As I’ve transitioned into working in VC in the last year I’ve had to learn many things that are new to me. I’ve been a reader my whole life, and learn extremely well by reading. I think it still remains the best way to consume a large amount of information effectively over time, despite the growing penetration of other types of content into our life.
Here’s a list of readings I’ve found useful for my own learning in the past year. If you’re looking to transition into VC or just learn more about the space, I hope you find these helpful.
- YC Safe: Very similar to our Safe
- How do Convertible Notes Work?
- Convertible Notes vs Priced Rounds for Dilution
- Term Sheets Breakdown: What goes into a term sheet? What rights are investors likely to ask for and what are their implications?
- What all Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Prorata Rights: Why are pro rata rights important?
- The Liquidation Preference Effect
- The Pre-seed FAQ: Great overview from respected seed investors K9 Ventures
- For Fundraising, Seed is No Longer a Round, It’s a Phase: Hunter Walk writes a great blog post on how the seed stage has changed
- The Series A Round is the New Series B Round
Being a Good VC
- What Makes a Good VC?
- The Playing Field
- Investor VCs and Operator VCs
- Power in the Valley: What grants a VC market power? How is the source of that power changing?
- How VCs Get Measured: Excellent post from Rob Go of NextView Ventures on how VCs get measured
- Kleiner’s Laws
- Fear and Loathing in Venture Capital: An excellent article on the psychology, experience and anxiety of being a VC
- What Happens When A Founder is Fully Vested: A hugely important scenario in the lifecycle of a company. What might one do?
- Track Record: What is most important in an investor track record?
- You Can Do Too Much Diligence
- Optimizing the VC Career: A great framework for thinking through how to optimize your career path in venture capital
- The Hit Rate
- Being There: What is your #1 job as a venture capitalist?
Being a Great Board Member
- Mike Volpi on the Art of Board Membership: A great overview on the art of being a board member
How is Venture Capital Evolving?
- The Midlife Crisis of Venture Capital
- VC Industry Evolution: How has the structure of VC evolved in recent years?
- The Hidden Cost Of Extending Option Exercise Periods: How should companies deal with options for departing employees?
- Pay Attention to the Package: Fred Wilson on how to time investing in technology trends?
Building & Returning A Fund
- Meaningful VC Exits: The math on what it takes to return a fund
- The Babe Ruth Effect in Venture Capital: What does it take to return a fund and some?
- Portfolio Construction: How should you build a seed-stage portfolio?
- Three Core Principles of Venture Capital Portfolio Strategy: What does it take to build a successful VC portfolio?
- VC Fund Structures
- Reserves: Fred Wilson shares some wisdom on reserves and portfolio construction
- How to Build an LP Base for the Long-term: Crucial advice on how to approach LPs and fundraising for the long-term
- Recycling Your Management Fees: What is recycling your management fees and what impact does it have?
- The Economics of VCs Recycling Management Fees: Brad Feld breaks down the economics of recycling management fees
Building a Thesis
- USV Investment Thesis: The most thesis-driven firm I have seen in the industry
- Marc Andreesen Debates Peter Thiel: A video debate, but a great debate on the macro-perspective on innovation
- Beyond Network Effects Digging Moats in Non-Networked Products: How else is a company defensible?
- Market, Team, Product: How should you balance the three when considering an investment?
Building a Tech Business
- Amp it up: This article is absolutely outstanding. Striking at the essence of high-performance leadership and what makes for a high-performance company.
- Burn Rate: Thinking about burn rate, fundraising and profitablity
- Profitability in Tech: When should you aim to become profitable?
- The Only Thing That Matters: Marc Andreesen talks about team, product and market
- CAC Increases
- Challenges of Platform GTM
- 1% of Salesforce’s Revenue Makes a Unicorn
- Creating GP-LP Alignment — Why Terms Matter: One of the leading industry LPs — Greenspring Associates — chimes in on management fees
Newsletters to Sign Up For
- Axios Pro Rata: The best overview of latest development in VC
- A VC: Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures shares his thoughts daily, hugely valuable
- Inside Venture Capital: Similar to Pro Rata but often show deals that Pro Rata doesn’t
- Inside AI: Good one to keep up with
Things I’ve Focused on Learning
- AI: Specifically different techniques and how they work at a highly level, the chicken and egg problem with data/models
- Go-to-market models across different industries and how best to fit your go-to-market to your industry
- Blockchain: How does it work? Get down to the nitty gritty and then you will understand its true value-props
- Markets/Marketplaces: How do markets operates? What drives them? What drives good marketplaces?
- General business terminology such as CAC, LTV and how they relate to each other
Note: This is a living list, I’m going to keep adding to it over time. If I’ve missed a reading you’ve found particularly helpful please drop me a message with a link on Linkedin.