14 books that help founders do everything better, recommended by 10 successful VCs
- When VCs invest in a startup these days, those startups tend to get more than capital. They get a partner with an interest in helping them do well.
- With that in mind, Business Insider asked 10 VCs to name the books they share with their founders that help them succeed at business.
- They recommended a variety of books and not just on business skills, but also books that dive into culture and tales of inspiration.
“My Bondage and My Freedom” by Frederick Douglass
Marlon Nichols, founding managing partner at MaC Venture Capital
Marlon Nichols is a founding managing partner at MaC Venture Capital, cofounded with the former mayor of Washington, DC, Adrian Fenty and famous WME talent agent Charles King. The trio’s advisor and Limited Partner is well-known tech investor Troy Carter, the famous investor and music manager from Atom Factory who helped discover Lady Gaga.
Nichols shared a number of book favorites with Business Insider and at the top of his list is the 1855 autobiography by ex-slave Frederick Douglass, written a decade after Douglass’s emancipation in 1846, “My Bondage and My Freedom“.
“Mr. Douglass is a leader, a hero, and a legend,” Nichols said. “His story is an epic tale of survival and perseverance. Each time I read it, I am reminded of where this country started in terms of race relationships, encouraged by how far we’ve come, and motivated to help us to get to a place of true equality.”
“Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It” by Chris Voss
“Venture investing is 100% about relationship building,” Nichols said. “Negotiation is simply a tool that helps us to communicate more effectively.”
So he recommends “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It” by Chris Voss because Voss, “has verbally wrestled with the best of ’em in the most pressure-filled situations.”
He described the book as “a master class in listening and effectively communicating what is important to you in a way that the other side of the table can truly hear.”
Nichols also recommends “Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable” by Tim Grover.
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