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

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,420 ratings  ·  151 reviews
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 Horo
...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Portfolio (first published 2019)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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Ben Horowitz
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book if you want to learn about Venture Capital!!
Wendy Liu
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Decent primer on an industry that needs to be abolished
Manik Patil
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sand Hill Road is for Silicon Valley in the same way as Hollywood is for Actors, Wall Street is for investment bankers, Music Row is for country music artists. The name of the book is catchy. The book was a recommended read by a fellow angel investor.

Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It hardly has any secrets . Scott Kupor's stated intent to write the book seems noble. He wanted to level the playing field for entrepreneur vis-a-vis their VC counterparts to avoid pollut
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Asif
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book. I started this with worries that much of the stuff might be a complete repetition as I read a bunch of other books on the subject. However, I feel that it had enough new content for me to justify the time spent reading.
Alex
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance, business
Thoughtfully laid out and fairly comprehensive, though probably not necessary if one has already read Feld's "Venture Deals" which covers much the same subject matter.
Marina Gurevich
Well, it’s a useful book. Especially for those who are new to VCs. But.... although useful, I found the style somewhat arrogant. And yes, a16z, can afford it, but it isn’t classy. Also found the comments about the wife somewhat chauvinistic and diminishing to smart women out there. Obviously a smart *wife* may know as much about working for a startup vs paycheck/mortgage/kid as a smart man (“I passed the IQ test”). Especially when a startup is a VC with two very established men. Survival bias + ...more
Chris
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good comprehensive overview of how venture capital works. Would recommend for any participant in early-stage universe.

One area that jumped out as not covered in the book was how VC firms function day to day on sourcing and deciding on deals. Would have been interested to hear Scott’s view of the typical interaction between entrepreneur and VC in fundraising process - e.g. number of meetings, number of people at the firm that you meet, deal approval process, role of junior / mid-level people, how
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Evan
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Poorly written but rich in content. A 101 & 201 on how to read term sheets.. but just as boring as it sounds. Fell far short of Horowitz style of utilizing narratives to make a point, as Kupor gives tactical advice on how to raise money, theoretically ...more
Tõnu Vahtra
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
The best book on VC's that I have read so far, written by a managing partner at Andreessen Horowitz. It covers the VC lifecycle from selection until cashing out and what considerations are important in every phase of this journey. For example when planning how much money to raise then a startup should already foresee the next funding round and then plan for sufficient runway, detailed breakdown of term sheets, also many thoughts about ownership structures and effects of dilution.

“Ben Horowitz u
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Bartosz Majewski
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Since I advise startups on strategy I need a ton of context to everything connected to it. Fundraising, finance, law, corporate governance are sometimes part of it. Since I'm no expert in those topics I often refer founders to lawyers, accountants, and VCs to help. But sometimes that's not possible and therefore I need to educate myself to serve my clients better.

That was my purpose to read this book. It's clearly a part of a "We are a media company monetizing through venture capital" approach o
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Vanessa Princessa
I read this book thanks to Blinkist.

I learned so much from this. It’s a process that start-ups go through that I didn’t even know existed! Very unique book for me.

The key message in these blinks:

With the advent of countless new tech start-ups in the early 2000s, the relationship between venture capitalists (VCs) and entrepreneurs changed significantly. Nowadays, one of the main characteristics VCs look for in companies is a founder who has unique insight into the problem his product is trying to
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Nishit Asnani
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Scott Kupor writes in a fluid, easy-to-understand language, and explains the incentive structure of the venture capital industry and most of the other stakeholders in the formation and existence of a venture-backed company. I think it does a good job at what it set out to do, and points to interesting cases while discussing the duties and obligations of board members in the context of a private company.

