- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Portfolio; 58251st edition (September 27, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781591844440
- ISBN-13: 978-1591844440
- ASIN: 1591844444
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 124 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mastering the VC Game: A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get from Start-up to IPO on Your Terms Paperback – September 27, 2011
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"Finding the right VC for you and your company can be a challenging task. Bussgang's recounting of his experience gives a unique perspective on the VC world and is a compelling read for entrepreneurs."
-Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com
"Mastering the VC Game is part how to and part war story. It is the best kind of book: a fun and educational read."
-Fred Wilson, managing partner, Union Square Ventures
"A 360-degree perspective on the venture capitalist-entrepreneur virtuous cycle. Read this to understand what it takes to be a catalyst to the best economic driver the world has ever known."
-Tim Draper, managing director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
"Jeffrey Bussgang offers practical advice about raising venture capital from the right people at the right time for the right project. The book is insightful for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists alike."
-William A. Sahlman, professor, Harvard Business School and coauthor, New Business Ventures and the Entrepreneur
"This book is excellent. It is not only a great read (I couldn't put it down) but also extremely informative on the process and the whole larger system in which VCs and entrepreneurs operate."
-William Aulet, managing director, MIT Entrepreneurship Center
"Bussgang's compelling book provides endless insights into the global world of venture capital. The discussions about China are particularly noteworthy. It is very valuable reading for entrepreneurs who aspire to scale their business into long-term leading enterprises."
-Jim Breyer, Managing Partner, Accel Partners
"Jeff Bussgang has written the definitive book on how venture capital works. 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."
-Brad Feld, Managing Partner, Foundry Group
"There are tons of books to help entrepreneurs understand things like accounting, marketing, and sales. But until now you were left to fend for yourself to grasp the insider game of venture capital funding. Read this book right now so you can look your potential VC in the eye with confidence."
-David Meerman Scott, bestselling author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR
About the Author
Jeffrey Bussgang, a successful serial entrepreneur for ten years, is now a general partner at Flybridge Capital Partners. Before becoming a venture capitalist, he was the cofounder of Upromise, the largest private source of college funding contributions in the U.S. He lives in Boston with his wife and three children.
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My favorite thing about this book is how Jeff provides real-life anecdotes, from successful entrepreneurs and VCs, in order to make the information approachable and engaging. If you’re looking for a theoretical book about Venture Capitalists, this is not your book. Instead, "Mastering the VC Game" will get you thinking about how you would have acted if you were the protagonist. More than once you’ll find yourself thinking “What would I do in that scenario?”
Another benefit of this book is the fact that Jeff references different firms and VC’s by name. He tells you which firms are known for what types of investments, and what makes a particular partner tick. For any budding entrepreneur, this is a gold mine.
From Chapter 1, “The Entrepreneurial Itch” to Chapter 6 “Cashing Out”, the book flows in a manner that should get any entrepreneur thinking about the stages of their own startup journey. For this reason, "Mastering the VC Game" is more of a workbook than just another business book. I’ll be keeping it in the top drawer of my desk when I go to launch my startup.
One thing I would've liked to see though is the experiences of less prominent but still successful founders/VCs because yeah all startups generally go through similar struggles, but I would think that the lives of successful founders who have connections to the Paypal Mafia -or were in it themselves- would have starkly different experiences than a more obscure entrepreneur in terms of securing financing. Similarly, the life of a VC whose last name rhymes with 'Braper' for example would have a different experience trying to get into a high value round versus his less prominent peers. I think that most entrepreneurs -myself included- fall into the latter category in the first comparison and I would've loved to hear from the experiences of entrepreneurs who had less bulky Rolodexes readily available to them.
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.