The Top 10 investor blogs you need to follow… now

Charmaine Li 2013-02-14 18

top investors

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, budding investor or simply a startup enthusiast some of the best and most surprising resources can come from those investors and VCs who find the time to write about their experiences. They can offer up everything from tips on how to acquire funding to advice on building companies, via insight on industry trends. They can also be quite amusing.

After scouring the web for the most informative, entertaining and regularly updated investor blogs out there, we’ve rounded up our Top 10 investor blogs that you should follow now…

1) Fred Destin: Open source venture capital

Who? Brussels-born Fred Destin is a founding investor at Seedcamp and a partner at Atlas Venture, an investment firm that targets early stage startups in the areas of life science and technology innovation.

Fred Destin

What? He has invested in Dailymotion, Zoopla, Seatwave, Cinemagram, The Currency Cloud and EnglishCentral among others.

Why you should read it: Because Destin begins each post with a cool image of a fractal, which he eloquently explains the significance of here. And he shares his thoughts – honestly and openly – about the business of funding innovation.

Excerpt from “Ecommerce is a slog – what’s your angle?

Scale will crush you unless you fully understand your angles. Without an angle that helps you achieve better margins, whether on customer acquisition, buy-side margins or recurrence, it’s going to very, very hard.

2) Jason Ball’s Techbytes

Who? Jason Ball is Director at Qualcomm Ventures Europe and is based in London. Previously he worked at London Seed Capital as the the Investment Director. Ball has been working with internet and mobile startups for eight years.

Jason BallWhat? Currently, he serves as a board member for Arteris, Videoplaza and Blippar, to name a few.

Why you should read it: Because Ball offers practical entrepreneurial advice on an array of topics in a clear, concise and easy-to-understand manner. Whether you want to know more about the perfect pitchraising money or shipping product – he’s got you covered.

Excerpt from “3 steps to meeting investors (at events)

Do not, and I repeat, do not walk up randomly and pitch them on the spot. (Aka Don’t pitch me, bro!)

3) Thomas Grota – A personal view on venture capital

Who? Thomas Grota is the Investment Director at T-Venture, the venture capital arm of Deutsche Telekom, and brings over 15 years of experience in the IT and telecommunications industry. He is also a mentor at Seedcamp and HackFwd.

Thomas GrotaWhat? He is a board member at 6Wunderkinder, MyTaxi, flaregames, Smarchive and apprupt.

Why you should read it: Because Grota gives us a glimpse of ‘a day in the life’ of an investor with snaps from his office, takeaways from industry events and predictions for the European VC landscape in 2013. It really is “a personal view on venture capital from a corporate VC perspective”.

Excerpt from “‘The hype’ – when values get out of bounce

Investors today are not gambling on numbers but on their estimation of teams, markets and products. They will limit their risks across various asset classes meaning various phases and markets.

4) Jalak Jobanputra – The barefoot VC

Who? Jalak Jobanputra is Founding Partner of FuturePerfect Ventures, an early-stage VC fund in NYC, and a TechStars mentor. Previously, she was Senior Vice President at the New York City Investment Fund and Principal at New Venture Partners.

Jalak JobanputraCompanies: She has invested in several companies such as TxVia (acquired by Google), Demantra (sold to Oracle), Viacore (sold to IBM), Ticketfly, SeatGeek

Why you should read it: Because Jobanputra has over 18 years of experience in the areas of venture capital, media and technology and you’ll want to read about her business secrets, career advice and outlook on investing.

Excerpt from “One-hit wonder, or the secret to longevity

Openness is how large companies survive and how startups pivot – they are aware of market conditions and make changes to adapt, or more optimally, to stay in front of the market.

5) Christoph Janz – The angel VC

Who? Christoph Janz is Co-founder and Managing Partner at Point Nine Capital. Prior to that, he was an active angel investor and co-founded internet startup DealPilot.com, one of the first comparison shopping engines.

Christoph JanzWhat? He has made investments in Zendesk, FreeAgent, Geckboard, Boxed Ice to name a few.

Why you should read it: Because Janz started blogging about the internet even before Twitter existed. Additionally, he shares valuable insight on internet entrepreneurship in thorough and well-conceived posts. A must-read – especially if you’re an SaaS startup.

Excerpt from “The 4th DO for SaaS startups – Make your website your best marketing person”

The primary objective that your website has to achieve is clear: attract as many visitors as possible and turn as many of them as possible into trial users.

