Book Short: I Wish This Existed 12 Years Ago
Brad Feld has been on my board for over a decade now, and when he and his partner Jason Mendelson told me about a new book they were writing a bunch of months ago called Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist, I took note. I thought, “Hmmm. I’d like to be smarter than my lawyer or venture capitalist.”
Then I read an advanced copy. I loved it. At first, I thought, I would really have benefited from this when I started Return Path way back when. Then as I finished reading it, I realized it’s just a great reference book even now, all these years and financings later. But as much as I enjoyed the early read, I felt like something was missing from the book, since its intended audience is entrepreneurs.
Brad and Jason took me up on my offer to participate in the book’s content a little bit, and they are including in the book a series of 50-75 sidebars called “The Entrepreneur’s Perspective” which I wrote and which they and others edited. For almost every topic and sub-topic in the book, I chime in, either building on, or disagreeing, with Brad and Jason’s view on the subject.
The book is now out. As Brad noted in his launch post, the book’s table of contents says a lot:
- The Players
- How to Raise Money
- Overview of the Term Sheet
- Economic Terms of the Term Sheet
- Control Terms of the Term Sheet
- Other Terms of the Term Sheet
- The Capitalization Table
- How Venture Capital Funds Work
- Negotiation Tactics
- Raising Money the Right Way
- Issues at Different Financing States
- Letters of Intent – The Other Term Sheet
- Legal Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know
Fred has posted his review of the book as well.
Bottom line: if you are an aspiring or actual entrepreneur, buy this book. Even if you’ve done a couple of financings, this is fantastic reference material, and Brad and Jason’s points of view on things are incredibly insightful beyond the facts. And I hope my small contributions to the book are useful for entrepreneurs as well.