Entrepreneurs who read tend to have an edge over the competition. In fact, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg reportedly read more books than the average CEO. Jessica Mah, co-founder and CEO of accounting software startup inDinero, utilized various books to recover from an unsustainable burn rate.
"There’s no doubt that reading for me was key to inDinero’s comeback,” Mah told Fast Company. “I’m sincerely thankful for all these past business builders to draw from and learning from others’ mistakes or successes. Honestly, I’m not sure how you could maximize your potential if you are not reading regularly and considering alternative ways of thinking and approaches to solving your company’s problems."
For on-the-go startup founders, blog posts are another source of great news and information. Some of the most useful blogs are maintained by industry-leading venture capitalists. For the latest fundraising strategies, acquisitions, and investment stats, tech founders should read these top venture capital blogs:
7 Venture Capital Blogs Every Startup Founder Should Read
Fred Wilson, venture capitalist at Union Square Ventures, launched AVC in September 2003. Wilson's articles are brief, timely, and packed full of financial information gleaned from more than 30 years of experience. One thing that sets this blog apart is Wilson's focus on cryptocurrencies. He has been a proponent of blockchain for many years and has plenty of insights to share. In fact, in a recent article, Wilson shares his perspective on Coinbase's acquisition of Earn.com:
It is not enough for all of us to be buying, selling, and holding crypto assets. Earning them is a very important function in the development of an ecosystem. So I am excited to see Coinbase supporting and investing in a business where users can earn crypto assets and my hope is that it becomes something as meaningful as what Amazon has done with Mechanical Turk over the years.
For more, visit https://avc.com/
Connie Loizos, an editor at TechCrunch, launched StrictlyVC in 2013. Loizos joined Red Herring in the 1990s and has been reporting on Silicon Valley ever since. Every day, Loizos publishes a "run down" of the latest financial news and how these developments impact people, businesses, and communities. In a recent article, she sheds some light on Airbnb losing one of its top executives:
China is a tough nut to crack, no matter how much money U.S.-based companies have to throw at it. That was the overarching takeaway last night, given the news — first reported by Bloomberg — that Hong Ge is abandoning his post as the head of Airbnb's China business for a new, as-yet undisclosed opportunity. Why does the departure matter? For starters, Ge was appointed to the role just four months ago.
For more, visit https://www.strictlyvc.com/
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3. Andreesen Horowitz
Andreesen Horowitz, also known as a16z, is a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. Founded by Marc Andreesen and Ben Horowitz in 2009, the firm prides itself on backing "bold entrepreneurs building the future through technology." As part of its commitment to connect entrepreneurs, investors, executives, engineers, and academics, a16z maintains a popular tech blog. Featuring posts from industry-leading CEOs and CTOs, a16hz provides readers with the insider intel needed to land a funding round. Recently, a16z explored the perils of tech partnerships:
"Tech partnerships also have downsides that more often than not outweigh the good: in reality, they can require a tremendous amount of resources, give away your secrets, damage your relationship with your customers, commit you to onerous terms that may poison your company for future strategic relationships."
For more, visit https://a16z.com/
4. Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk: 99 Percent Humble, 1 Percent Brag is a blog managed by Hunter Walker. After leading product management at YouTube and managing product and sales at Google, Walker joined Homebrew Ventures. Walker gives readers an inside look into the world of venture capital. In fact, in a recent article, Walker discusses who (and who shouldn't) be in management meetings:
"When you sit at a management meeting, are you representing yourself or someone who isn't in the room? I was recently chatting with a startup CTO, who recently joined his company's board, about the responsibilities of being a director. That it's not a role about advocating for your own interests, but instead trying to make the best decisions on behalf of the company."
For more, visit https://hunterwalk.com/
5. First Round Review
The First Round Review offers actionable startup advice from industry leaders. Run by First Round Capital, the blog shares knowledge and accelerates action by connecting startup founders with the industry's best. Readers can use the varying insights found in the First Round Review to create a tailored growth plan. Recently, the First Round Review wrote about pay equality for women in the tech industry:
"To tackle this massive and important issue, Rich takes a three-pronged approach: First, she offers advice, largely to women and underrepresented minorities (though it's applicable to anyone who may feel passive, anxious, or discouraged about negotiations), to prepare for conversations with their managers. Second, she walks through exact scripts for successful comp discussions. And third, she advises startups directly on what they can do to accelerate toward pay equity."
For more, visit http://firstround.com/review/
6. Both Sides of the Table
Both Sides of the Table is a popular blog managed by Mark Suster, partner at Upfront Ventures. Upfront Ventures is the largest and most active early-stage fund in Southern California. Before becoming a venture capitalist, Suster successfully founded, scaled, and sold two companies — one of which went to Salesforce. Readers will benefit from Suster's experience in growing and selling tech companies. Recently, Suster explored Ring's success as an industry-leading security product:
A critical component to building a successful business is being able to capture ongoing revenue from consumers who feel they are getting incredible value and continue to feel good about paying. Having recurring revenue allows you to keep the original purchase price down, which in turn increases sales. In addition to the service where you can watch old videos being very compelling, the fact that Jamie (founder at Ring) has provided this service at such an affordable cost has been a large part of the appeal.
For more, visit https://bothsidesofthetable.com/
7. The Equity Kicker
Nic Brisbourne is managing partner of Forward Partners, a firm committed to investing in the UK's leading eCommerce startups. The Equity Kicker is where Brisbourne shares his thoughts on emerging investment opportunities, winning business models, and recent developments within the venture capital and startup world. Recently, Brisbourne shared important insights on the most popular exit strategies for European tech startups:
"This ‘staying private longer’ phenomenon isn’t just a European thing. In the U.S., companies are raising amounts of capital previously only possible through IPO with much greater frequency than they are here. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is debatable (private companies have less scrutiny and therefore lower costs, but arguably the scrutiny makes them more disciplined) but the important point here is that it’s skewing the exit data."
For more, visit http://www.theequitykicker.com/
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