6) Mark Suster – Both sides of the table

Who? Los Angeles-based Mark Suster has been on both sides of the table – an entrepreneur and investor. Now, he’s a Partner at GRP Partners, a venture capital firm that has made investments in global brands such as Starbucks and Costco.

Mark SusterWhat? As an entrepreneur he founded BuildOnline and Koral, which were both acquired. He’s invested in companies such as Affordit, EagleCrest Energy and EcoMom.

Why you should read it: Because with blog posts titled “Beware of ballers on a budget” and “Conference Hos“, Suster has the ability cover seemingly banal topics in a highly entertaining way.

Excerpt from “Entrepreneurshit. The blog post on what it’s really like

Entrepreneurshit… It’s not all glamour. It’s mostly not glamorous at all. It’s just something you have to do… Your impertinence would get you fired in 2 days for telling your boss he’s a fuckwit. And it’s why you probably will quit on day 366 after the acquisition.

7) Martin Varsavsky

Who? Martin Varsavsky is an Argentine/Spanish entrepreneur. Currently, he is CEO of global wifi network Fon, an angel investor and a professor at Columbia University.

Martin Varsavsky

What? Over the past two decades, he has founded seven companies and invested in several others such as Rdio, Technorati, Tumblr and Wikio.

Why you should read it: Because Varsavsky has built businesses in both North America and Europe and is able to give readers a comprehensive look on the similarities and differences in entrepreneurship between the two continents.

Excerpt from “Advice for U.S. entrepreneurs who move to Europe”

If you are an American entrepreneur going to Europe you have to understand that Europeans are different. Focus less on making your employees rich… focus more on creating an environment of excellence where people can be proud of what they do

8) Fred Wilson – A VC

Who? Fred Wilson has been a VC since 1986 and is now the Managing Partner of Union Square Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm based in New York City. He also co-founded Flatiron Partners in 1996.

Fred WilsonWhat? Wilson is a director at Etsy, Outside.in, Donorschoose.org and Kik Interactive among others. He’s also made investments in Engagio and WallStrip.

Why you should read it: Because Wilson has one of the most widely read VC blogs and is known to engage with readers often. Not only that, he is a one of the most prolific bloggers and posts almost every other day.

Excerpt from “In between: The tough place to be

At the stage where you are past hopes and dreams, where you have customers, revenue, and a real business, but have not yet reached “true success”, there just aren’t many investors to choose from

9) Paul Jozefak – Babbling VC

Who? Currently, Paul Jozefak is Managing Director at Liquid Labs, a company builder focusing on early-stage financial tech startups. While Jozefak technically isn’t an investor any more, he has over 10 years of VC experience. Previously, he was Managing Partner at Neuhaus Partners and Investment Director at SAP AG.

Paul JozefakWhat? He was a Board Member at Content Fleet, Smava, apprupt, Propertybase, Emporis and verwandt.de.

Why you should read it: Because while Jozefak isn’t a VC any more, he is still very much involved with startups and has years of experience to draw from (and write about). If you’re looking for anodyne advice, look elsewhere because Jozefak serves a dose of blunt opinions with a side of dry humour.

Excerpt from “Sex is fun. Your app ain’t

People DO NOT use apps first and foremost because they are fun. They use them because they are beneficial to them… They make you faster, more efficient, effective, connected, communicative and so forth.

10) Ciaran O’Leary – Berlin VC

Who? Berlin-based Ciaran O’Leary is Partner of Earlybird, a European venture capital firm focusing on technology ventures, and has over eight years of experience as an investor.

Ciaran O'LearyWhat? Investments include 6wunderkinder, madvertise, Moped, simfy and Peak Games

Why you should read it: Because O’Leary is basically the unofficial spokesperson for Berlin’s startup scene and has been quoted countless number of times in international media outlets. He’s new on the blogging block (he started this week) but if his first two posts are any indication, it looks promising.

Excerpt from “Due diligence should go both ways: VC check-list for entrepreneurs

VC-entrepreneur relationships can be like marriages, just that the likelihood of a divorce (exit, wind-down) is 100%

Image credit:
Fred Destin – flickr user Plugg Conference
Martin Varsavsky – flickr user David Sifry

For related posts, check out:

Video – top VCs tell us what *not* to do when talking to a VC
“Adapt or leave” – why the rules of the investment game in Europe will change in 2013
10 Ways European VCs can become internationally relevant

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