Blogs written by Venture Capitalists (VCs) seem to be coming back in fashion lately, which is great news for startups.
In addition to years (or decades) of experience in investments, many VCs have also lived past lives as serial entrepreneurs and can offer invaluable insights and a dual perspective from both the startup founder and investor.
Even VCs who haven’t previously founded companies have still gained considerable experience from working with their portfolios of companies seeing what worked and what didn’t while helping them grow.
VCs have a wealth of knowledge that they can pass on, from how to scale to fundraising, to making your first hires and what they’re really looking for in potential investments.
In addition, many VCs offer some fascinating insights on current trends and events in tech and beyond, as well as some great big-picture-thinking on where the rapidly changing world of commerce and technology is heading.
These 18 essential blogs are a great way to tap into what VCs’ are thinking as well as benefit from their advice and wisdom. No matter who you are, it’s always a good idea to keep learning, so keep an open minded, get inspired and get reading!
A daily blog about the thoughts of Fred Wilson, a well known VC at Union Square Ventures. Fred has made some pretty astute investments in companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Etsy, Zynga and Kickstarter. One of the first VC’s to start blogging daily (in 2003), the blog covers his thoughts on startups and technology as well as more personal things. An interesting mix that is highly recommended.
Is the blog of Ben Horowitz–one half of VC heavyweights, Andreessen Horowitz, whose investments include Facebook, Foursquare, GitHub, Pinterest, Skype and Twitter. The blog features everything from insights about startups and pearls of wisdom for founders, to career advice for graduates. With the added bonus of opening with rap lyrics, his posts are short, easy to digest and well worth reading.
The Review is a great resource from First Round Capital. Rather than just a single blog it’s more like a magazine with a range of useful articles and resources for startups. The site features extremely insightful in-depth content based on the experiences of entrepreneurs, founders and companies in their portfolio. With a range of different contributors and interviews from both within First Round and the wider tech company, this is one to bookmark.
Tom Tunguz is a principal VC at Red Point Ventures whose daily blog posts focus on fundraising and the development cycle of startups. His often data-focused posts offer great insights into what’s happening in different markets and sectors. The blog covers a range of useful topics for startups, from fundraising to startup benchmarking and best ways to build and manage a team. Essential reading, especially for SaaS startups.
This is the personal site of Foundry Group manager direction and Techstars co-founder, Brad Feld. An early stage investor since 1987, Brad shares his considerable experience on everything from startup best practices, to books, education and his portfolio investments. He also covers his personal life and may just inspire you to run a marathon. The site features a very useful archive of well-categorized and tagged posts to mine.
Hunter Walk is the former product management lead at YouTube and contextual advertising manager at Google, turned co-founder and partner at seed stage venture firm Homebrew. An inspiring read for founders (or anyone thinking of becoming one), he covers everything from how VC funds operate to entrepreneurship, life, thinking big and the importance of learning.
Another blog form the Andreessen Horowitz camp, this time from VC Benedict Evans. The blog features a series of posts from Ben aimed, in his own words, at trying ‘to work out what’s going on and what will happen next. He also runs a very useful newsletter that goes out to 48,000 subscribers every Sunday, featuring coverage of what’s interesting in tech and mobile along with insightful commentary.
Is the blog from Mark Suster, two-time entrepreneur turned VC who joined Upfront Ventures as a general partner after selling his last company to Salesforce.com. As the name suggests, Mark gives some great insights on startups from the perspective of both a founder and investor. Well organized, and with some great advice for startups and many thought provoking pieces, this a must read for any founder.
The third in our triumvirate of Andreessen Horowitz blogs comes from Chris Dixon, who founded several successful startups and made personal investments in startups such as Warby Parker, Stripe and Pinterest, before making the switch to VC. With an interest in particularly disruptive tech, Chris has lead investments in Coinbase, Soylent and Oculus and likes to write about macro trends in the technology world. Chris has just switched to writing on Medium in 2016 but his old blog can still be read here.
This is the blog of Fred Destin, who works for Accel in London. Having been in Venture for 15 years, Fred has considerable experience to share, has worked with everyone from Zoopla to Dailymotion and invested in the likes of Deliveroo. There’s a great mix of observations about startups from a VC’s perspective. The blog also features a lot of interesting content about the London and European tech scene.
The eponymous Paul is the founder and former president of Y Combinator. A hugely influential figure and thinker in the tech world, Paul made early investments in now-household names such as Airbnb and Dropbox as well as pioneering the accelerator model at Y Combinator that has since been adopted globally. The site features a series of inspiring essays that are must-reads for pretty much everyone.
Bill Gurley has been a general partner at Benchmark Capital for more than a decade and has made investments in the likes of Uber, GrubHub and OpenTable. Using data and in-depth analysis, his posts are very useful for getting an insight into new trends in tech and how startups succeed. Some of the most insightful essential reading on startups and especially vital for anyone running a marketplace of any type.
This is the blog of serial entrepreneur turned VC David Skok, of Matrix Partners. With 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, David has a lot of wisdom to share. The blog features very useful guides on everything from cost of customer acquisition to viral marketing, often includes unique industry survey results and is especially detailed on SaaS startups. Particularly useful for enterprise, SaaS and B2B startups.
This is the blog of Qualcomm Ventures Europe director, Jason Ball, who is based in London. Having previously worked at London Seed Capital, Ball has been involved in the startup world for the last eight years and currently sits at the board or advises the likes of Bitbar, Blippar, and Cambridge Temperature Concepts. The blog features clear, concise and practical advice on a range of topics, from pitching to raising money and going to market.
500 Hats is run by Dave McClure, a former member of the PayPal mafia who founded 500 startups — the well known seed accelerator and related investment fund in 2010. 500 Startups has invested in over 500 companies, including myGengo, Artsicle, Cucumbertown, Visual.ly, Canva, Udemy and RidePal. Having been involved in so many startups, his often strongly opinionated posts feature a wealth great insights– from product development to building teams, fundraising and how to get to market.
Is written by Christoph Janz, former angel investor and comparison startup Dealpilot.com co-founder, turned managing partner and co-founder of Point Nine Capital. With investments in Zendesk, FreeAgent, Boxed Ice and Geckoboard to his name, Christoph certainly knows how to pick them. Blogging on technology and the internet before even Twitter was around, there’s a wealth of valuable insights from tools for planning to the problem with growth rates. A must read, especially for SaaS startups.
The VC in question is Jalak Jobanputra, founding partner of FuturePerfect Ventures, an early-stage VC fund in NYC and a mentor at TechStars. With a current focus on investments that interpret data intelligently, Jalak has invested in the likes of Viacore, SeatGeek, Ticketfly and Demantra. With over 18 years of experience, her blog features a wealth of useful insights on startups, market analysis and of course, the role of data, big and otherwise.
Early bird Partner, Ciaran O’leary is the Berlin VC in question here. With over eight years of experience in investment, some of his picks include 6wunderkinder, madvertise, Moped, simfy and Peak Games. Featuring a range of posts on investments and startups, Ciaran also offers a great insight into Berlin’s growing tech and startup scene as well some thoughts on the wider European scene.