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Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes Paperback – November 17, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

From the reviews:

“Book contains a series of structured interviews with 35 well-known venture capitalists … asking each venture capitalist similar questions about what attracts them to a potential venture. … a revealing account of how venture capitalists think. … A really compelling work from the investor’s perspective. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate students through professionals.” (J. J. Janney, Choice, Vol. 49 (10), June, 2012)

About the Author

Tarang Shah is a venture capital professional. At SoftBank Capital, a venture capital fund, he helped with startup investments totaling $50 million. He has reviewed 1000+ startups and served as a board member and CEO advisor for over a dozen startups. Tarang is currently a technology innovation executive for one of the largest financial institutions in the US, where he has built and leads a startup risk assessment practice based on his venture model.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2011 edition (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430238372
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430238379
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent book on the subject. The author provides indepth interviews with VCs and entrepreneurs. Lots of war stories and lessons learned. The book provides info from the VC and entrepreneur side of the fence. I highly recommend this book..
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Format: 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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