Done Deals: Venture Capitalists Tell Their Stories

“Until a few years ago,” notes journalist-consultant Udayan Gupta, “venture capitalists were hardly on anyone’s radar screen.” That’s not the case these days, as financiers who used to work behind the scenes now regularly set markets afire with their public support of high-profile technology and Internet stocks. In Done Deals, Gupta allows 35 of the brightest stars in what has become a $30-billion-a-year business to tell their own stories in their own words. We get to see exactly what they were thinking when they backed such endeavors as Intel, eBay, Excite, Genentech, and 3Com. Gupta’s intention is to demonstrate how the industry has changed over the past half-century and how it differs today among its various forms. He achieves this beautifully by dividing the first-person accounts into thematically attuned sections that focus on dealmakers of the future (such as Mitch Kapor of Accel Partners), early pioneers (including the late Benno Schmidt of J.H. Whitney & Co.), West Coast veterans (such as Don Valentine of Sequoia Capital), past and present East Coast practitioners (like Charles Waite of Greylock Management), and visionaries (including John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers). Some of the stories are more detailed than others, but taken together, they provide a well-rounded view that will interest anyone who must deal with this often intertwined yet still individual world. –Howard Rothman

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