Books

Books I’ve read recently and would recommend to a friend.

Mastering The VC Game (2011)

An entertaining and well-written guide to Venture Capital by Jeff Bussgang. A little anecdotal, and being published in 2011, dated. But you’ll come-away knowing what a Series A term sheet for $6m funding at $9m pre-money valuation with 20% unallocated stock options means, plus some general advice for finding and working with VCs.

Takeaways: Find a VC of the right size and specialism via your network. Prepare well, but expect lots of rejection. Agree details, particularly financial-outcomes and control upfront and expect help with strategy, hiring and lead generation as well as the funding.

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (2020)

Published 2011 and republished in 2020. Not alarmist and sensationalised like Netflix’s ‘The Social Dilemma’, but an informative review of human neuroplasticity and the effect of media consumption on our cognitive abilities. Obviously the focus is the Internet and the changes for good and ill that 20 years of Internet usage has made to our mind’s ability to focus, multitask, absorb and synthesise information. Essential reading for digital professionals and consumers (i.e. nearly everyone).

Takeways: Online news and social media reduce your ability to focus and absorb information vs. printed word. They do increase your ability to multitask, but the net effect on your ability to learn and reason is probably negative.