Mastering the VC Game by Jeffrey Bussgang – something of a book review

Well here’s a new read to add to the chronicles… all about venture capital, entrepreneurs, start-ups and the world-changing dance that evolves between them.

the huge multi-national Amazon was backed by one of the most famous American venture capitalists - John Doerr
the huge multi-national Amazon was backed by one of the most famous American venture capitalists – John Doerr

Really, I downloaded a few samples of books about Venture Capital (VC) to iBooks, read a few and then decided on the full version of this one.  It’s written clearly, with every bit of the step explained, and by an author who has been both on the entrepreneur side of the fence as well as being part of a venture capitalist firm later on (he is general partner at Flybridge Capital Partners).  All written from the American perspective, and rightfully so, but with a great chapter in the end and spotlights on a Chinese, Vietnamese and European VC each and a global vision for the future.

The book covers just about everything from how a VC firm works, how it thinks and makes money, how to prepare your pitch as an entrepreneur and how to read and understand the ‘term sheet’.  The author continuously underlines the most important aspects: trust, transparency and strong relationship building between VCs and entrepreneurs (and their management team).

Bussgang uses great analogies and metaphors such as his likening of the 3 archetype VC directors to the original judges on American Idol (Paula, Randy and Simon).  He paints a clear picture and achieves what he set out to do “I wrote this book to demystify the VC world for entrepreneurs, having seen both sides over many years.” (from  He illustrates the typical phases of development that start-ups go through and the classic story lines that show up time and time again in the dramatic, soap-opera realities of the venture capital financing world.

I especially enjoyed reading case studies featuring CEOs from companies I’m already familiar with: like Gail Goodman (of Constant Contact), Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn and Jack Dorsey from Twitter.

And as an educational exercise for myself I wrote down my notes from the reading in a 15 page PDF… attached here if you’d like to have a peek.  Great book and fascinating insight into the VC world in general – recommend !!

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