What to read if you want to learn VC in Australia
Associate at AirTree Ventures
In September of last year, I joined the team at AirTree Ventures (*best job in Australia*). At the time, I honestly knew very little about VC. Thankfully, this proved to be an eminently solvable problem — there is a depth of material out there, you just need to know where to look.
I had the benefit of amazing mentors (John Henderson in particular) to point me in the right direction as I navigated the deluge of available information. I have written this post in an attempt to scale those lessons, and to pay it forward.
This list is for anyone who wants to know the difference between drags and tags; prefs and pre-emptives — and to also have an idea of what’s happening on the Aussie scene. Hopefully useful to VCs, those interested in VC, and founders alike…
Deals, term sheets, and legalese
- Brad Feld & Jason Mendelson — Venture Deals. While US-centric, there’s an increasing amount of standardisation happening in market (and should be more). This is an amazing book: clear, commercial and honest.
- AirTree open-source seed docs — We think these are clean, founder-friendly term docs. We hope they become the standard, or people suggest ways to improve them.
- Mark Suster — no BS, real advice on important topics (I’ve put this here because I took a lot out of Mark’s deal-focused blogs…note there’s more to his stuff than just fundraising). Some favourites of mine are here and here.
Metrics masterclass and other wisdom
I’ve focused on software and marketplaces. With that in mind, I’ve found these resources really useful:
- Christoph Janz’s classic SaaS fundraising grid; and Version One’s take on it for marketplaces
- Andrei Brasoneavu’s 10 marketplace KPIs
- SaaS benchmarking by Tom Tunguz. I can’t even pick a favourite post here. Consistent awesome ways to find a reference point (even if in another market) for what actually constitutes lousy / acceptable / unbelievable
- Bill Gurley’s seminal All Marketplaces Are Not Created Equal
- David Skok laying out the fundamentals in SaaS Metrics 2.0
- Paul Bennett’s bot — streamline that news consumption
- Atlanta Daniel’s Twitter lists — Particularly her investor-focused lists. She even recently improved the roster ;)
- Paul Smith. Turn on Twitter notifications — good local tech coverage
- (Pick your flavour, this part is less condensed…) Tech Meme, CBInsights, Pitchbook, Mattermark Daily,
Musings, big ideas and fundamentals
- The Founder’s Dilemmas — simple but super important questions, broken down with data and anecdotes. A classic.
The big-ticket global team:
Naturally, this can’t be exhaustive, so Iwould love to hear other suggestions — please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have your own favourites!