to have handy, just in case.

I've dealt with a bunch of different kinds of investors over the years, from so-called "dumb money" all the way up. The hardest thing to understand when working with them is that they are subject to forces and incentives that are rarely disclosed openly. When I came to Silicon Valley, I was inducted into a body of accumulated wisdom about how to handle them. This is the same advice I hand down again to entrepreneurs who are seeking my counsel. That advice is completely consistent with what's contained in Venture Deals.

For example, the right way to think about a term sheet is as a negotiation over just two things: economics and control. Everything in a term sheet is negotiable - if and only if you already have sufficient leverage. (Do you know the sources of leverage in a VC deal? Wouldn't you like to?) There are many founder-friendly terms you can push for, from automatic acceleration to reduced vesting - but each risks reducing the alignment of interests between founders and investors. And even if you're an old pro at raising money, you're likely to find a few surprises in here. Are you sure you know the formula for how your VC reserves capital for your future rounds (I didn't)?

And even the most battle-tested entrepreneur would be forgiven if they were a little confused by the following bit of poetry in a term sheet:

"Antidilution Provisions: The conversion price of the Series A Preferred will be subject to a narrow-based weighted average adjustment to reduce dilution in the event that the Company issues additional equity secuities..."

Now even though us old pros know that there are different kinds of antidilution provisions, are you absolutely sure you remember which one is the good kind and which is the horrible kind that caused all those problems in 2001? Are you sure your lawyer will catch it if the formula isn't quite right? Wouldn't you rather be sure? I've lived through a crisis where a company's antidilution provisions kicked in and nobody could agree on how the formula was to be interpreted. I wish I'd had this book on my shelf back then.

Which brings me back to my claim at the top about having a super-mentor in book form. Venture Deals explains not just what to do but why it works that way. Every VC term sheet I've ever seen has come with a claim that its terms are all "entirely standard" and "as simple as possible" - whether it was one page or a dozen pages long. That can be frustrating, but what do you do about it? Which terms really are standard for good reasons, which are standard for bad reasons, and which are just gotchas designed to skew the negotiation?

Venture Deals has negotiating tips, same as other books, but - much, much more importantly - its negotiating section is called What Really Matters? When you're in the thick of it, only a truly great mentor can tell you which provisions are negotiable, which are negotiable-but, and which are really non-negotiable. ("negotiable-but" means you can possibly win that fight, but it will damage your reputation in the process.)

Now, it's important to keep in mind that Brad and Jason are themselves VC's, albeit ones with an entrepreneur-friendly reputation. So you always have to take their advice - like anyone's - with a grain of salt. But they've thought of that, too. Throughout the book, they've given space for brief commentaries by an experienced entrepreneur, Matt Blumberg, CEO of Return Path. In several places he gives an important counterpoint to Brad and Jason's perspective. It's a combination that is unique to this book.

I hope all of you who are reading this - no matter where you live, no matter what kind of company you have - will one day get to make the pilgrimage to Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley, or another famous startup hub. It's an exhilarating experience. But it's not without its risks. As the old saying goes, "watch your wallet." And bring your copy of Venture Deals.


The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (MIT Press)
The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency (MIT Press)
by Robert Kanigel
Edition: Paperback
Price: $41.60
38 used & new from $9.70

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, July 18, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For anyone with an interest in the history of management theory, the early twentieth century, or what life was like without the extreme material abundance that marks our civilization (and how we came to be that way), this book is phenomenal. Kanigel deserves special praise for his even-handed treatment of the subject and of the many controversies that surround it. I got the sense that, through writing this book, he came to really appreciate Taylor and fully understand his critics.

I especially appreciated that he refrained from drawing conclusions about how to reconcile Taylor's ideas with later movements or from reinterpreting him through modern eyes. Instead, he leaves this all-important work to the reader.

Overall, the book is extremely well done. I highly recommend it.


Pitching Hacks: How to pitch startups to investors
Pitching Hacks: How to pitch startups to investors
by Venture Hacks
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.99
14 used & new from $18.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy call: a must-read for anyone raising money, January 7, 2010
There isn't much to say: this is the best book on raising money from the original and best source on the planet. As an entrepreneur, I wish I had known everything in this book before I ever set foot in an investor's office. Why you would want to repeat that mistake is bewildering. Just get it already.


The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development
The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development
by Donald G. Reinertsen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $31.15
52 used & new from $18.92

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "quite simply the most advanced product development book you can buy", July 15, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you've ever wondered why agile or lean development techniques work, The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development by Donald G. Reinertsen is the book for you. It's quite simply the most advanced product development book you can buy.

For those who hunger for a rigorous approach to managing product development, Donald Reinertsen's book is epic. Myths are busted on practically every page, even myths that are associated with lean/agile. For example, take the lean dictum of working in small batches. I push this technique quite often, because traditional product development tends to work in batches that are much too large. Yet it's not correct to say that batch sizes should be as small as possible. Reinertsen explains how to calculate the optimal batch size from an economic point of view, math and all. It's wonderful to have an author take these sorts of questions seriously, instead of issuing yet another polemic.

The book is structured as a series of principles, logically laid out and briefly discussed - 175 in all. It moves at a rapid clip, each argument backed up with the relevant math and equations: marginal profit, Little's law, Markov processes, probability theory, you name it. This is not for the faint of heart.

The use of economic theory to justify decisions is a recurring theme of the book. Its goal is to help us recognize that every artifact of our product development process is really just a proxy variable. Everything: schedules, efficiency, throughput, even quality. In order to trade them off against each other, we have to convert their impact into economic terms. They are all proxies for our real goal, maximizing an economic variable like profit or revenue. Therefore, in order to maximize the true productivity (aka profitability) of our development efforts, we need to understand the relationships between these proxy variables.

[...]


The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff
The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff
by Clara Shih
Edition: Paperback
81 used & new from $0.01

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift for people curious about how Web 2.0 will affect their business, April 15, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book is full of no-nonsense tips & tactics for leveraging social media and web 2.0 for business success. It makes a great gift for anyone who is wondering whether all this change is going to affect them or their business (hint: it will, so they'd better get ready).

Overall, very enjoyable, accessible read.


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