What should I read if I am interested in venture capital?

Welcome to the Wall Street Oasis Reading List for Venture Capital. Please email [email protected] if you think we should add in additional publications to our Recommended Reading.

The Easy Reads section contains books meant to give a general idea about a career or industry. Technical Reads are meant for people with some business experience or with some exposure to the industry, and it may include more technical writing. The Career Jump-Start section focuses on literature that will help you get a job, including: interviews guides, firm/recruiter lists, and/or compensation data.

Easy ReadsTechnical ReadsCareer Jump-Start
Mastering the VC GameRaising Venture CapitalGuide to VC
Creative CapitalTerm Sheets & ValuationsBehavioral Interview Guide
Masters of VCVC Due DilligenceTechnical Interview Guide
The Startup GameInternship Guide

Easy Reads

Mastering the VC Game: A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get from Start-up to IPO on Your Terms

by Jeffrey Bussgang

This will be an exciting starting point for those that may be interested in finding their way into venture capital. It gives an insider's perspective on everything from what makes a good VC firm to how to be a good venture capitalist. If you're not sure you have what it takes, you'll find out by the time you're done with this book.

Brad Feld (Managing Partner, <span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/foundry-group>Foundry Group</a></span>):

Jeff Bussgang has written the definitive book on how venture capital works. I've read a lot of books on this subject, was an entrepreneur for 10 years and have been a VC for 15 years. Jeff's book is by far the best to date on this subject.

Drea Knufken (<span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/amazon>Amazon</a></span&gt; Review):

As someone unfamiliar with the industry, I found Bussgang's book to be an excellent oversight of how VC works. If I were to go and actually pursue a venture capitalist, I'd want more details, like a database of VC companies or a step-by-step plan on what exactly I need to put together in my pitch. But Mastering the VC Game was a most approachable starting point.

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Creative Capital: Georges Doriot and the Birth of Venture Capital

by Spencer E. Ante

What better ways are there to learn about an industry other than to read about the "creator" of that industry? There aren't many. Ante's book is an interesting look at how a French General became the father of venture capital

James W. Breyer (Managing Partner, <span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/accel-partners>Accel Partners</a></span>):

One of the premier technology and financial journalists working today, Ante has written the definitive history of the birth of venture capital through the extraordinary figure of Georges Doriot. Anyone who is interested in innovation, entrepreneurship, or the roots of America's start-up economy must read this book.

Patrick J. McGovern (Founder and Chairman, International Data Group):

Georges Doriot's remarkable ability to inspire entrepreneurs and his keen understanding of the business development process allowed him to create and shape the venture capital industry. Spencer Ante's brilliantly written book is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand this unique individual and his key contributions to the development of our modern economy.

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The Masters of Private Equity and Venture Capital

by Walter Finkel and David Greising

We already put this down under the private equity recommended reading, but it needs to be added again. Co-authored by Founder and President of Chicago PE firm Prism Capital Robert Finkel, this collection of interviews with top private equity managers is sure to intrigue and excite anyone interested in the private equity space.

Ellen Carnahan (<span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/amazon>Amazon</a></span&gt; Review):

I have been a partner in the Venture Capital business my entire career - over twenty years. I have kept a personal list of "lessons learned" from my investment experience; and, I have read many of the books in the category. By far, this is the very best book in all respects.

W Emmanuel (<span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/amazon>Amazon</a></span&gt; Review):

The Masters of Private Equity and Venture Capital is a great book for anyone (student or professional) interested in the VC/PE industry. It was written by two individuals: a talented business journalist, skilled at explaining business ideas, and by a private equity master, who is known, proven, and well respected in the industry. The book offers insights, advice, and lessons directly from the proven leaders who run the PE/VC industry. I first read the book after graduating undergrad, using it as a reference tool when networking with industry execs. As a young professional, I often refer to the book, prior to business meetings with clients.

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The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs

William H. Draper

When the Executive Chairman of Google writes a foreword for a book on venture capital, it's time to perk up and pay attention. Draper, one of venture capital's legendary "founding fathers" and an active VC for over 40 years, writes of his experiences with entrepreneurship and venture capital. This is not just another insider piece, this is THE insider piece you've been waiting for.

Eric Schmidt (Chairman and CEO, Google):

Whether you've experienced the joys and pains of Silicon Valley directly or just want to learn from those who have, you can't do better than this firsthand account of the storied three generations of Drapers. Bill has done a huge favor for those of us who are passionate about technology and innovation by chronicling their experiences. Theirs is a tale worth knowing.

Elon Musk (cofounder of Paypal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors):

Bill Draper, who began investing back when Silicon Valley was only known for its fruit orchards, tells the story behind some of the most pivotal companies of the last half-century and offers a fascinating look at the inner workings of the venture capital industry.

President George H.W. Bush:

No single venture capitalist more embodies the best in venture capital; Bill Draper sets the bar high. It is not just his demonstrable success in business, but it is also his high ethical standards that earn him the respect and the following that he has in the world of business.

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Technical Reads

Raising Venture Capital for the Serious Entrepreneur

by Dermot Berkery

This "toolbook" covers just about everything you need to know for getting a VC firm up and running. With the help of numerous, detailed charts, case studies, and term sheet exercises, Berkery gives a colorful and interesting explanation of the basics of VC investing.

Thomas Kehoe (<span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/amazon>Amazon</a></span&gt; Review):

Every few pages new ideas would compel me to go to my computer and add stuff or rewrite my business plan, for example, Berkery emphasizes the need for clear milestones. Preston mentioned milestones but didn't make it clear why they are so important. The financials that were briefly presented in Preston's book are thoroughly presented in Berkery's book, for example, what gross margin investors look for (80% or more) and why they need such extremely profitable products or services. Plus you learn the jargon or key phrases of venture capitalists, e.g., 'a large but well signaled market,' the importance of 'market power' and an effective 'route to customers.'

