Day 2 – Five Lessons A Day

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Last Friday decided that I wanted to begin reading blogs of famous Venture Capitalists. The reason I decided to do this was because of a blog post I read by Marc Andreessen. Here’s the URL: http://pmarchive.com/guide_to_startups_part3.html. He stated that in order to receive money from VC funding for your startup, you must be able to think like a venture capitalist. This statement really spoke to me, and I, being a lover of life-long learning, decided that one of the best ways to get inside the heads of VCs is to read their blogs. This way, I’d be able to understand the way they think, the things that motivate them, and what they look for in the companies they end up funding. VCs do entrepreneurs a tremendous favor by blogging, and any entrepreneur that doesn’t take advantage of looking into the minds of VCs are at a disadvantage.

I took a systematic approach in deciding which VC blogs I would read. Eventually, I’d love to read the blogs of every VC, but I needed a place to start. So I began Googling lists for the top VC blogs to read. Each list would give me slightly different answers as to which VC blogs are worthwhile. I ended up reading six articles that contained lists of blogs that entrepreneurs should read. To give you an example of the types of articles I read, I looked for articles titled something like, “10 VC Blogs to Read if you are an Entrepreneur”, or “17 Must Read VC Blogs if you are Trying to Fund your Startup.” While reading each article, I opened up a spreadsheet and kept a tally of each VC blog and the amount of times they were mentioned in the lists. This allowed me to build a list with over forty VC blogs, and to sort them by the most mentioned to the least mentioned. After reading six articles to populate my spreadsheet, I was able to choose which blog to start reading. It turned out that Fred Wilson’s AVC blog and Mark Suster’s Both Sides of the Table blog were the most mentioned. I ended up starting here.

I typed Fred Wilson’s blog in the URL (http://avc.com/) and began looking at the blog archive. It was overwhelming. He had forty to fifty categories, ranging from “VC and Technology” to “Entrepreneurship” to “Food and Drink” to “Sports”. ‘Where would I start?’ I asked myself. I figured since I wanted to learn about his perspectives on venture capital and entrepreneurship, I’d begin at either the “VC and Technology” or “Entrepreneurship” categories. As it turned out, however, “VC and Technology” had over 3500 posts, and “Entrepreneurship” had a little over a hundred posts. That’s a lot of reading to do, i thought. So I decided to challenge myself. What if I just read 5 articles per day? Each blog post is a five to ten minute read, so taking into account another 5 minutes per blog to digest my thoughts, and another minute to find another blog post, I could easily read 5 blog posts in an hour or so. If I just dedicated an hour a day to learning from VCs by reading their blogs, I’d be able to read nearly two thousand posts in a year! That’s two thousand different lessons and insights from the people who ultimately decide whether your business has the potential to make a significant impact in a given industry! Sounds like a great deal to me, and it’s something that I’ll add to my daily routine.

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