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

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  2,540 ratings  ·  240 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
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Portfolio (first published 2019)
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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
Piyush Rathi
Having being intrigued by the world of VCs lately, especially Sequoia and a16z, this was a good introduction into how their world works. The book explains why and how different stakeholders do what they do, and how the landscape is evolving.

Would have appreciated the book more if it wasn't so US centric and dealt less with the legality of things.
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.
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, finance
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. ...more
Roberto Charvel
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are three books that I want to read about the VC and start up culture. "The hard thing about hard things: building a business when there are no easy answers" by Ben Horowitz, Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It by Scott Kupor) and "What you do is who you are" by Ben Horowitz.

I have already written a review about The hard thing about hard things book which I think is probably the best entrepreneurial management book I have ever read. This book (Secrets of Sand Hill
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
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
Tim O'Hearn
Jan 18, 2022 rated it liked it
Back in college we did a Silicon Valley trip that involved visiting a16z and hearing Scott talk for 30 minutes. Probably because my college endowment invested in a16z, but I can't be sure. I found him to be very insightful especially in a room filled with such expensive modern artwork. So when I saw that he published a book I resolved that I would one day read it. It was actually really boring and though this space is far from crowded I don't see what it added on top of Venture Deals, which was ...more
Prakhar Gupta
Jan 11, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always wanted to know more about Andreessen Horowitz. Good finding. Starts with the basics and build up to the details.
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
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
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
Mell Aguiar
Apr 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A good introduction to venture capital. I especially liked the use of court cases to demonstrate the weight of fiduciary duties

The term sheet chapters were a little hard to get through but he made things fairly clear

I wish he had expanded on the last part, though... He points out that companies are staying private longer, meaning that regular people who want to buy public stock lose out on a lot of the major growth (as companies are getting initial funding from investors in the private market)
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
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
Juhana Karlsson
Feb 14, 2022 rated it really liked it
This is probably the best book in the entrepreneurship/business category that I've read thus far, and should be mandatory reading for any startup founder who is looking for funding. The technical twists and turns of venture capital financing are explained in a very clear and approachable manner, and the economic incentives of different stakeholders start to make sense. The focus is on the VC industry specifically in the US, but that's understandable given the author's background, and it also hel ...more
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.
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. ...more
Peter S
Feb 08, 2022 rated it really liked it
This is worth reading for anyone wishing to be involved in venture or a venture backed start-up. Helpful nuances are explained, and pages are seldom wasted. I would estimate about a quarter of the book focused on legal issues, which I particularly enjoyed.
João Del Valle
Feb 09, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
Nice practical knowledge on the influence and interests from different parties in venture deals. From term sheet to exit, the book discusses how GPs and LPs interests have a key role in the decision making process of a company.
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.
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. ...more
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)
Alexandra Zhang
Nov 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wish I could give it an extra star!
Tina Haibodi
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: technology
Might officially be one of my favourite books on VC
Cody Rioux
Aug 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Very readable high level overview of Venture Capital from an A16Z employee. A lighter read than Venture Deals, less detailed, but very worth the read. The chapter on pitching was notably useful in distilling down what really matters, the discussions on conflicts of interest in the later chapters were also particularly useful.
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!
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