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Startup Boards: Getting the Most Out of Your Board of Directors Hardcover – December 31, 2013
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From the Inside Flap
Let's face it, as founders and entrepreneurs you have a lot on your plate, from building your product, landing customers, and building a team to managing your finances and raising money. As you develop your business, especially after you raise capital, you should have a board of directorsusually three to seven individuals who'll seek your attention and, at times, tell you what to do. You'll also discover that with the formation of a board come the inevitable board meetings.
So how does an entrepreneur manage this beast called the board, which has many heads, and even more opinions? Indeed, dealing with this aspect of a startup can be tricky for anyone. That's why Brad Felda Boulder, Coloradobased entrepreneur turned venture capitalistand seed investor Mahendra Ramsinghani have written Startup Boards. In it, they skillfully demystify board dynamics and the inner workings of a boardroom for today's entrepreneur.
Establishing an objective outside group is essential for startups, especially to keep you on track, provide you with support and advice, call you out when you flail, and, in some cases, save you from yourself. Here, you'll not only gain a better understanding of the softer dynamics involved with startup boards, but you'll also become familiar with the various legal and governance aspects associated with them.
Along the way, Feld and Ramsinghani detail the best practices that can make startup boards more effective. They, along with twenty other entrepreneurs, board members, and lawyers, share their real-world experience in this area, and provide examples of what works, and, equally as important, what doesn't. From proactively building a high-performing board and running more productive meetings to learning by sitting on the boards of other organizations, this book offers valuable insights into a necessary part of any successful startup.
Engaging and informative, Startup Boards is a practical guide to one of the most important pieces of the startup puzzle.
From the Back Cover
Praise for Startup Boards
"In addition to walking you through, in great detail, how a board functions, Brad has adopted many of the Lean Startup approaches to building, operating, and managing your board in a way that resembles continuous deployments. Any practitioner of Lean Startup would do well to use this approach to building their board."
—Eric Ries, author of the New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup
"I've had the opportunity to serve on a range of boards for companies at various stages in their lifecycle—so I know firsthand that building an effective board, and leveraging it wisely, is both a challenge and an opportunity. This new Brad Feld book will help you get it right."
—Steve Case, Chairman and CEO, Revolution; cofounder, AOL
"I've been fortunate enough to sit on a few startup boards with Brad. His 'less is more' approach to board meetings keeps the process efficient and focused on strategy. If you have any role on a board of directors, stop messing with PowerPoint and read this book right now. I guarantee that you'll get far more satisfaction from your future interactions."
—David Cohen, CEO, Techstars
"Having sat on multiple boards with Brad and his partners at Foundry Group as well as currently being the CEO of GetSatisfaction, I greatly appreciate the power of an effective board for a fast-growing startup. This book shows you the way."
—Wendy Lea, CEO, GetSatisfaction
"An excellent board can dramatically help an entrepreneur while a lousy board can sink a company. This book can help you learn how to be on the right side of that equation."
—Craig Dauchy, Partner and Head of Venture Capital Group, Cooley LLP
"Having been involved early on the Zynga board with Brad, we both experienced a radically new board approach while scaling up a company at an unprecedented pace. While there is a time and place for traditional board governance, an active, involved, and engaged board is required for any startup. Learn how to do it right in this book."
—J. Sanford (Sandy) Miller, General Partner, Institutional Venture Partners
"Brad is a powerful force in the universe and his board-level membership was a booster rocket that helped us grow so fast. This book will help make CEOs more effective at dealing with the personalities that can be on a board, and I would consider it required reading for any board member so they can amplify their impact."
—Bre Pettis, CEO, MakerBot
"While board meetings should be helpful to entrepreneurs, many find them to be worthless and tedious. This book creates a framework for developing a high-functioning board that is a real asset to a company's success."
—Jason Mendelson, Managing Director, Foundry Group
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Top customer reviews
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The only reason why I give it 4 stars is because the book revolves/uses term "VCs" all the time, but doesn't mention "angel/seed investors." Nevertheless, the book is very useful in both scenarios.
My co-founders, investors and fellow board members will be reading this.
P.S. The book has a nice group of checklists in the appendix to help you out in utilizing the material.
Great advice on what makes a good board and how a bad one can kill a great company. Keys to the kingdom:
How do you pick board-members?
Board compensation, who much?
What records need to be kept, and why?
What is the power of the board?
What can you do, and what should you do when it goes wrong?
This book is mostly about corporations; I was looking for more on Not For Profit; but even with that it was worth the time; it was a great read.
Though I belong to an other country, the truth of the messages in the book is so overwhelmingly strong, I commend the startup business have a hard look at the book before recruiting the first member of his/her board.
The right board of directors can help a CEO manage and grow an business enterprise. Also, boards can help the CEO recruit new talent to grow the business enterprise.
I highly recommend Startup Boards for current CEOs and any aspiring CEO.