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January 16, 2007

Two New Must Read VC Blogs for Entrepreneurs

Short form:

Ask the VC by Brad Feld.

VCInJerusalem by Jacob Ner-David.

Long form:

If you’re an entrepreneur or wannabe entrepreneur, you gotta read blogs by VCs; it’s not an option.  Obviously, if you’re in the lucky position of evaluating VC offers, knowing what they say and how they think is a big help.  If you’re negotiating, knowledge is strength.   If you’re getting ready to pitch VCs, blogs can help you decide whom you want to pitch and to understand their hot buttons when you make the pitch.

If you’re deciding whether or not to try to raise VC money – and that’s a big, big decision – reading VC blogs tells you what you’re getting yourself into.  If you are starting up and NOT raising VC money now, you still want to know how VCs think because raising some later is one of your options and, to preserve this option, you gotta structure the company’s progress so that you will be able to show VCs the kind of metrics they are interested in.

Even if you’re NEVER (and you should never says “never”) gonna raise VC money, you gotta read VC blogs.  Why?  Not only because VCs are funding your competitors but also because the smart VCs are thinking about the business environment all the time and their POV will challenge your POV.  We all know that having our POV challenged is good for our ROI (return on intelligence).

I assume you already read A VC by Fred Wilson.  Everyone does and it’s well worth the time but it’s hardly new so it’s not the subject of today’s post.

Brad Feld, a managing director at Mobius Venture Capital, always had plenty of good startup advice in his old blog, Feld Thoughts, which is still running and still fun to read.  Last year’s series on termsheets in that blog remains a must read.  But he is now concentrating his VC thinking in Ask the VC.  You really can and should ask questions there and get answers.  Brad is also the coordinator for Venture Capital, a spliced feed of many VC blogs.  It’s a much bigger companion to My Way, the spliced feed of entrepreneur blogs I coordinate.

Some people, not always with kind intent, say Israelis are like Americans only more so. The energy level there makes it hard for me to get any sleep on a short trip. Much of the technology which made Web 1.0 possible (especially but not limited to VoIP technology) and much of the technology for Web 2.0 comes from Israel.  So do lots of NASDAQ listed companies and fine entrepreneurs.

I first met Jacob Ner David, the managing partner of Jerusalem Capital, when he was co-founder of Delta Three, a competitor of ITXC which Mary I founded a little later.  I’ve liked and respected him since those days and followed his career through more startups and into Venture Capitaldom with interest.  There is just enough distance and difference between Israel and the US to make Jacob’s keen view of the shared high tech industry in VCInJerusalem piquantly different from that of US-based VCs.  He also still remembers what it was like to be an entrepreneur.

In an embarrassing coincidence, I just discovered that Jacob quoted Fractals of Change in his post today. 

Full Disclosure: I am an investor in and advisor to Jerusalem Capital.  Also have directly and indirectly co-invested with Mobius.  Turns out that reading VC blogs helps in making as well as obtaining VC investments.

Answers to some questions you may not want to ask Brad about VCs are in the posts below:

VC Primer from an Entrepreneur’s POV – Source of Funds

VC Primer from an Entrepreneur’s POV – The Funds

VC Primer from an Entrepreneur’s POV – What About Angels?

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