June, 30 / 2022

5 Best Venture Capital Books Nominated By The World's Top VCs

One of the best things about investing and entrepreneurship is that you never stop learning.
Every day we, at Dialllog CRM, talk to investors around the world to learn about their workflow and use every opportunity to learn from these conversations.

Recently we asked dozens of VCs about their favorite books on venture capital. So if you're looking for the best venture capital books, look no further! Sharing with you the list of five of them that came up again and again on top of the list in 2023.

From tales of triumph to cautionary stories and top VC investing strategies, these books cover it all. So whether you're just getting started in venture capital or you're a seasoned veteran, there's something for everyone on this list.
Pro Tip

When diving into the world of Venture Capital and exploring the best VC books out there, don't forget to leverage the power of Dialllog - the first project-based Venture Capital CRM. Remember, it's not just about consuming information but also applying it effectively.

What is Venture Capital?

Venture capital (VC) is a type of private equity financing that is provided by venture capitalists to startups and small businesses that are deemed to have high growth potential. Venture capitalists typically invest in companies that are in their early stages of development and are considered to be high-risk, high-reward investments.

There are a few different ways that venture capitalists can provide funding to startups, including equity financing, debt financing, or a combination of both. VCs usually invest in companies that are in high-growth industries such as technology, healthcare, and clean energy. They may also invest in companies that are addressing large market opportunities. In general, venture capitalists look for companies that have the potential to generate high returns on their investments.

5 Best Venture Capital Books

Follow the list below if you're wondering what are the best books for venture capital:

1. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

Best venture capital book - Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
Author: Peter Thiel & Blake Masters

Where better to start the list of the top venture capital books than with Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and the first outsider to invest in Facebook? This is a brief but informative book to change how you view Venture Capital. Forget everything you know about deal flow and stop listening to pitches that intend to enter an already competitive marketplace. Instead, pay attention to pitches that create a new market – these are the visionaries that might be worth supporting.

Of course, Thiel knows there's more to a pitch than identifying a new market, which is what makes this perhaps the best Venture Capital book out there. It's ruthless in demonstrating how even a good idea might not be worth funding without the right tech stack and people behind it. It explores the role of Venture Capital by industry, helping readers understand how to choose an industry and understand the risk associated with their niche.

Zero to One is a short but compelling book, which makes it an excellent introduction for aspiring venture capitalists before you move on to the denser material. Coming from someone with an intimate understanding of the tech stack and a proven history of managing deal flow successfully, this is simply one of the best books to learn about venture capital. You'll learn something new every time you revisit it.

2. VC: An American History

VC: An American History book
VC: An American History by Tom Nicholas
Author: Tom Nicholas

Are you a budding VC looking for the top venture capital books to give you an investing crash course? Get your groans out of the way because this book isn't it – it's time for a history lesson.

This is a history lesson you'll need if you want to hone your venture capital skills and understand the nature of a volatile and challenging industry. Remember: limited learning is a dangerous thing, and a crash course will most likely lead you to, well, a crash.

In a sense, VC: An American History is a brutal chronicle of the history of failure. It documents the rise of venture capital in the U.S. over centuries and relentlessly exposes how the pursuit of wild gains at long odds has ruined naive investors. This makes it one of the best books on venture capital investing for beginners: you need to know what you're getting into. You need to know how many fall by the wayside.

Like all good histories, this book is also an essential practical guide. Tom Nicholas is the William J. Abernathy Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and knows his stuff – the book illustrates every type of mistake your predecessors have made and how these pitfalls are inviting for VCs and allows you to learn from them.

At every level of a deal flow, there's an error waiting to consign you to the wrong side of history, and there's always an example of someone who has made that mistake before. As you read, keep track of every time an investor has gone wrong and consider why it happened. As in chess, "no wrong moves" is the mantra of investing.

The story is carried by Nicholas' likable tone and fascination with VC's relationship with the American spirit. It's also a fair analysis, giving credit to the unbelievable success stories that have emerged along the way. This is one of the best books about venture capital because it's both a sobering history lesson and an inspiring call to action – VC: An American History is mandatory reading for anyone in the industry.

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

Secrets of Sand Hill Road book: Venture Capital and How to Get It
Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It by Scott Kupor
Author: Scott Kupor

With a title straight that compels you from the start and input from a breathtaking range of startup founders, Secrets of Sand Hill Road is jam-packed with useful information and is hands-down one of the best books on VC funding out there. It's essential reading both for investors and founders, as it explains the relationship between parties in Venture Capital and describes how this has evolved. It helps each party understand the motives, needs, and behaviors of the other.

It describes how VCs are more involved than ever in the genesis of startups, but equally, this is less about their financial input and more about their ability to guide a business. It's a top book on startup funding because it observes that direct funding is only part of what a successful VC needs to bring to a startup: venture capitalists need to understand the tech stack if they want to work with the most promising startups rather than simply waving dollar bills in the air.

Scott Kupor is the managing partner at Andreessen Horowitz and a key player in the firm's continuing success. It would've been easy for this book to turn into a memoir, which still would've been full of helpful information – however, he goes out of his way to draw on the experience of a diverse range of experts to paint a complete picture of startup funding today.

This book is excellent for anyone who wants a better understanding of deal flow and how VCs and founders can work together for more profitable relationships today. It's filled with first-hand accounts from founders and insights demonstrating this relationship's changing nature and should be one of the first venture capital books in your shopping cart.

