Back in June I was on a venture capital panel at the Develop Games Conference in Brighton. I sit on these panels in large part to explain and demystify venture capital and as is often the case the other panelists and I were happy to devote much of the panel to discussing the basics of VC. One of the challenges on these panels is assessing the average level of knowledge the audience and adjusting what you say accordingly. On the Develop panel I got it a bit wrong, assuming a greater level of knowledge than was actually the case, which prompted me to write a post Explaining venture capital.
My friend, and author of the excellent Gamesbrief blog, Nicholas Lovell commented on that post saying that my explanation was still too complicated, and in discussions over the summer we decided to between us write a series of fifty posts answering the fifty questions you should ask before raising venture capital. The plan is that we will each write a post every fortnight publishing in alternate weeks and the series will be finished in a just under a year. We will then go back and edit the posts taking input from the comments and other sources before publishing them as a book which we intend offer as a free download from our websites and sell in physical format for the price of a good paperback.
Our hope is that the posts (and eventually the book) will be a good resource for anyone who is thinking about how to finance their company and who wants to understand more about the options, including venture capital. The posts will assume very little, if any, prior knowledge and should be useful to everyone from newbies to the industry to those who have been around venture capital a fair bit and have a decent understanding, but are a bit hazy around the edges on some of the more detailed points e.g. ‘weighted average anti-dilution’ or ‘1x participating preference share’.
The first post in the series will go up tomorrow so you get the idea and then after that we will publish the list of questions we intend to answer. We’d love your comments on the list of questions – if there are any we have missed, or are beside the point, or are pitched at the wrong level that would be great to know. We would of course also like your comments on the posts themselves. The Equity Kicker and Gamesbrief are infinitely richer for your input and we hope the same will be true of our fifty questions book.
For now though it would be good to hear what you think of the overall concept and the way we plan to go about writing the posts and creating the book. Many elements of it will be crowd-sourced and it seems entirely appropriate that applies to the idea and structure of the project as much as the content that will be created.