Founder vs Investor
The Honest Truth About Venture Capital from Startup to IPO
by Elizabeth Joy Zalman; Jerry Neumann
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Pub Date 12 Sep 2023 | Archive Date Not set
A no-holds-barred look into the minds, motivations, and machinations of how investors and founders team up to build a successful startup, debated in a brazenly honest way by two of the best in the business.
People imagine that the best way for founders to build billion-dollar startups is to team up with venture capitalists. The founder brings the vision and drive, the investor brings the money and years of experience, and both benefit from each other’s expertise.
This is a mirage, and one that both founders and investors unconsciously create to avoid some hard truths. It starts from a good place—the desire for success is the same—and yet the journey is long, and motivations are wildly different. So different, in fact, that even their respective definitions of success wildly diverge. The result is that they often find themselves at odds while simultaneously believing the other just doesn’t get it. Misunderstanding, mistrust, boardroom drama, fired founders, and failed companies are the result.
For the partnership to work as smoothly as possible (which may not be so smoothly), they need to understand what is going on in the other’s head. Why does the founder respond so badly when the investor pushes to grow faster? Why doesn’t the investor want to sell the company for a seemingly great return? What are the motivations behind their behavior?
Founder Elizabeth Zalman and investor Jerry Neumann lay bare these insider motivations, based on decades of experience, inhabiting their roles in this one-of-a-kind book. Zalman and Neumann square off, providing a brazenly honest debate on how startups are built, broken, and fought over throughout a company’s lifecycle:
- Building relationships
- Raising money
- Scaling the business
- Working together on the board of directors
- Exiting the business