4. The Art of Startup Fundraising: Pitching Investors, Negotiating the Deal, and Everything Else Entrepreneurs Need to Know

The Art of Startup Fundraising - one of the best books on Venture capital startups
The Art of Startup Fundraising by Alejandro Cremades
Author: Alejandro Cremades

This is a thoughtful and well-researched book on negotiating VC deal flow in the digital age. It focuses on identifying and avoiding mistakes most commonly made by venture capitalists. What sets this book apart from the crowd is that it provides vital information on how legal and technological movements have simultaneously opened doors for VCs and presented a fresh set of hazards and pitfalls.

Cremades draws on his legal background and experience in digital fundraising to offer articulate, watertight guidance on why online fundraising is more viable than ever before and how it presents challenges to the unwary. This is one of the top books for venture capitalists regarding startup funding because it shows how easy it is for founders to find "bad money" online while offering a glimpse of the benefits if they understand how to negotiate the territory.

5. Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist

Venture Deals book: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist
Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Jason Mendelson and Brad Feld
Author: Jason Mendelson & Brad Feld

No list of the top venture capital books would be complete without Venture Deals. Mendelson and Feld are founding partners at Foundry Group and know every trick in the book regarding funding startups and optimizing deal flow – and they've been kind enough to publish the book so that the rest of us can learn the tricks.

Take the title with a pinch of salt. The authors know and explain in detail that believing that you're smarter than your lawyer is one of the top pitfalls for aspiring entrepreneurs and VCs. This book is a practical guide to furnishing yourself with the kind of legal education that will help you work with your lawyer to find yourself negotiating with the right people and getting the best deal from those parties.

Venture Deals underlines a consistent theme of the best venture capital books – you need to know the deal from every angle. A VC needs to think like an entrepreneur and a lawyer. A founder must understand the tech stack and what a VC is interested in. This book is a fantastic starting point for developing that knowledge.

The Benefits of Venture Capital

Venture capitalists are always on the lookout for new and innovative companies to invest in, and they are willing to take risks that most other investors aren't. That's because they know that the potential rewards of a successful investment can be huge. While there are certainly some risks involved in venture capital investing, the potential rewards more than make up for them.

Some of the benefits of venture capital investing include:

The potential for high returns

One of the biggest reasons to invest in venture capital is the potential for high returns. Because venture capitalists are investing in young, high-growth companies, they have the potential to see their investment grow exponentially.


By investing in a venture capital fund, you can spread your risk across a number of different companies and industries.

Access to high-growth companies

Another benefit of venture capital investing is that it provides investors with access to high-growth companies that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to invest in. Because these companies are often too small or too risky for traditional investors, they are only available to venture capitalists.

A hands-off approach

Unlike traditional businesses, venture-backed companies are typically professionally managed by experienced entrepreneurs and executives. As an investor, you can simply sit back and let the professionals do the work while you enjoy the potential rewards.

Risks Associated with Venture Capital

Venture capital is a high-risk investment, and there are several risks associated with it. First and foremost, most venture capitalists invest in early-stage companies, which are often unproven and may have limited operating history. This makes it difficult to assess their true value and potential for success.

Another risk associated with venture capital is the potential for conflicts of interest between the venture capitalist and the entrepreneur. For example, if the venture capitalist is also an active board member or executive at the company, they may be more inclined to make decisions that are in their own best interests, rather than what is best for the company.

Lastly, venture capital is a highly competitive industry, and there is always the risk that a better-funded or more experienced venture capitalist will swoop in and steal a deal away from an inexperienced one.

Despite these risks, venture capital can be a lucrative investment for those who are willing to take on the challenge.

The History of Venture Capital

The history of venture capital is often traced back to J. H. Doolittle's investment in a small California-based company called the American Gold Mining Company in 1848. Since then, there have been many notable figures and firms involved in the development of the venture capital industry. Dartmouth College professor Frederick Rudolph founded the first formal venture capital firm, American Research and Development Corporation (ARDC), in 1946.

The modern venture capital industry began to take shape in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1973, Georges Doriot, the "father of venture capitalism," founded the first major venture capital firm, Invesco. Doriot's firm was soon followed by other firms such as Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia Capital, and Warburg Pincus. The 1980s and 1990s were a golden age for venture capital.

In 1984, the industry saw the birth of one of its most successful firms, Benchmark Capital. During this time, many notable investments were made, such as in Apple, Genentech, and Sun Microsystems. The industry continued to grow in the 2000s, with the number of firms more than doubling from 2000 to 2010.

Today, venture capital is a global industry with firms headquartered around the world. The United States continues to be the largest market for venture capital, with California being home to the majority of firms.

Some of the most successful venture-backed companies include Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon.com. Venture capital is an important source of financing for startup companies and small businesses.
Pro Tip

As you embark on your reading adventure, don't forget to make Dialllog your trusty companion. Book a live 1:1 demo and it will help you unlock the full potential of the best VC books and accelerate your growth as a successful venture capitalist.

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Best Books to Learn About Venture Capital: Final Thoughts

There you have it, the best venture capital books available today. Whether you're a startup founder looking to raise money or an experienced VC looking to sharpen your skills, these books will give you the insights and guidance you need. Do you have a favorite venture capital book that's not on this list? Let us know in the comments below.

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