Would recommend for aspiring entrepreneurs - the book might be a bit too US (and Silicon Vall
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Tauri
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"“It’s not about the money. It’s about the F-ing money.” Enough said."
Cash plays a critical role in a startup’s life cycle and the book gives the reader the essential tools to understand the main talking points, terms, many legal and financial nuances and basic and more advanced know-how of how to approach a VC, where to focus and how to succeed in your fundraising and VC interaction. In my opinion the book is a must read for everyone in the venture capital industry and especially everyone runni
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Racha Gh
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
The challenge with this book was that I read Venture Deals by Brad Feld just a week before reading this book, so the first half felt super repetitive - but page 170 onwards brought in some fresh perspective and examples that added great insight.
Cristina
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: impact-investing
The best Venture Capital playbook I have read so far. Very helpful for those who want to venture in the venture world (oh no I didn't) and understand the WHY, WHAT and HOW. I will go back to it many times.
John Stepper
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
It could easily be a textbook for a course on venture capital, and yet it’s told in a very human, accessible, balanced way that I enjoyed it and learned oh so much.
Sim Xing
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great handbook book to understand the incentives and logic behind various parties in the venture capital world.
Ethan
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
It was good to get into the incentives of a "typical" well known VC and how the lens on they view the world. A book written by a VC will of course be biased.
Lincoln
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very American but still enjoyed it, another one of those books that will make sense when your starting to build or building your company. Similar book would be Elad Gil book (High Growth Handbook)
Navin Valrani
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a lot more “technical” than the title suggests but just a must-have in the library for anyone seeking to be a VC or raise money from one. One word of caution: it is very US-centric!
Danial Riaz
This book does require a cup of coffee with it because it's packed with a lot of information on financial concepts but! in Kupor's defense, he does a really good job at making these ideas more accessible to the layman. If you think of it as a kind of a story book/ self-help book that will walk you through the process of getting enough capital to kick-start your grand business ideas, you'll actually be able to go through this swiftly.

Kupor's intentions are admirable, he thinks that there is an i
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Nedret Efe
Aug 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Practical and comprehensive (GPs & LPs, VC lifecycle, term sheets, share structures, governance), but not very well written ...more
Fred Haney
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I knew when I first heard about Scott Kupor’s “Secrets of Sand Hill Road“ I would want to write
a review of it. For one thing, very few top-tier venture capitalists have written books about
venture capital, which has remained a fairly well kept, if not intentional, secret. My theory is
that most of the top VCs are too busy becoming billionaires to write about it.
My second reason for wanting to write about this book is that over a period of 20 years I spent
a significant percentage of my time in Sili
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Nicholas
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great intro into the VC world focused on founders/startup operators as it's audience, taking it further than Venture Deals with regards to VC structuring and slightly easier read than The Business of Venture Capital (which has more of an aspiring VC audience in mind I believe - and i highly recommend!)

Not really for anyone who is familiar with VC funds and how they operate though.
Michael Downey
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Silicon Valley contains the greatest concentration of high-tech activity in the world. In an area
of less than 50 square miles, there are over 2000 high technology companies and at least 60
venture capital firms. This results in a very concentrated excitement and buzz around technology and new startup companies. it is difficult to understand if you haven’t been part of
it—if you haven’t seen restaurants full of executives and VCs, networking events with a high
concentration of investors, the steady
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Philip Joubert
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Secrets of Sand Hill Road is an introduction to the world of venture capital, written specifically for first-time founders. Overall the content is fairly similar to Venture Deals, but with better structure and presented in a simpler manner. You are not going to be learning any secrets - this is the 101 of venture capital.

If you're looking for a step-by-step book on raising VC funding for your startup then look elsewhere. The book does covers all the key players, legal agreements and incentives
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Marco
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
To me it was insightful: mostly about the technicalities and legal documents (term sheet et al). I think it's a valid book for anyone who wants to get serious on getting financed by Venture Capital.
Some chapters weren't helpful/meaningful to me (like the one talking about his fund - a16z - or his previous experience as an entrepreneur, but I get that it was mandatory, and I would have probably done the same
Jose Miguel Porto
For anyone who want to get familiarized with venture capital this is a recommended reading. For those who know about VC this book will refresh certain concepts and bring to your attention of the economics and drives behind VC firms to have a better understanding on how best to structure your VC round. The author has made a good job at making an easy read of a dense topics - a VC term sheet.
Adam Sherman
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great intro to VC 101 book. Teaches you the common mistakes founders make when working with venture capital firms and really dissects and gets into the nuts and bolts of the most common concepts on a term sheet. Great for anyone starting a company that might need VC money, or someone just getting into the VC landscape.
Mikal
Nov 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is effectively a reference book.
Not as interesting or useful to read cover to cover but definitely worth reviewing the outline and many sections at different stages in a startups life cycle.

But a book on how to get funding that completely exclude the intro, pitch and due diligence seems like it's missing a few sections.
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