Let's set aside our prejudices toward Ryan for a moment (I know it might be difficult, but bear with me). "Fundraising" is the best book I've read on fundraising so far. After successfully raising for our company's pre-seed and seed rounds, I have finally gathered most of my thoughts on this topic and even wanted to write a short article.
However, this isn't necessary anymore — Ryan did it better than I could. I would probably follow the path of most fundraising book authors: write a lengthy 10-hour or so book with all the intricacies and anecdotes. However, now I realize that this would be ultimately futile — now, having read the "Fundraising." Feel free to pick it up in the audio format — it's just 1 hour long. Shorter than the latest podcast I've listened to by Tim Ferris!
The author outlines everything others don't want (or don't think it's worth it) to discuss. Unfortunately, until you have played the VC game (it is a game different from playing with users on an open market), you probably won't take the advice from this book seriously.
Have you seen the Silicon Valley tv show? Do you think it's all jokes? No, it's a hardcore satire on how the VC world works. It seems surreal, but you can't fight the facts. Anyone who's "in the game" doesn't laugh at the show anymore. I'm not crying. You're crying.
I've read many books on business and fundraising, and — oh, crew — it was all wrong. There are a couple of things that Ryan explains perfectly:
- Building your network before raising.
- Why don't you need a deck?
- Potential investors' touchpoints.
- It's all about the momentum!
- What to do with "no" and — more importantly — what to do with "yes" to get more "yes."
- What you should not do fundraising (e.g. don't give up a board seat on seed, like, never).
- How to fundraise, pitch, nurture and harvest interest in the venture.
I have no idea why everyone isn't doing the same thing. I hypothesize that people don't take the advice from this book (or Ryan) seriously. But they should!
Even though this book applies primarily for pre-seed and seed rounds, I would still recommend you read it (and re-read it a few more times later). It's a short gem that won't cost you much in time to consume — but the upside is huge!