*Thanks to Business Insider for a starter list of great VC books – agree with all of them!
“Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies” by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh
Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh’s “Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies” is a must-read for founders looking to start and scale their business the most successful way possible.
The book answers the question every founder has about how to make a startup into a global giant. Hoffman and Yeh’s answer is “blitzscaling: a set of techniques for scaling up at a dizzying pace that blows competitors out of the water.”
Hoffman got his start in Silicon Valley as the COO of PayPal, then later cofounded LinkedIn. He is also a successful angel investor, who was one of the first investors in Facebook alongside Peter Thiel and is currently a partner at VC firm Greylock Partners.
Yeh has mentored hundreds startups through his firm Wasabi Ventures and Blitzscaling Ventures – the firm he named after his book with Hoffman. He also teaches at Stanford.
“The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers” by Ben Horowitz
Andreessen Horowitz cofounder Ben Horowitz is known in the industry for his wise words of wisdom stemming from his blog.
But his full-length book “The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers” is a go-to for entrepreneurs and VCs. Horowitz’ book gives practical advice on building a startup to dealing with struggles a leader may face — sometimes delivered along with some of his favorite rap lyrics.
Having been involved with his firm’s enormous success in investments like Facebook, Lyft and Okta, Horowitz relays his career highs and lows.
More recently, he published “What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture.“
“Women Who Venture” by Renata George
Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Renata George’s book “Women Who Venture” profiles 99 women VCs who have had to navigate a male-dominated industry in order to achieve success.
George interviewed hundreds of women for the book, from some of the first female investors to newer ones at top VC firms. From lessons learned in the industry that have shaped their careers to advice on up-and-coming investors, “Women Who Venture” gives readers a real glance into what being a woman in the VC industry is truly like.
George has also written “VENTURE CAPITAL MINDSET: Become the candidate that every venture capital firm would like to hire” based on her VC coaching program.
“Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It” by Scott Kupor
The stretch of Sand Hill Road running through Silicon Valley is known for its large number of venture capital firms including Andreessen Horowitz, where Scott Kupor is a managing partner.
His book “Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It” details his insider knowledge of what makes a VC successful — and what it takes for a startup to receive funding.
Kupor’s firsthand experiences on Sand Hill Road are aimed to help any founder at any stage become successful. Kupor came into the VC industry after previously being a lawyer and an entrepreneur, which he recounts throughout his book.
“Leading” by Alex Ferguson and Michael Moritz
Written jointly by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Sequoia Capital partner Sir Michael Moritz, “Leading” details the best practices that are needed for stellar leadership qualities.
Based on Ferguson’s 27 years coaching soccer, “Leading” gives readers lessons to be used both in business and in life to create success.
Moritz ties the leadership skills Ferguson possesses into founders in Silicon Valley. “Look more closely and you will ﬁnd that the great leader possesses an unusual, and essential, characteristic — he will think and operate like an owner, or a person who owns a substantial stake of the business, even if, in a ﬁnancial or legal sense, he is neither,” he writes in the epilogue.
“It is extremely rare to ﬁnd this trait among people like Sir Alex who are hired into a company, although in Silicon Valley this sense of long-term proprietorship is the distinctive hallmark of the best company founders.”
“Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change” by Ellen Pao
Ellen Pao’s lawsuit against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins is detailed in her book “Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change.”
Pao explains the gender gap seen at venture capital firms in her book and details her experience in filing a gender-discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins. Even though Pao lost the suit, her message was heard across the VC and tech industry, and started many conversations around inclusion.
After Kleiner Perkins, Pao was briefly the CEO of Reddit; she’s the cofounder of Project Include, an advocacy group focused on diversity in tech.
“Making Moonshots” by Rahul Rana
Nineteen-year-old Rahul Rana landed his job at Lux Capital in the process of writing his book, “Making Moonshots” by interviewing Lux partner Josh Wolfe.
In this debut book, Rana breaks down why startups specializing in deeptech (intense technological challenges) can help solve major world problems with what seem like crazy ideas. The time for unconventional thinkers dreaming bigger and making moonshots is now, he explains.
“Making Moonshots” also touches on how complex business operations should run and how bold “moonshot” thinking can help founders strategize.
Rana was recently featured on Insider’s Top 29 up-and-coming Gen Z VC list.
“Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” by Peter Thiel
Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel wrote “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” to simply let founders think for themselves in order to innovate. Thiel wants to encourage founders to keep building the future through unique businesses.
“Every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1,” Thiel said on his website explaining the title of the book. “The act of creation is singular, as is the moment of creation, and the result is something fresh and strange.”
Theil, a billionaire, is the founder of PayPal, a partner at VC firm Founders Fund and was the first outside investor in Facebook.
“High Growth Handbook: Scaling Startups From 10 to 10,000 People” by Elad Gil
Entrepreneur and investor Elad Gil’s “High Growth Handbook: Scaling Startups From 10 to 10,000 People” is a founder’s playbook for learning how to grow a business.
Gil’s investment and advising resume includes technology titans from Stripe to Coinbase to Airbnb – all of which have helped him learn what is needed for a small startup to grow into a global enterprise.
Gil ties his own experience into interviews in the book with other VC titans, including Reid Hoffman and Marc Andreessen. In the book, Andreessen tells Gil one of his best tips is hiring an HR leader.
“If you don’t start layering in HR once you’ve passed 50 people on your way to 150, something is going to go badly wrong,” Andreessen said to Gil in the interview.
Since publishing the book in 2018, Gil has also continue to produce advice for startups on his own personal blog.
“Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist” by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson
The cofounders of venture capital firm Foundry Group, Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson, wrote “Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist” to demystify the complex process of sealing a funding deal.
Relying on the experience of investing in hundreds of early-stage VC deals, Feld and Mendelson’s book is to help founders, lawyers as well as VCs handle a financing.
The book has been updated four times since its original publication in 2011, to address new trends and developments in the industry.
“Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days” by Jessica Livingston
Jessica Livingston, founding partner of seed venture firm Y Combinator, reveals what the earliest days were like for startups in her book, “Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days.“
Livingston has interviews with successful founders such as Steve Wozniak of Apple and Max Levchin of PayPal recalling the days when some of the biggest tech companies were just a few friends with an idea.
Just as Y Combinator prepares early-stage startups for success, Livingston’s book gives founders an inside look at what some of the most successful companies were like from Day One.
“The Innovation Blind Spot” by Ross Baird
Venture capitalist Ross Baird’s book “The Innovation Blind Spot: Why We Back the Wrong Ideas – and What to Do About It” gives an insider look into what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
From seeking opportunities to succeed, Baird lays out the blueprint for founders and investors to find success where other people are not looking.
Baird founded VC firm Village Capital in 2009 and has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs across the world.
“Measure What Matters” by John Doerr
In John Doerr’s “Measure What Matters,” the Kleiner Perkins partner delivers the keys to success used by the biggest tech companies in the world.
Doerr popularizes the concept of OKRs (objectives and key results), believing that they’ve driven success for various entrepreneurs and organizations such as Google, U2 frontman Bono, and the Gates Foundation.
Doerr first learned of OKRs through his engineering days at Intel working with Andy Grove. He has channeled that knowledge into funding some of the biggest tech giants in the world such as Amazon, Google, and more.