Secrets of Sand Hill Road
Scott Kupor's book is a must-have resource for founders at all stages.
Scott Kupor writes that his book “is not a bible.” But it really is.
Anything you want to know about finance and corporate governance for a venture-backed company you’ll find here.
Whether you’re founding a VC-backed startup, fundraising for it, evaluating term sheets, building a Board, planning your Series C or your IPO, this book is an essential and pleasurable guide and companion.
The author is a long-time collaborator of Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, the founders of Andreessen-Horowitz (a16z)—one of the most successful venture firms ever, and also the one responsible for re-inventing the VC firm operating model. He is a lawyer-manqué, which shows in his clear and detailed explanations of legal issues, and has seen 20+ years of venture operations up close. He is Managing Partner at a16z.
Many business books take a simple premise and drag it out across hundreds of pages, repeating themselves and providing too many detailed, “cute” examples to back up obvious points. And to fill the obligatory book-length page count.
Unlike those, Secrets is succinct, pithy, and dense with actionable knowledge. The few real-world examples it includes are from the trenches of a16z history or the legal canon and efficiently illustrate his points.
His writing is direct, clear and entertaining, and often funny. The book is a very engaging read.
…everything from corporate foundation to fundraising, valuation and dilution, pitching and fundraising, how VCs think and invest, work and are incentivized.
There are chapters on term sheets and their arcaena, preferences and anti-dilution, controlling provisions, Board makeups, Director’s duties and pitfalls, the IPO process, and the history and future of Venture Capital as an industry.
The book was published 2019 and is up-to-date on everything except the most recent innovations in late stage financing, like SPACs and the newest forms of direct listings. For those you’ll have to see…
More Scotts and a Matt
For the newest and flightiest of trends in raising money from the public, and a daily laugh if you can enjoy silliness and high-finance in the same sentence, I wholeheartedly recommend Matt Levine’s column in Bloomberg Opinion Money Stuff. Matt holds a mirror to finance, the SEC and the markets, that reads like a meatier Dilbert by Scott Adams, its wit leveled this time at financial engineering. You’ll enjoy his novel perspectives on SPACs, PIPEs, even NFTs.
But not GME. GameStop has even Matt stumped.
Marc Meyer is a long-time Silicon Valley technologist, founder (6 startups, 4 exits, 1 IPO), executive, investor, advisor and teacher. He has invested in and advised over 100 companies, chairs the Advisor Council and is on the Board of Trustees at Berkeley SkyDeck, serves on the Selection Committee of HBS Alumni Angels, advises at multiple accelerators, and has an Executive Coaching practice helping leaders move past their now.