Due to my new start-up feynlabs, I am reading a lot about setting up new ventures.
One excellent book which I highly recommend is Tarang Shah’s Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes
The book already has a great review at techrunch which you should read
Here I take a practitioner’s perspective
For those of us (including me), who have built up businesses without VC funding, and who do not understand VC business models, this book is a revelation.
The subtitle of ‘identifying Billion dollar businesses’ is clue to the content
VCs are all about the Billion dollar businesses
It’s a world that’s not familiar to many of us
After reading this book, I asked myselves .. Do I want to be a part of this world?
And what does that mean?
What kind of people ‘make it’ in this world?
What factors drive these companies and the people who start them and the people who fund them?
This book provides the answers ..
After reading this book, my honest answer is – this world is not for me i.e. my business ideas don’t scale to billions of dollars .. But it’s fascinating to see what factors drive success in the VC world
I love the format of this book – basically it’s a set of Question and Answer format – between Tarang and a ‘whos who of the VC world’ (Sequoia, Accel, Kleiner Perkins, Charles River, Trinity etc)
I think it was Anthony Robbins who said that ‘Questions are the answer’ i.e. asking the right questions is half the challenge ..
So, Tarang does a great job of the questions to some very clued on people ..
- What needs to happen to create billion dollar companies?
- What the most common entrepreneur blind spots?
- Do VCs prefer ideas which disrupt an existing market OR ideas which create brand new markets?
- What signs point to the emergence of a huge market?
Etc etc ..
At 475 pages of very clued on questions and answers from the best VCs in the world, this book is a reference book for me ..
Whats missing? What could be improved?
One name .. Fred Wilson .. whose work I follow with interest ..
Also I think the future will be very different .. Especially with crowdfuding etc .. many people may not aim for the Billion dollar exit(and very few make it ofcouurse ..)
But that may be a follow on book ..
The link for this excellent book again Tarang Shah’s Venture Capitalists at Work: How VCs Identify and Build Billion-Dollar Successes