Venture Deals – Third Edition

venture-deals-3rd-editionThe third edition of Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist is going to print and pre-orders are up on Amazon. For everyone who has purchased, read, or reviewed our previous editions, thank you! While it’s difficult to know exactly how many copies have been sold (the joy of publisher metrics), it’s around 100,000 to date, which blows our mind since we had no expectations around this when we wrote the book in 2011.

We’ve added a lot to the third edition. In addition to fixing some lingering errors, lousy grammar, and poor word choices, we found a few more places to insert Oxford commas so Amy and Ryan would be happy.

There are two new forewords – one from Fred Wilson at USV (the VC perspective) and one from James Park, CEO and co-founder of Fitbit (the entrepreneur perspective). Dick Costolo’s foreword from the previous editions is preserved – it’s now an endword.

We addressed our gender problem. In the previous editions, we used only the male gender and explained our rationalization in the introduction. This rationalization felt silly and more like an excuse this time around, so we did the work to vary the use of female and male pronouns throughout the book.

We added more information on convertible debt including a section on new financial instruments like the safe.

There are two entirely new chapters. The first, on crowdfunding, covers both product and equity crowdfunding, and has an analysis on the good, bad, and scary around crowdfunding. The second, on why term sheets even exist, came out of our realization that many of the investments we’ve made in the past few years were done with handshakes and email outline of terms, rather than term sheets.

We added a section on Corporate Venture Capital, as there has been a Cambrian explosion of CVCs over the past few years, even though the concept of a CVC is not a new one.

We freshened up some of the examples. For example, the reference to FarmVille now is a reference to Pokémon GO. It is 2016 after all.

We have new back cover blurbs and a new dedication to some special people in our lives. We like to spread the love around.

Finally, the old website is now  As part of this, we’ll be releasing a teaching guide, lots of ancillaries, and other fun stuff that adds to the book. Yeah – we’ve got some work to do to freshen up the site and get all of this stuff out, but that’s what November is for. And yes, we’ll start blogging on it again.

Thanks to everyone for all their help, support, and interest in Venture Deals over the years. Most of all, thank you Jason for being an awesome collaborator and partner.

Also published on Medium.

  • David DuPont

    Jason and Brad are the venture deals font of wisdom.

  • sim

    Good news on mixing up the pronouns Brad. This stuff may seem small, but it really means big.


  • Congrats.
    1. How do you put this into perspective with you being a VC too?
    2. Also, any chance this will appear on iBooks or any PDF exporting e-bookstore (like the older versions)?

    • 1. We have comments throughout from Matt Blumberg (an entrepreneur). We’ve tried to take a balance approach – not pro-VC or pro-entrepreneur – just explaining what’s going on.

      2. Yes.

  • Wout

    Damn – I just closed my round, after reading the 2nd ed.! Now I get to read all the things I did wrong …

  • Jon Gillespie-Brown

    One of no.1 go to books when teaching at Stanford!

  • Yes for the Oxford commas!

  • kermit64113

    I just sent a note to the Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Davidson (my alma mater) offering to purchase a free (Kindle) copy for any Wildcat student who will read it. It was an excellent reference guide for me as I was forming Mobile Symmetry, and I know it’ll become as valuable for others. – Jim Patterson

  • Steve Bennet

    Great to hear! I’ve been using Venture Deals as a text in a couple of my classes over the past 6-7 years (Entrepreneurial Finance and Startup Founders and Funders). In Startup Founders and Funders is a great complement to Noam Wasserman’s Founder Dilemmas. Convertible Debt chapter was much needed addition in 2nd edition and crowdfunding in 3rd edition.

    Looking forward to teaching guide. Keep ‘me coming!

  • Just finished 2nd edition – did not know about the 3rd. Glad that you included SAFEs (which was a question I wanted to ask). Does it also cover KISS? Also, in this day and age, many new businesses are funded by friends and family early on. To that point, you touch on this very little except to say don’t do it. But, it happens and happens a lot. Will you be providing some more advice on this in edition 4?

    • I haven’t even thought about the 4th edition yet …

      KISS is very similar to SAFE or a light preferred – we mention it.