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Showing 1-10 of 162 reviews(5 star, Verified Purchases). See all 274 reviews
on November 14, 2017
Ever had a favourite professor, the lectures of whom you actually looked forward to? Those that you remember even many years later? Well that's what it feels like when listening to Jason Calacanis read his manifesto for angel investing. Angel, is more than an autobiography giving us the "how I got here" story, and it is not one of those instructional books that claims to hold within its pages the secret to financial independence. It is a systems dynamics insight into what Angel Investment is, how it works, where it works, and how if you understand all those things, you can hedge your bets and get a proverbial seat at this exciting table.

I've known of the author from way back, and have been a fan of his opinions on the startup ecosystem through various channels. It is an ecosystem I spend a lot of my time in, and though we are of a similar age, I always felt there is much I can learn from this person. First as an entrepreneur, and then later as an investor. Which is where I found myself as this book came out: I am still an entrepreneur, but I've begun my journey in transitioning to an angel investor. And Jason's book, whilst focused on the subject of angel investing, also has some sage advice for entrepreneurs looking to get assistance from angels.

Though I have purchased the hardcover, my favourite medium these days is audiobooks. Having Jason read it is like attending a conference where he is the featured speaker. And given my busy schedule, I find I have fewer moments where my listening is interrupted as opposed to waiting for moments where I could sit down and read. I've already listened to it twice, and I dare say I will be listening to it again. If you are looking to start investing in startups, I would say this book is a must read.
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on November 14, 2017
Yes I knew already many things about angel investing, VCs and startup development, but Jason was able to keep my attention high until the last page.
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on November 15, 2017
Great textbook. Lots of good examples and quality stats. Probably too scewed towards SV though. I'd like to see how it is applicable to non-accredited investors.
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on October 28, 2017
The book provides good insights as to what an investor looks for before funding a company. Well written in plain, simple english.
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on October 3, 2017
This is not entirely how we want our investors to invest in Abricate, but if you're open to trying your hand at being an Angel investor, I highly recommend this book. It is a great read no matter what your intent is and I have met Jason several times personally. He seems to me to be as honest and blunt in real life as he says he is in this book (there is nothing I appreciate more than honesty, even when I might not agree with someone). There are other ways to fund businesses and not all businesses need to raise enough money to become a Unicorn in order to feed families, grow economies, and help the people thrive. If you want to take on a business that will do that or maybe make a few million for a crew of people. There are other great books for that. Someday when I have an amount of money that you hear about in this book several times, I do hope to have enough to join one of Jason's syndicates too.
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on October 6, 2017
I have read close to 100 books on investing and Angel from Jason Calacanis ranks near the top. This book is packed with actionable information that will make any investor better, no matter their asset class. I also think this is a great business book beyond investing and founders & entrepreneurs can benefit greatly from reading this book. I finished this book in under a week and I plan to read it again shortly. It is that good.
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on July 18, 2017
I'm the same age (46) as Jason Calacanis and have been an entrepreneur starting and running various businesses for the last 16 years. I've seen first hand that you win some and you lose some when you are in business, no matter what. Jason's book hooked me because in it he teaches how to take a chance on lots of businesses. You do so by angel investing. Chances are some investments will win. In fact, in technology, some win will extremely big.

But how could anyone learn the ropes of this complex and risky opportunity, especially without the huge piles of money and living in Silicon Valley? That's what I hoped Jason's book would teach and I was not disappointed. I knew it was coming out today, so last night I listened to his interview on "The Forbes Interview with Steven Bertoni" podcast dated July 4, 2017. It was pretty awesome and got me totally psyched to read the book. I woke up this morning like a kid at Christmas and bought the Kindle AND Audible versions and have been listening off and on today... while getting ready, while driving, and even while eating lunch. Now, after reaching about the half way point less than 18 hours after it was released, I'm glad I did. Here's my further observations:

PROS:
1. Jason tells it like it is. He does not sugar-coat of fluff around. He speaks truth and what is in his heart.
2. Jason's experience in angel investing is probably about the best there is.
3. Jason is not holding back any secrets. He tells exactly what he's done and we know this because he has incentive to do so.
4. Jason reads the Audible version. I have listened to his TWIST podcast off and on since it started years ago. It was good to hear his voice.