Jules Pieri (<span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/amazon>Amazon</a></span&gt; Review):

The book is incredibly clear...I agree it is not a "VC for Dummies" book, yet a a total novice would indeed be able to navigate the content quite easily. The author has a gift for anticipating reader questions and possible confusion points...probably because he also teaches entrepreneurial finance and has seen all the questions before.

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Term Sheets & Valuations - An Inside Look at the Intricacies of Venture Capital Term Sheets & Valuations

by Alex Wilmerding

Wilmerding, a leading VC with Boston Capital Ventures, gives us the first book on term sheets and valuations of its kind. This is a must-have legal and business aid for anyone interested in venture capital for an investment or a career.

Dan Simmons (<span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/amazon>Amazon</a></span&gt; Review):

This is a first rate book-regardless if you are a seasoned venture capitalist or first time entrepreneur. Having been a venture capitalist for 22 years now, the term sheet in this book is boilerplate-but it is 1 of the 4 boilerplate term sheets every legitimate lawyer/venture capitalist uses as a term sheet-and available for the first time ever in the "public domain." In addition, what makes the book so valauble is the line by line wording and analysis for entrepreneur favorable, investor favorable and neutral. I highly recommend this book to every entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and executive of every level-it is a MUST have on your bookshelf as a timeless reference.

Murray Low (Executive Director, Columbia Business School):

This primer should be required reading for every entrepreneur. It is short, authoritative and worth its weight in gold.

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Venture Capital Due Diligence: A Guide to Making Smart Investment Choices and Increasing Your Portfolio Returns

by Justin J. Camp

This book aims to be the most comprehensive on venture capital due diligence. As far as VC books go, this is about as good as it gets!

Carlos Velez (<span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/amazon>Amazon</a></span&gt; Review):

I think Mr. Camp does a nice job of organizing the key due diligence questions into logical groups (legal, financial, etc.) Indeed, I think a good exercise would be to turn the questions in the book into a template for use during due diligence. I disagree with the earlier comments that there is little value because of his use of secondary sources. I think the opposite...a well-referenced book is always valued. In fact, I'll be looking into some of the references myself! Overall, nicely done.

Steve Johnson:

This is one of the very few genuinely good and resourceful books on venture capital because it not only discusses a broad range of topics, but it does so in detail. I especially enjoyed the thematic approach Mr. Camp used to tie in venture due diligence for entrepreneurs. However, it comes up short on discussing other important topics like in-depth valuations, prospecting for money, and how to grow your business.

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Career Jump-Start

Breaking Into Private Equity and Venture Capital

by Wall Street Oasis

This guide can help you land your dream job in private equity or venture capital by demystifying the notoriously opaque private equity and venture capital recruiting process. The key to breaking into private equity is to plan ahead because private equity recruiting is both highly competitive and formulaic.

Jason Kanner (Managing Partner, BSD Associates):
Daniel Sheyner has written an extremely comprehensive, accurate, and informative synopsis of the private equity industry and getting in its iron doors. It's the best report of its kind that I have seen.

Natalie Matushevsky (Managing Consultant, <span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/michael-page>Michael Page</a></span> Int.):
The Wall Street Oasis private equity & venture capital guide is an excellent overview of how to land you dream job in private equity. In short, it summarizes what it takes to get your foot in the door.

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Technical Interview Guide

by Wall Street Oasis

This 80+ page guide, produced by WSO and written for WSO's users, is a compilation of the most common technical questions encountered in Wall Street interviews.

WSO User banker88:

Just got the new technical guide. By far much better than vault. Very detailed (80+ pages) with charts, graphs, etc. I'll be reading this at least once this summer in prepping for fall interviews.

<span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/goldman-sachs>Goldman Sachs</a></span> S&amp;T VP:

The new Wall Street Oasis Technical Guide provides questions and easy to understand answers for all the questions I typically ask when interviewing a candidate. The additional questions expand the guide, and the new charts are an added bonus for easily remembering the crucial concepts. If a student really knows all the questions in this guide, they are sure to nail the technical section of their interview.

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Behavioral Interview Guide

by Wall Street Oasis

This 56 page guide, produced by WSO and written for WSO's users, is a compilation of over 100+ of the most common behavioral / fit questions encountered in Wall Street interviews with detailed advice and examples.

<span class='keyword_link'><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/credit-suisse>Credit Suisse</a></span> M&amp;A Analyst:

All I can say is I wish I had the Wall Street Oasis Behavioral Guide before I went into my banking interviews. I was well prepared for some of the fit questions that came my way, but others challenged me. With the extensive number of questions in this guide and the sample answers, I would have felt prepared to handle almost anything.

MIT Sloan MBA Student:

I didn't read Wall Street Oasis Technical and Behavioral Interview guides until after my first year in my MBA program, and frankly they contained everything I had spent the last year learning to get a job on the Street. I highly recommend them to anyone preparing for an interview, finance or other. It's a heck of a lot cheaper than an MBA (not to mention faster and more to the point).

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Internship Guide

by Wall Street Oasis

This is a complete guide to getting through your summer internship in finance or consulting. Whether you're wondering what to wear, how to do your work, or how to manage your money, this 30-page guide has it all. Following this guide will make getting through the summer as painless as possible, so that you can have the exciting, rewarding experience you deserve.

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Total Avg Compensation

June 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (35) $364
  • Associates (202) $234
  • 2nd Year Analyst (115) $151
  • Intern/Summer Associate (97) $145
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (27) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (420) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (338) $82