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Bill Venema sent me a copy of his book The Strategic Guide to Selling Your Software Company. If you are a founder of CEO of a software company and you’ve sold less than three companies in your career, this is a must read book. If you’ve sold three or more companies, it’s probably still worth having it on your bookshelf to pull down and look at when you are gearing up for the next sale you are involved in, or to be able to quickly hand it to one of your partners who has sold less than three companies.
I was surprised by the book – most books like this aren’t very good. I struggled through the first few chapters because of the setup – Bill uses a military context to describe how he approaches selling a company (the subtitle – “Essential Advice from a Veteran Deal Warrior” should have given that away to me.) However, once I got about 70 pages in (Chapter 4), I found the rest of the book to be easy to read, highly relevant, and a great basic overview of all the key issues involved in selling a company.
Bill has a broad background – including three degrees (one in engineering, an MBA, and a JD), Army officer experience, and 20 years as a transactional attorney. His writing is clear and concise – this book can be read from cover to cover or used as a reference. As you’d expect, Bill has a giant “caveat emptor!” at the beginning of the book followed by “this is not legal or accounting advice – hire a professional.” True – but this book will help you understand what the professional is talking about.