Bringing transparency to venture capital

There are two US VCs whose blogs I follow religiously, are perhaps my biggest source of inspiration in writing The Equity Kicker, and who I often quote here.  The first is Brad Feld and the second is Fred Wilson, and yesterday Fred posted a write up of Brad’s latest book Be Smarter than your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist, so I’m going to talk about both of them.

Brad’s new book isn’t available in the UK so I haven’t read it yet (I’ve pre-ordered my Kindle version, but I won’t get it until August 2nd), but from what I’ve read about it on Brad’s blog and from what Fred posted yesterday I’m sure it will be a high quality introduction to the venture capital process.

The contents of the book probably merit a post in their own right, and I will most likely write one after I’ve read it (as I did for Brad’s last book) but my point today is about what the book does rather than what is in it, and what the book does is shine a light on the workings of the venture capital industry.  Fred Wilson put it like this:

Venture Capital transactions have been a bit of a black art for a long time. It played to the advantage of the VCs because we do these things all day long all the time. But, like a marriage, it is not good for one side to take advantage of the other. It is not like selling a house. You have to live with the other side of the transaction after the deal closes. So over the past ten years, the VC industry has done much to increase transparency and trust with entrepreneurs. I’m proud to have played a part in that. Brad and Jason have done a huge amount of work in this area as well and their new book is going to be required reading for many. Well done.

Increasing transparency and trust between entrepreneurs and VCs is one of the main reasons I write this blog, and is raison d’etre for the 50 Questions series of posts and upcoming book.  As Fred says the situation is much improved over recent years, due in no small part to the rise of blogging and social media more generally, but I am regularly reminded (and occasionally surprised) at how far there still is to go.

I love feedback, and if there are any areas you would like me to write about or more general pointers for this blog, do let me know (if appropriate please check out the list of 50 Questions first though).

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