The Mind of a VC: Reading List

Here are the books I would recommend that would help you understand how we think.

Required Reading about Early Stage Investment

This book explains the power law distribution of venture returns which is powerfully instructive about how VCs behave and why, and what job they do on behalf of their partnerships. It describes phenomena like contrarianism, “secrets” and the last mover advantage. A distinct and innovative set of thought processes from an original person.

Another classic, Jason Calcanis is instructive about the math associated with early stage investment and the kinds of questions you will face when raising money from this class of investor. Very seminal treatise on how to navigate this complex asset class, early stage venture startup equity and convertibles.

Another all time classic, this book is essential for understanding the mechanics of technology adoption and provides a foundational set of metaphors that technology entrepreneurs must understand in order to navigate most efficiently across this divide.

Required Reading about Blockchain

This is on the required reading list if you want to do business with gumi Cryptos. For anyone interested in the emergence of a new fundamental internet protocol and the mindset of its creator in his or her own words. As an industry, the so-called “blockchain industry” has been bad at reasoning based on fundamentals, and this book will take you through a tour-de-force whirlwind tour through the considerations that went into one of the greatest inventions of this century.

Required Reading about Entrepreneurship

Another all-time classic, Guy Kawasaki lays it all out there. In a prescient way he lays out the groundwork for the lean startup manifesto with the quotable quote “Eat like a bird, Shit like an Elephant”.

The CEO Topic: Brilliant and entertaining read, instructive about the concept of “Wartime” and “Peacetime” CEOs and a great way to understand what experiences shaped a great venture capitalist.

The CEO topic, but mostly instructive on company culture and brand, but also on execution. Reads like an adventure novel, so fun and worthwhile.

The Sales Topic: One of the great classics that ushered in the period of modern sales automation.

The Product Topic: This book is instructive on the product market fit process and how emotionally and intellectually challenging it is. Not for the faint of heart and for people who have been there and continue to choose to go there. The true entrepreneurs.

Extra Credit

This one is yet another classic, Brad Feld presents a very entrepreneur friendly way of looking at deal structuring and legal terms. Required reading.

I like Ori Brafman and this is a good book that will help business people reason about the concept of “leaderless” organizations and it provides useful case studies of such organizations like “Alcoholics Anonymous” which is essentially based on an “open source protocol” approach, simply publishing openly the values and allowing decentralized organizations to take advantage of these intellectual advances.

An important and in some ways cautionary tale of a man who is inseparable from the culture of Silicon Valley. Worth reading.

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