Reading Recommendations for a New VC

I recently caught up with someone who is moving into an investing role at a venture capital firm – she asked me for any book recommendations that could help her get up to speed faster

I’ve shared versions of this list a few times prior in emails and thought it may be interesting to share more broadly.

At core, I think the best investors are learning machines – they are curious about new things + people and have an internal hunger + drive which that has them focus on the process versus outcome

Through that lens, I think the best reading resources provide a base layer of knowledge on how technology impacts markets + the related business theory – to set a foundation to understand new opportunities more quickly and deeply


First, three books on financing innovation + technology market cycles


Bill Janeway – Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy


Carlota Perez – Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital


Eric Beinhocker – The Origins of Wealth


The next set of books focus on understanding business strategy + corporate finance for high growth companies


William Thorndike – The Outsiders


Michael Porter – Competitive Strategy


Hamilton Helner – 7 Powers


On top of the theory – the last set of books is all around history – of the industry + specific companies


Elad Gil – High Growth Handbook


Tom Nichols – VC


Jessica Livingston – Founders at Work


As a bonus, I recommend reading S-1 filings of recent IPOs – these documents often offer amazing insights into what great businesses look like at scale


And Bill Gurley’s blog

It is filled with great analysis – like this post on elements of the 10x revenue club:

All Revenue is Not Created Equal: The Keys to the 10X Revenue Club

And this post on important elements in marketplace startups:

All Markets Are Not Created Equal: 10 Factors To Consider When Evaluating Digital Marketplaces


Lastly, there are a bunch of good books on the day-to-day mechanics of the business of venture capital – I think you’ll able to pick up on the job, so I would prioritize the list above – but more if you’re curious:


Brad Feld, Jason Mendelson – Venture Deals



Jeff Bussgang – Mastering the VC Game


If you ever have any questions about these types of topics – I’d highly recommend Mark Suster’s blog

When I have a very specific question, I’ll often it google it + “Mark Suster” – and I normally find that he has written something thoughtful on the topic

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