Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It

by: Scott Kupor (0)

A Wall Street Journal Bestseller!

What are venture capitalists saying about your startup behind closed doors? And what can you do to influence that conversation?

If Silicon Valley is the greatest wealth-generating machine in the world, Sand Hill Road is its humming engine. That's where you'll find the biggest names in venture capital, including famed VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, where lawyer-turned-entrepreneur-turned-VC Scott Kupor serves as managing partner.

Whether you're trying to get a new company off the ground or scale an existing business to the next level, you need to understand how VCs think. In
Secrets of Sand Hill Road, Kupor explains exactly how VCs decide where and how much to invest, and how entrepreneurs can get the best possible deal and make the most of their relationships with VCs. Kupor explains, for instance:

   • Why most VCs typically invest in only one startup in a given business category.

   • Why the skill you need most when raising venture capital is the ability to tell a compelling story.

   • How to handle a "down round," when startups have to raise funds at a lower valuation than in the previous round.

   • What to do when VCs get too entangled in the day-to-day operations of the business.

   • Why you need to build relationships with potential acquirers long before you decide to sell.

Filled with Kupor's firsthand experiences, insider advice, and practical takeaways,
Secrets of Sand Hill Road is the guide every entrepreneur needs to turn their startup into the next unicorn.

The Reviews

Maps VC investing

If I were to describe Scott Kupor’s Secrets of Sand Hill Road in a word, it would be “mistitled.” A more appropriate title would be something along the lines of The Basics of Sand Hill Road. The book does a solid enough job of covering the entire venture backed startup lifecycle in an easy to follow way. However, it’s hard to see how one could classify Kupor’s writing as revealing secrets.Here and there, Kupor shares some really cool legal case studies that I’ve never come across, such as in the chapter about board member duties. Now that’s quality insight even someone who’s been in the ecosystem for 5+ years can appreciate! And it’s also something that Kupor, a lawyer by training, is particularly well positioned to share. I sincerely wish we’d gotten more of those case studies, legal or otherwise, because they make the whole journey through the startup lifecycle all the more interesting.Instead, Kupor at times dons the Captain Obvious cape, with pronouncements such as “building relationships [with potential acquirers] is important.” Thanks, Scott, who would’ve thought?!At the same time though, I recognize I may not be the target audience for this book. Kupor likely synthesized versions of startup/VC classes he teaches at Bay Area universities. I could imagine a sophomore at another university (one not smack dab in the middle of VC country) reading this book and finding it quite helpful, as she decides whether to found a startup and pursue the venture funding route.It’s worth mentioning though that a significant share of the same content is also covered in Jeff Bussgang’s Mastering The VC Game. And while I haven’t read it, I’ve heard very positive things about Brad Feld’s Venture Deals. In all likelihood, reading either of these three books is probably a good enough basics crash course on venture funding of startups.

Wow. As soon as I heard about this book I knew I was going to read it. But I had low expectations. I'd heard the author promoting his book on several podcasts and when I heard him say things like, "In my book, I pull back the curtain and reveal the secrets used at VC firms," I prepared myself for disappointment.Boy, was I pleasantly surprised to be wrong!-The author breaks down all the lingo, jargon, and highfalutin finance double-speak that sounds made up to the layman-He helps you understand not just the relationship between the VC and the startup, but also the relationship between the VC and the LP-You get to see the incentive structures LP's and VC's typically agree on, helping you (the entrepreneur) understand what motivates all the parties involved-The book provides a mock term sheet with realistic numbers and devotes a chapter to each section of the term sheetI could go on and on....This definitely isn't a casual read - especially once it gets to the sample term sheet. The book can dive deep into details and abstractions (there were several sections I had to read multiple times - but I guess that's why I'm not a VC!), and that's exactly what makes it so enjoyable to read.

The book has been suggested to me as an elective lecture at school. I am pleasantly surprised how well it is written. I was expecting another boring business book, but this is a must read for anyone interested in VC world. The book reads like a good novel and you don't even notice when you finish one chapter after another. I leared so much and I am sure I will be returning to this book many times in the future.

A great primer for the uneducated about Venture Capital firms.Explains VC incentives and !imitations and thus how and why VC's are likely to act.Answers questions about whether VC is the right choice for your particular circumstances.

As managing partner at Marc Andreessen’s VC fund a16z, Scott Kupor possesses the expertise and experience (he also teaches at Stanford Law and Haas Business School) to have written a very dry explication of the niceties of VC funding, if he’d wanted to. Fortunately, he decided instead to write a lucidly accessible, direct, and even sometimes entertaining explication brimming with low-key authority.

A bokk full of extremely useful information for anyone adventuring in the world of startups. All concept are very well explained with a simple and elegant narration.

This book won't actually teach you how to get money from VCs but it will give you the guidelines you need to approach fund raising properly. However, this is a book that should be read by anyone wanting to approach VCs for funding. It is a very good overview of the industry that explains the jargon, operations and motivations of VCs. The price of this book is so low for the value it gives that there is no reason not to buy it if you are even contemplating interfacing with the VC community.

I learned a lot from it about big VC's and how they view deals as well as a bunch of technical points on shareholder agreements, options, and the like. A pretty good reference to have around.

Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It
⭐ 4.6 💛 639
kindle: $9.99
paperback: $21.29
hardcover: $9.29
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