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Having considerable capital is unnecessary to close your first deal as a business angel. In More Independent, More Nimble: Invest as an Operator Angel, we talked about how to start investing in startups if you have never done it before.
You definitely cannot go without a clear understanding of the main mechanisms of venture capital investment. So, we have collected five must-reads containing a concentrated experience of super-successful angels. Add these books to your library to save time and avoid stepping on someone’s rake.
By Jason Calacanis
Born to a bartender and a nurse, Jason Calacanis did not have significant startup capital. Still, he managed to get rich by investing at the right time in Robinhood, Trello, Uber, Datastax, Calm, and other startups, many of which achieved unicorn status.
He has also founded several successful projects, worked with venture capital funds as a mentor, and is an active business podcast host and blogger.
In his book, he shares his experience and inspires. The right mindset and understanding of how processes are structured mean more than an impressive check. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to start investing like an angel.
Author on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasoncalacanis/
By Elad Gil
If anyone knows how to take companies to the next level, it's Elad Gil. He built and led Google's mobile team through all stages of development, was responsible for strategy at Twitter, and was an advisor to Airbnb, Square, Pinterest, Coinbase, and other super-successful startups during their scaling processes.
Based on his experience, he developed a method for explosive growth, which he described in detail in the book High Growth Handbook. It covers all aspects of startup development, from the changing role of the CEO as it grows to late-stage funding.
Elad also includes interviews with Silicon Valley leading lights such as Andreessen Horowitz and Aaron Levie. Essentially, entrepreneurs need to approach the High Growth Handbook as a guide and angels should read it to learn to spot the company's potential early on.
"If you want a chance to turn your startup into the next Google or Twitter, read this witty guide from the man who played a key role in the growth of these companies." — Reid Hoffman, co-founder of Linkedin, business angel.
Author on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eladgil/
By Josh Maher
For Startup Wealth, Josh Maher interviewed early-stage investors of Uber, Invisalign, Google, and other successful companies. He introduces the reader to the most successful angels of the last two decades through their stories and presents the dos and don’ts of their decision-making.
Josh Maher himself not only invests in startups like an angel but also contributes to the development of the international startup community. He launched and currently chairs the Seattle Angel nonprofit, an eponymous conference and foundation to raise awareness and knowledge about startups and angel investing. In addition, Josh has been advising startups, foundations, and syndicates for over fifteen years.
His book is included in various ratings of the best books on venture capital and angel investing. It is a must-read if you want to understand how the best of the best build a portfolio, interact with teams, and overcome setbacks.
Author on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshuamaher/
By Ben Horowitz
If you ask the founder of a successful startup to name only one book that an entrepreneur should read at the beginning of his journey, I guarantee it will be The Hard Thing About Hard Things.
Its author, Ben Horowitz, is a co-founder of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He is an absolute authority in Silicon Valley and throughout the world.
Since 2006, Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz have multiplied their investments and led talented teams to success with just $4M and 45 portfolio projects at the start. A decade ago, Andreessen Horowitz was the first to own shares in Facebook and Twitter. Today, the firm manages $28.2B in assets.
In The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz talks about what it takes to manage a future unicorn. How to work with friends and fire them, form a hierarchy, poach competitors, and much more. An angel investor needs to read this to navigate the inner workings of a growing startup.
Author on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/behorowitz/
By Judy Robinett
Judy Robinett has been on both sides of the fence, chairing both public and private Fortune 500 companies and serving on the boards of several venture capital firms in California and other states.
In her best-selling book Crack the Funding Code, she helps founders find their way to funding sources and tells them how to talk to investors to be heard.
For a business angel, this book will be a manual on structuring transactions to nurture startup growth while approaching negotiations ethically and knowing how to defend one’s interests continuously. The book also contains practical tips for network building in each specific industry.
Author on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/judyrobinett/
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