Category Archives: Books

Finished :: Next book up :: Hit Refresh | Michael Smith Jr. – Apprentice VC

Finished this up on the plane ride.

Overall good but I think the last few chapters were kind of weak.

I think MSFT under Satya is doing well and will continue to do so. Whether or not his broader views, which I think are good, can resonate outside of MSFT and infiltrate the rest of the tech industry remains to be seen.

This stuff with ICE using Azure is a good test of the new Satya/MSFT conscience.

Next book up :: Hit Refresh | Michael Smith Jr. – Apprentice VC

Startup Boards Book

I am new to being an official board member although I have been involved with large and small company board meetings for years.

Board meetings are not the be all end all that many folks think they are but the board members and their context within the life of a startup is pretty important.

I wanted to approach this with a beginner’s mind and was helpful to read this book and get some new viewpoints on being a board member and get some sense how founder see the board as well.

Of course only experience will come into play for me to become an awesome board member but I am enjoying this book quite a bit.

Book: Principles by Ray Dalio – Feld Thoughts

Great post by Brad Feld pulling together the book info and 2 great videos.

I have the book on order from Amazon and will start reading right after this one.

I have been trying to kick of my own year thinking about how to implement some of this ASAP.

It started with my new notebook, tracking my day better and having clear goals.

Anyway – these videos are a great place to start!

Book: Principles by Ray Dalio – Feld Thoughts

Next book up :: The Startup Way

Okay – update. Finished but I have to say I loved the lean startup much more but maybe this book is good for the right folks. I can imagine some big company folks getting a lot out of it.

I gleaned a few tricks and might even refer to it as a good reference guide. I try to remind myself that sometimes it’s okay to not read or dig every chapter but still love the book.

On to the next one!


Picked this one up at the airport on the way out – The Startup Way.

Already digging it and learning some new tricks.

Ray Dalio on Masters in Business

Ray has been doing the podcast circuit with the book being out but this was one of my favorite ones.

I don’t love Forbes but this article captures some of the salient points I am trying to grok and put into my work practice.

First is to have an “idea meritocracy” that spans across meaningful work and meaningful relationships.

I like this – may the best idea win and of course we all want rewarding work with good people.

I also like his framework for putting this into place with serious meeting rigour and a culture that supports radical transparency and radical candor. (This is why I am super excited that the next book up is Radical Candor by Kim Scott.)

Within these concepts there are rules for open disagreement, discourse for challenging ideas (not the people) and some protocol for making sure that when a decision is made – everyone falls in line to support it, regardless of where you personally stand on the issue.

I need to get the book and dig in.

Also excited to try and implement better goal and learning this year with another notebook..

Interesting times.

I just finished up reading The Four,  and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a quick read but I learned a lot and has me thinking anew about some things. The career advice is something I wish I had gotten in my 20’s. The way he lays out how to approach early jobs and the tradeoffs to take is solid advice. Looking back I could have played the field much better but I am super thankful I have landed where I am.

Exciting times at Jungle – that’s for sure ::

I am somewhat new to VC and still finding my way but grokking it fast and loving every second of it. It’s a new challenge everyday but at the same time I can easily see honing my craft for years to come and still finding it all exciting.

However the world of VC is changing and the old models or ways of doing things will and are changing. It is not just about capital anymore and on top of that the ICO market will alter the landscape even further. I will admit that the ICO model is still something I am trying to wrap my head around since the scam to not scam ratio is still pretty out of whack but this may change. However I envision alot of pain and lawsuits yet to come.

This post from Fred is a master class in reason though and not only reflects on a how he has put together his firm but also suggets how his firm is thinking about the future. I am going to read this over a few times – so much in there to take notes on.

For anyone not realizing it – VC is the long game:

It is also important that all of our partners participate in this model. It takes seven or eight years before we can expect a new partner to contribute and Albert, who joined us in 2008, has produced the last two high impact exits with Twilio and MongoDB. John, who joined us in 2010, has already contributed one in Lending Club. I have no doubt that Andy, who joined us in 2012, and Rebecca, who joined us this week, will produce their share of high impact exits. Andy already has several in the pipeline.

I also love his view of the model:

So this is our model. Keep the fund sizes small. Make investments early so we can buy meaningful ownership for not a lot of money. Keep investing round after round to maintain and/or grow our ownership. And have enough high impact portfolio companies that we can get two or three of them per fund.

One take-away from Fred and that was echoed in The Four is:

But the market has changed a lot with large incumbents taking up more and more white space in the internet sector as we have known it.

This also scares me. I think about the dominance of the big guys and how this is affecting VC, tech and the world at large.

Not sure what to do about it.