Book Review: Angel by Jason Calacanis

When I read Jasaon Calacanis had a new book called Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups, I knew I had to read it. Now, Jason’s style is very different from mine, but his wit and insight are excellent. Overall, I’d describe the book as a strong introduction to angel investing combined with a heavy dose of in-your-face attitude.

A few notes:

  • He invested $25,000 into Uber at a $5 million pre-money valuation (Uber is now valued at $70 billion)
  • Was one of the first Sequoia scouts where Sequoia supplied the capital and he received 45% of the profits
  • Prefers founders who are willing to pursue their visions long before an investor comes along
  • Recommends selling half the angel equity in future rounds, if possible (called “idiot insurance”)
  • Believes only way to be successful as angel investor requires being based in Silicon Valley (I believe angel investing should be viewed as charity work)
  • Offers starting with advising and/or AngelList as a no/low cost way to start investing

If you’re curious about angel investing in tech startups and want a heavily opinionated view point, Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups is a great place to start.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the book?

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Angel by Jason Calacanis

  1. I am about half way through Jason’s book. I am not an angel investor, but rather an entrepreneur. I’ve enjoyed the book thus far. It is very well written, Jason has an entertaining and engaging style. I think it is worth the read for anyone involved in the startup scene, not just angels.

    I too disagree with his thesis regarding Silicon Valley. Sure it is the epicenter, but there are other startup ecosystems out there that are flourishing. Atlanta of course is one of those secondary markets that is thriving. Access to capital is of course still a challenge here, we are still very conservative in our approach to startup investing. Maybe Jason’s book could serve to help our investors become more like SV in that regard.

  2. I thought it was a great book for angels and founders. It helps founders identify when they are “fakepreneurs” (whether they know it or not) and helps good founders nail down their pitch for good investors.

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