OpenView Blog Listed as a Useful Resource for Entrepreneurs

So the rumor is that along with money, venture capitalists help founders build their companies.  In exchange for this valuable service, they seek to make an economic return.  Sounds like a fair bargain. If VCs are helping entrepreneurs build successful businesses, we wondered why are VC blogs generally so terrible?  Instead of offering useful guidance to entrepreneurs, we see a lot more VC blogs talking about:

  • VC industry angst – What do micro-VCs mean for the VC industry..blah blah blah…
  • Useless angel-VC drama (also see bullet point 1)
  • Making audacious but poorly researched claims – Where ______ (fill in industry) is going or why _____ is dead or why the world needs ______
  • A litany of posts about how to pitch VCs
  • Shameless promotion of portfolio companies (btw, we think this is cool but in moderation)
  • A mix of all the above and a healthy dose of narcissism about why they’re so great

While we are not going to publicly name the offenders (we might tell you over a beer), the good news is that not all VC blogs are page-view whoring, controversy courting and/or narcisstic.  And so we wanted to begin compiling a list of those really entrepreneur-friendly and more importantly entrepreneur-useful VC blogs.  So we’re starting with a handful that we like.  This is by no means exhaustive so we hope you’ll provide input in the comments about others we should add.

In terms of our decision criteria, it was simple.  Is the signal to noise ratio high on these blogs, i.e., would most of the content be helpful to entrepreneurs/companies?  To be clear, we don’t give a hoot about Twitter followers, blog traffic, Google reader subscribers or other measures of popularity.  If VCs are supposed to be helping to build businesses alongside founders, we think those that spend time actually helping provide insights about how to do this should be read.

So without further ado, here’s our simple list of venture capital blogs where we think the quality is high.  And again, suggest others in the comments.

David Skok at Matrix Partners

Blog name:  ForEntrepreneurs

David’s blog’s name is pretty appropriate.  It’s for entrepreneurs and has some killer content.  The posts are detailed, insightful and useful to entrepreneurs.  They’ll primarily be useful to software/internet companies, but some of the content on subject like Customer Acquisition Cost are probably universal in their applicability.  David’s a former entrepreneur so brings an “in the trenches” understanding of business building.

Openview Venture Partners

blog name:  The Openview Venture Partners team’ blog

This blog which appears to be a collaboration amongst the team at Openview talks about things that are useful to business owners. Whether it’s about social media and using it in your business or managing team dynamics, the blog is solid, useful and balanced. Openview Venture Partners is primarily a growth equity firm which means they’re primarily targeting companies which are a bit more mature in their lifecycle.  For this reason it seems they write content that is actually useful as the companies they’re trying to reach are too busy building real businesses to have time for the cr^p on most VC blogs.

Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz

blog name: Ben’s Blog

Ben Horowitz infuses hip-hop lyrics into his blog posts so we appreciate the flavor he is bringing to the VC industry, but even better, he writes about stuff that entrepreneurs probably should care about or might find helpful.  And he’s not afraid to mix it up and be controversial on occasion but not in an annoying attention-seeking way which seems to have become de rigeur these days.  He writes a lot about organization building and people management which he understands are important/vital as a former entrepreneur.  Two that our team particularly liked were about the right way to lay people off and should you sell your company?

Roger Ehrenberg of IA Ventures

blog name: Information Arbitrage

So Roger Ehrenberg is our first addition to the original list as this is one we definitely just missed.  Roger’s writing is lucid and his content is generally useful to entrepreneurs and helping them think through various issues they may be faced with as they’re building their companies.  He also doesn’t pull any punches and tells it like it is which earns him extra points.  We like his posts on what type of company is your company and on recruiting (sell the dream – not the job).  (hat tip to Bonnie at Startup One Stop for reminding us about Information Arbitrage)

Paul Graham at Y Combinator

blog name: Paul Graham’s Essays

Ok – so Y Combinator isn’t a venture capital firm.  It’s an incubator, accelerator, seed fund yadda yadda yadda.  Y Combinator gives money to entrepreneurs in exchange for equity – that’s close enough to VC for us to include him on this list of non-vomitacious venture capital bloggers.  So first thing is that Paul Graham doesn’t run what he or others seem to call a blog.  So instead of posts, he writes essays.  Semantics aside, his essays are good.  Some obviously tend to be about Y Combinator related things or early-stage companies but many have universal applicability.  Our favorite of all time is his post on being relentlessly resourceful (which we’ve adopted as a mantra here at Chubby world headquarters) .  Another good one is How to Disagree.

Alright, that’s our extensive list so far.  Trust us, we looked at a lot more VC blogs to come up with this list but most didn’t pass our criteria of being truly entrepreneur-useful.  Unfortunately, the amount of VC content vomit out there right now is alarmingly high.  If you disagree or have others to add, now is the time to chime in.  We look forward to your comments.