Entrepreneurship is a lonely road. Ask any entrepreneur and they’ll tell you about the doubt, the long hours, and the uncertainty that they suffer at 3 am when the world is sleeping. On top of the stress of creating a breakout product, the stress of leading a company can be heavier.
Leading a company successfully requires dealing with business issues like financing and building a team. First time founders sometimes lack basic business skills to help them accomplish these tasks because of their inexperience. Luckily, founders have access to invaluable information from people who have seen it all: venture capitalists.
Some of the most successful venture capitalists in the U.S. are also the most generous with their advice to entrepreneurs. Of the thousands of posts that you can find packed with useful information, there are a few posts that are must reads.
Here are the top 10 VC blog posts a founder can’t miss:
Hackers and Painters by Paul Graham of Y Combinator
This classic essay by the Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham will inspire tech entrepreneurs to produce beautiful software by looking at themselves as creators. Graham draws parallels between being a hacker and an artist, which will help do deepen the sense of purpose for entrepreneurs, on even their darkest days.
WTF is Traction? A 6-Step Relationship Guide to VC by Mark Suster of GRP Partners.
Mark’s unique angle is that he was a two time entrepreneur before entering the venture capital game. He knows how to deliver relevant, useful information that startup founders need to grow their companies. In this post, Mark explains how entrepreneurs can form relationships with VCs without looking like an amateur.
Revisiting the Term Sheet by Brad Feld of Foundry Group
This post is a series of links rather than a post on one informative topic. In the post, Feld mentions that his Term Sheet Series from 2005 contained some of the most popular content on his blog to date. Here, Bard provides links to everything that you need to know about term sheets. It’s a great jumping off point if you are interested in learning more about the investment process.
Selling Your Company by Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures
Fred Wilson is on the the most popular VCs who keeps a regular blog. His MBA Mondays series contains some critical information about the financial side of growing a company. One of his best posts in the series is Selling Your Company. In it, he includes key issues to consider if you are thinking about selling.
Your Solution Is Not My Problem by Dave McClure of 500 Startups
Dave McClure is the most passionate of all VC bloggers. Between the profanity and multicolored text that peppers his writing, you’ll find McClure’s rants to be unapologetic and on target. He is the kind of guys who will say what everyone else in the room is thinking. Your Solution Is Not My Problem is a classic Dave post that addresses a common problem with first time founders.
Recruiting Programmers To Your Startup by Chris Dixon of Founder Collective
Chris Dixon is a veteran of the New York startup scene having been a founder and an angel investor. His blog is no frills, to the point information. This post discusses what every founder needs to know how to attract and retain the best programming talent in the current developer shortage.
Optimizing your Customer Acquisition Funnel by David Skok of Matrix Partners
Print this post out, tape it to the wall facing your desk, and look at it everyday. David Skok’s post includes multiple diagrams and scenarios for customer acquisition, including tips on how to identify and solve blockage points in the acquisition funnel.
Message to founders: Always ask for “the order” Roger Ehrenberg of IA Ventures
In this post, Roger Ehrenberg teaches founders how to ask for what they want as the first step toward negotiating effectively.
Communicating With Your Board by Ed Sim of Dawntreader Ventures
Ed Sim covers one of the most important topics for first time founders to learn about: how to communicate with the board of directors.
How To Estimate Lifetime Value; Sample Cohort Analysis by Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed Venture Partners
Liew’s post explains how founders can calculate the lifetime value of a customer. He includes a sample cohort analysis spreadsheet for founders to reference and follow along.
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