Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist Hardcover – August 2, 2011
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—Tim Ferriss, author of #1 NY Times Bestsellers, The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body
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I found this book enormous fun to read - there are a lot of insights into the process of negotiation, into the mechanics of of funding a startup and into the processes that go towards making a business successful. There's a brief and very lucid discussion of game theory, how it works (and how it doesn''t work). All written in a serious but not heavy style. Even better - there's a section on how VC companies work, what motivates them and how to avoid annoying them.
And the side bars on "the entrepreneurs perspective" underline the need for you to remember that the VC is a collaborator, not an adversary. But he/she wants to get paid too!
This is not a book for entrepreneurs alone, or even just entrepreneurs and VCs. This is the business book you should read in 2011, whatever you do. Fascinating, well written, and very helpful stuff.
If I should start a software business (yeah, right!) these are the guys I'd give the first chance to refuse to fund my efforts. This book has been written, I am sure, with the intention of improving the author's efficiency by increasing the pool of educated entrepreneurs. If entrepreneurs are talking the same language as the VCs, they are much more likely to be taken seriously and much more likely, therefore, to be funded.
The most important thing this book can do for you is to help make sure you're able to dedicate more focus on building a great product, and not have to be confused by all this stuff (and your lawyer) when you're deep in startup/crunch mode (unless, of course, that's the exact moment you're reading this book, and even then it's pretty useful and less costly that being billed by your counsel for "time spent explaining things").
I read this after having gone through one startup failure a few years prior in which I had excellent legal counsel (Yokum Taku @ WSGR), whose own very detailed startup law blog was tremendously helpful. google: startupcompanylawyer - you'll be glad you did. Between this book and a few good online resources you can be really, really prepared to create a successful startup.
While the authors do a great job detailing deal terms and their significance, of even greater value are the real-world examples of WHY a VC may be behaving the way they are. I found it really helps me keep in mind that the person on the other side of the table has a lot of problems to solve within their own day-to-day professional obligations; and seeing how our startups help or hinder them in those endeavors is invaluable well beyond just term sheets and equity negotiations.
One last note - Feld & Mendelson both have an enthusiasm for their subject that shines in here, so enjoy it, and it's worth following their Twitter feeds for more of it.
Even if you don't plan to seek VC or be one, I recommend you read this book if you're in the tech industry. So many tech companies rely on VC, so chances are your employer or your competitors are using deals described in this book. It will give you a foundation for the underpinnings of many companies in the industry.
Top international reviews
Busy with a supportive investor convertible note negotiation so we can keep the top line growing, and the book has given me a broader perspective than I had before I read it -> "Economics and Control" is probably the best three word wisdom I've read in a long while. Book is written in an engaging style, and tone of voice is not preachy. Easy to read and digest.
For first timers, definitely recommended.
For old times, think there is definitely enough meat to add to or change perspectives.
In short if you are looking to grasp a better understand of venture capitalists and the terms used this is a must read.
Full of very practical and helpful insights.