CONS:
1. If you can't handle the truth (or swearing) or don't like the Brooklyn style of communication, you won't keep reading. (Personally, I love it.)
2. If you do like that style and are used to Jason, go with the Kindle version, not the Audible version. Jason was clearly coached to read slowly and carefully, not his fast-talking, bold, and brash style that those of us (AKA his super-fans) love most.
3. To be a good angel investor, Jason explains very reasonably that you need to be in Silicon Valley and have a pretty significant disposable income, which disqualifies myself and most others. However, to be fair, he does explain in detail how to get started with far less money using syndicates, which I find fascinating.

BOTTON LINE:
I'm only about half-way through the book, but I wanted to be an early reviewer in case anyone is on the fence for buying this book. If you are even thinking about doing any tech investing, you owe it to yourself to read the book and get a glimpse inside the mind of Jason Calacanis. It is definitely making me think and I'm going to keep reading and keep learning more. Of course, if you just find the topic of angel investing and tech investments entertaining, there's no better entertainment than reading or listening to this self-proclaimed Brooklyn hustler who has made it big.

PS: Jason, I know you're going to read this review and you have no idea who I am. But I have been listening to you for quite a while. I was a very early listener to your podcast, but only listen occasionally lately because I'm busy with my own business(es). But you're really got me thinking about dabbling in angel investing with this book. Thanks for writing it, sir. Best wishes.
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on August 1, 2017
I’ve been following Jason for a couple of years now so I was expecting a mix of knowledge he shared over the years on his blog or his shows. But I was pleasantly surprised because everything it’s in the book was almost new and probably what I love the most is the fact the book is so personal.

For example, I was surprised to find out that he felt an outsider as well, and he had to build his reputation from scratch. Usually, when someone is successful you think he was like that from the beginning. This is a nice reminder about the “you can do it too” kind of encouragement.

Investing $100k to make $100M sounds like a click bait title for many. And if you expect to have a proven solution that will work for you as well, then this is a click bait title. For me, this book is like a list of experiments I should try and see if something fits me. And there are a lot of good ideas you can find in this book.

I'm not a US citizen, and I don't like to deal with state institutions so being an accredited angel investor can be a complicated matter for someone like me.

That's why I’m super interested in Bitcoin and ICO’s, where you don't have to deal with all the bureaucracy. But I will apply some tactics described in this book to make ICO investments. After reading this book, I decided to write a memo after each ICO investment I make.

One more thing. This book is not only for angel investors but also for startup founders looking to raise capital. Understanding the investor perspective can help you a lot with your fundraising process.
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on August 4, 2017
I purchased the book then bought the Audible version to listen to on my commute so I'll comment on both.

The content offered is an insider's perspective on angel investing. I listen to Jason's podcast regularly but this is probably the best way to get his distilled thoughts on angel investing without any fluff.

I like the author's strategy of writing $1,000 checks (some startups take $500 checks on seedinvest/wefunder to name a couple verified Reg CF platforms) as a way to get in the game and then doubling down on what looks like maybe-winners. Eventually pushing in your biggest stacks on the most probable-winners. Before I picked up this book/audiobook I didn't realize I could still purchase equity in startups as an unaccredited investor under the new(ish) SEC rules or that credited platforms were even open.

I've written two checks so far. Nothing fancy but I'd much rather be in the game than watch it from the sidelines. By no means do I expect to hit it big or quit my day job tomorrow but I'm gambling on me (and the product/founders of course) and that's a bet I'll always take.

Audiobook: Same content and read by the author. I liked his voice but it might because I'm used to hearing it on his podcast.

What I'd like to see: Sample deal memos, spreadsheets (going over why you did or did not invest in certain startups), and other extra material that could be helpful
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on August 30, 2017
Interesting book - as I've had conversations with others about it over the last few weeks, they ask what I took away from it. Sometimes I get the response "But...isn't that common sense?" I think some of this is setting a base understanding before diving deeper, some might be considered common sense by some.

What it is is a well organized book to get folks with disposable cash quickly up to speed with a good plan to dip their toes into the angel investing world without getting badly burned. Part of the reason I read this was to help others who are interested in getting into the space. I think this is a great book for that introduction.

It's like paper trading equities before putting your money into the market: It might be obvious, but still too many don't do it.

Overall, a lot of good info in here for everyone. Stop taking notes on your computer. Communicate well with others. Send regular updates, don't keep people in the dark. I've had angels say to me as they hand over a check "This is my boat money - be careful with it." We founders have a lot of responsibility with any investment in us - there's no excuse to not show respect and consideration to those who believe in our vision and try to help us.

Full disclosure - I'm one of those "sneaky little bastards" founders Jason mentions in Chapter 26. :) And yes, I picked up a few good tips. Thanks for giving us a peak at the dark(er) side, Jason!
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