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Friday, March 25, 2011


The Startup Game by William H. Draper III - Book review

The Startup Game

Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs

By: William H. Draper III

Published: January 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
ISBN-10: 9780230104860
ISBN-13: 978-0230104860
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

"When people ask me whether venture capitalists are born or self-made, I tend to waffle. I suspect it's a little bit of both, with definite shading toward the self-made", writes pioneering venture capitalist and founder of Sutter Hill Ventures in Palo Alto, California, William H. Draper III, in his fascinating and insightful book The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs. The author describes, from both sides of the table, the intimate and often challenging relationship between the venture capitalist and the entrepreneur.

William Draper shares his extensive experience as a long time venture capitalist. He provides stories of successes, that include household name companies including Skype and Hotmail, and how and why those investments worked so well. Perhaps, even more importantly, the author describes his failed investments as well. There are critical lessons, for both investors and entrepreneurs, to be learned from the mistakes as well as the success stories. William Draper offers both the bright lights and losing investments, to show how the venture capital industry really works, for both the investing firm and the entrepreneur. Along with the author's insider perspective on how venture capital really works, is a description of why venture capital is of critical importance to the present and future of business.

William H. Draper III (photo left)n understands the symbiotic and mutually supporting partnership between entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Ideas need money to fund them and to transform them into viable wealth building companies. Investors need great entrepreneurs and their teams to generate more capital for further growth investments. William Draper provides ample evidence of how the partnership between entrepreneurs and venture capitalists enhances economic growth and strengthens the economy. At the same time, the author describes how venture capitalists can partner with global entrepreneurs to develop businesses to build more robust economies around the world. Throughout the book, the author shares his failures and bad investments as object lessons as to the nature of both entrepreneurship and the life of the venture capitalist. As William Draper points out so honestly, and with total candor, there will always be huge losses in many if not most of the investments made in emerging companies. As a result, the book also offers advice for both entrepreneurs and venture capitalists for increasing the odds of success.

For me, the power of the book is how William Draper provides an engaging and personal account of his career as a venture capitalist, international business leader, and philanthropist, that also shares valuable lessons on the role of the venture capitalist and entrepreneurial partnership in building the economy. The author presents a clear eyed view of what the venture capitalist does, how that role is filled, and why they make their many investment decisions.

William Draper removes some of the mystery and even the mystique that so often surrounds the venture capitalist firm, and opens their mode of thinking and operations to the reader. For the entrepreneur, the information on what venture capitalists seek in terms of opportunities, what is expected of the entrepreneur, and how decisions are reached, make this book an indispensable resource. Wrapped up in an entertaining narrative, with the added bonus of the author's thoughts on helping others, the information in this book is both enjoyable to read and to understand.

I highly recommend the intriguing and very informative book The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs by William H. Draper III, to entrepreneurs seeking real world advice from one of the truly great venture capitalists. The experience and practical advice shared in this fine book are priceless for anyone seeking investment through a venture capitalist. The book is also an excellent guide for practicing venture capitalists, as the wisdom of a seasoned expert in the industry, will improve their investment performance as well.

Read the passionate gem of a book The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs by William H. Draper III, and discover the world of venture capitalists where collaboration with entrepreneurs and their ideas, can and will build a growing economy that benefits everyone.

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