Book Review ‘Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups–Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor’


We occasionally review books (link) focused on startups, entrepreneurship and investing. Jason Calacan, a successful Angel investor based in Silicon Valley has penned a book that has generated a bit of a buzz, and garnered 225+ review on Amazon (as of Oct 2017). The Tech Angel investor’s new book comes with with a rather long title:  “Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups–Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000″ (Amazon)”

 

From the Blurb: One of Silicon Valley’s most successful angel investors shares his rules for investing in startups.

There are two ways to make money in startups: create something valuable—or invest in the people that are creating valuable things.

Over the past twenty-five years, Jason Calacanis has made a fortune investing in creators, spotting and helping build and fund a number of successful technology startups—investments that have earned him tens of millions of dollars. Now, in this enlightening guide that is sure to become the bible for twenty-first century investors, Calacanis takes potential angels step-by-step through his proven method of creating massive wealth: startups.

 

As Calacanis makes clear, you can get rich—even if you came from humble beginnings (his dad was a bartender, his mom a nurse), didn’t go to the right schools, and weren’t a top student. The trick is learning how angel investors think. Calacanis takes you inside the minds of these successful moneymen, helping you understand how they prioritize and make the decisions that have resulted in phenomenal profits. He guides you step by step through the process, revealing how leading investors evaluate new ventures, calculating the risks and rewards, and explains how the best startups leverage relationships with angel investors for the best results.

Whether you’re an aspiring investor or a budding entrepreneur, Angel will inspire and educate you on all the ins of outs. Buckle up for a wild ride into the world of angel investing!


Amazon Review posted by our Editor, Mohan

4.0 out of 5 stars Angel investing in startups: Investing in the Riskiest Asset Class on The Planet

Many wealthy professionals – doctors, lawyers, engineers and software professionals – have been reading about ‘startup success stories’ and are sitting in the sidelines or wetting their toes by investing ‘small’ amounts that they can easily risk. This book is intended to be a ‘self help guide’ for those trying to get into the risky business of “Angel investing.”

As a tech blogger of a popular forum – myDigitalStartup.net – I frequently read up on emerging technology trends, entrepreneurship and digital startups, and recently came across Jason Calacanis’ book.

Books about startups, entrepreneurs and investors make for an interesting read, especially when written by those who have ‘made it.’ Jason Calacanis’ has the credentials: his greatest success as an Angel investor is the $100 million he made by investing $25000 early on in his friend, Travis Kalanik’s startup (Uber).

Calacanis begins the book candidly enough with a caution “DON’T READ THIS BOOK IF YOU CAN’T HANDLE LOSING YOUR MONEY INVESTING IN THE RISKIEST ASSET CLASS ON THE PLANET.” This caution makes absolute sense since nearly 9 out 10 startups are likely to fail. Of course, successes such as that of Calacanis’ are not easily replicable and are perhaps once-in-a-lifetime occurrence even for the savviest of Angel investors.

In the book Calacanis tries to highlight how those from “humble beginnings” can (sometimes) get rich by being at the right place at the right time, and spotting diamonds in the rough. The book also tries to explain “how angel investors think.”


Bottomline: For a Silicon Valley outside like me, a book like this gives a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes sausage factory and something to reflect on as we use services of Amazon, Google, Apple, Uber, Lyft et al.

As expected, the book is not without its critics:

Jason Calacanis, a successful Angel investor based in Silicon Valley has penned a book “Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups” that has generated a bit of a buzz, and garnered 225+ review on Amazon (as of Oct 2017).

posts :Within its first page, this book proclaims that it “will be the best business book ever written.” However, despite Calacanis’ 19 days of work writing this book (a fact he shared on his blog), I see this one falling short of the pantheon of all-time greats.

Kevin Pon is less charitable in his review: “ As an entrepreneur and angel investor I was looking forward to this book. However, I was tremendously disappointed by its lack of depth and its egocentric language. Hopefully, one day, someone will publish a great book on angel investing.”

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