- Jerry Kaplan, Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure (1994). The story of Go Corporation, founded in 1987 to develop one of the first tablet computers. Go had every advantage: Experienced entrepreneurs, brilliant technologists, and $75 million in venture capital. And yet it couldn’t get any traction. Fascinating reading in light of the phenomenal success of the iPad twenty years later.
- C. Gordon Bell, High Tech Ventures: The Guide for Entrepreneurial Success (1991). Bell was one of the engineers who built Digital Equipment Corporation, the disruptive innovator of its day. A useful guide to understanding what it takes to turn a promising technology or product into a successful business—the first does not automatically generate the second.
- Geoffrey Moore, Crossing the Chasm (1991). The classic analysis of the cycle of technology marketing. Coined the phrase “crossing the chasm” for the difficult task of moving from tech-savvy early adopters to the mainstream market.
- Bob Zider, How Venture Capital Works (Harvard Business Review, Nov-Dec 1998). A primer on the venture capital business and the economic realities that drive it.
- Brad Feld & Jason Mendelson, Venture Deals (2012). An up-to-date compendium of everything you ever wanted to know about venture capital, including valuation, term sheets, and how venture deals are structured.
Raise capital and get big fast like Amazon.com? (The “big bang” model.) Or grow organically like Ben & Jerry’s? For a discussion of the pros and cons of each model, see Strategy Letter I: Ben and Jerry’s vs. Amazon – Joel on Software. Required reading for entrepreneurs.