14 books that help founders do everything better, recommended by 10 successful VCs

vc book recs long

Summary List Placement

One of the main benefits of raising funds from a venture capitalist  — besides the money — is the guidance VCs can give to founders as they build companies.

But where do the VCs go for their own inspiration? Many of them turned to the tried-and-true method of reading books. With that in mind, Business Insider talked to 10 VCs from across the investing landscape — seed, growth and corporate funds — to discover their book recommendations for founders in 2020, an unprecedented year in so many ways. 

They recommended a variety of books and not just on business skills, but also books that dive into culture and tales of inspiration. Their picks ranged from decades-old classics to more recently published titles, too.

SEE ALSO: Young Gen-Z VCs are gathering by the hundreds in a Slack channel that’s gone viral this week

“Legacy” by James Kerr

Byron Deeter, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, has made 19 investments that are now valued above $1 billion, including ten IPOs. Deeter was a founder before he was a VC who raised his own Series A from BVP back in 2000 for his startup Trigo Technologies later sold to IBM for an undisclosed sum. 

He recommends “Legacy” by James Kerr.

“This book outlines the story of the ‘Champions of the World’ New Zealand All Blacks rugby team,” Deeter explained. “As a four-time national champion collegiate rugby player, I believe team dynamics and culture are both critical in building great businesses.” 

He said the book offers awesome lessons on leadership, including the team’s credo, “Sweep the Shed: Never be too big to do the small things that need to be done,” and “Go For the Gap: When you’re on top of your game, change your game.”

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“Humankind: A Hopeful History” by Rutker Bregman

Revolution Ventures’ partner and founding member Clara Sieg serves on the boards of Bloomscape, Bright Cellars, Paro, Playa, and Policygenius. She led fundraising efforts for her firm’s first $200 million fund and its later $450 million growth fund.

Sieg recommends “Humankind: A Hopeful History” by Rutker Bregman

“The book argues that people are fundamentally decent. It proved to be a hopeful read and pulls you out of the anxious cynicism that can characterize 2020,” she told Business Insider. “It’s a reminder to look for the positivity coming out of these times, that kindness is still valued, and trust drives progress.”


“The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap” by Mehrsa Baradaran

Lisha Bell is cofounder of BLXVC, an angel syndicate of moms funding Black and Brown founders. Bell is also the deal flow lead for Pipeline Angels, an angel investing group of women, many of them successful Black entrepreneurs. When she’s not angel investing, she’s working her day job as a product manager for PayPal’s Braintree.

A tireless advocate of diversity, inclusion, and access, Bell recommends “The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap” by Mehrsa Baradaran as a must read book for 2020.

“Prof Baradaran breaks down the systemic barriers that …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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