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Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist Hardcover – August 2, 2011
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"One Book Every Entrepreneur Should Own" - Mark Suster, TechCrunch and GRP Partners
"Easily the best book I have ever read on start-ups and venture capital."
—Tim Ferriss, author of #1 NY Times Bestsellers, The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body
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Of course, that doesn't mean that I at all found little value in the book; quite the opposite. I have been basically using this book as an introductory guideline to learning investment terminology that I had no idea even existed prior to reading this.
I only wish that the book was longer, and richer in even more detail and examples (maybe in a Second Edition, Brad and Jason?). And thus why I say it's a great introduction (and very likely the best introduction on the market right now). You can't really go wrong getting your 'starting out' information from two VCs currently very active in the industry.
Quick Overview: it breaks down the money raising process. It goes over, in detail, the standard documentation (Term Sheet, Letter of Intent, etc.) involved in any Angel/VC investment. And it offers tips on the mindset of VCs, a thorough overview of venture capital funds, and the important things you should be focusing on in term negotiations with investors. There is also the cool last chapter that goes over a handful of legalities most people are not even aware of. The appendix is a real-world example summation of what you already learned (in previous chapters) that a Term Sheet and Letter of Intent will cover/look like.
If you have yet to raise money for your first time and are looking to do so with Angels or VCs then this book is a great introductory overview of the things you really really need to start thinking about.
Brad's voice amid all of this loudness is a welcome comfort. Reading his clear-eyed, honest-to-goodness perspective is as comforting and captivating as was watching Mr. Rogers on TV when I was a toddler.
It's not just soothing words, however. Like Mr. Rogers, Brad aims above all to educate. That's where this book shines. It packs a lot of information into just the right length of text (about 200 pages) so that you absorb it without feeling like your time is being wasted.
Other reviewers have commented that this book is for novices at the fundraising process, and that's certainly true. But I believe even seasoned pros will benefit in two ways: (1) seeing what points the authors have chosen to make reflects what today's entrepreneurs are thinking and how much they really know about fundraising (especially as the book includes many in-line comments from a guest entrepreneur), (2) the opinions of authors are openly stated and offer a unique perspective on VC-entrepreneur relationship.
Overall, I felt reading this book was like being at a fireside chat with a wise uncle. It's warm, but the speaker pulls no punches as he imparts knowledge.
I must have missed that there is a second edition that came out months ago -- would have appreciated Amazon to make that more clear. (Why is the 1st edition still available at all?)
Take it from someone in the middle of a funding round, Brad and Jason are at the TOP of the VC world and are widely respected. Reading this book is how I imagine a mentorship with Brad and Jason would be. What's best about it is the information is conveyed in a conversational way such that it is very easy to remember and act upon, even in the most intense meetings with prospective VCs. It's like they are sitting there with you (on your side of the table) whispering things in your ear like "Don't forget to ask about recent deals" and "You've done a lot of work, push for a 25% vesting," or maybe even "This guy's a zombie, bail out!"
This is a MUST READ for anyone seeking financing for a startup, and a pretty good idea for anyone that wishes to speak intelligently about the world of tech in general. Fundraising is among the most critical responsibilities of a CEO. You basically never stop fundraising, and even if you manage to bootstrap to glory, you will still need to discuss the matters of finance explained in this book with every strategic partner, industry heavyweight, and potential acquirer you meet (not to mention sizing up the strength of the competition and their partners).
Get it. Get it now. You'll be glad you did.