Book Review – The Hard Thing About Hard Things

A16Z’s Ben Horowitz published an excellent book earlier this year on the many issues a CEO/founder runs into when building a business and sprinkles in a lot of anecdotes and tidbits he learned along the way as a successful CEO and founder himself.  Check the book out here!

Name: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answershard things

Overview: This book dives into many aspects of Ben’s career and life and how he was able to navigate the exceedingly difficult path that is creating and growing a successful company.  Along the way he details his trials and tribulations with Opsware/Loudcloud, his enterprise software company he ended up selling to HP, some advice on how to hire, fire, and retain talent, and our favorite part, a mention of his good product manager/bad product manager mantra!

Invest, Invest with Participating Liquidation Preferences, or Pass: Invest!

Investment Thesis: Much like Venture Deals is for aspiring VC’s/Founders who want to learn term sheets, The Hard Things is an absolute MUST READ for anyone who aspires to be a CEO or successfully manage a business one day. It is an in-your-face and to-the-point book that provides great advice and context for anyone who is looking to head down the startup/CEO pathway.



Book Review – Venture Deals

If you can’t tell by the book list on the side of this page, we “read” (technically, listen to) a lot of books on business, startups, and VC.  One of our favorite books is Venture Deals: Be Smarter than your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by none other than Foundry Group’s own Brad Feld (See our VC spotlight on him!) and Jason Mendelson.  Seriously though, if there ever was a “Foundry Group Fan Club”, C:V. would be a charter member…

Name: Venture Deals: Be Smarter than your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist


Overview: This book literally boils down a Term Sheet in all its Legal jargon glory and makes it so basically anyone can understand.  It takes you through each topic, term, and component and gives you a no-nonsense explanation of what it means with specific examples of it in action.  It has sections that cover all aspects of economics and control in a financing and even a foreword from Twitter CEO Dick Costolo!

Invest, Invest with Participating Liquidation Preferences, or Pass: Invest!

Investment Thesis:  This book should be a MUST READ for all aspiring Entrepreneurs and VC’s!  Brad and Jason have an uncanny ability to break down the most difficult and dry legalese into engaging and informative advice.  Another one of our favorite parts of the book is the “Entrepreneur’s Perspective” as it gives a viewpoint for many of the topics from the founder’s standpoint and not just the VC’s.  This book receives our highest recommendation.