A lot of venture capitalists out there maintain blogs, but very few of them consistently produce compelling, must-read content. But I have encountered an important exception: Mark Suster, a general partner at GRP Partners in Los Angeles. His blog, Both Sides of the Table, has everything from the typical tips for entrepreneurs to thoughtful discussion about both industry-specific, technology trends and broader economic trends.
This is not the first time I’ve come across Mark’s blog. I remember that Mark came to the USC campus in August or September of 2009 – I attended his talk hosted by the Stevens Institute during the first few weeks of my freshman year, if I remember correctly. In fact, I remember sitting in front so that I could record the talk on my iPhone for a friend who couldn’t make it. (Unfortunately, I’ve deleted the recording so I can’t go back to confirm this actually happened.)
Mark also popped up while I was working on the USC fund. He is the founder and one of the key organizers of LaunchPad LA, a network offering mentorship for LA-based startups. Unfortunately, none of the Summer 2011 class fit our investment criteria, but nevertheless it looks like a great organization that we would be honored to work with. (Sidebar: sent them an email a few days ago; we’ll see what happens.)
He also hosts an incredible video podcast called This Week in Venture Capital. I’m in the process of watching every episode (50+ as of this writing) to learn about the industry.
But more than anything else, Mark has repeatedly emerged from my various mediums for consuming content, whether being featured on TechCrunch or being retweeted on Twitter. After I kept finding great articles that were coincidentally written by Mark, I had to take a more serious look. Here were a few of my favorites:
- Invest in Lines, not Dots
- Understanding Changes in the Software and Venture Capital Industries
- What to do When a Tech Giant Decides to Eat Your Lunch
- Startups are all Naked in the Mirror
All of this has resulted in me adding Mark to my Google Reader feed – which means I expect to read every single one of his future entries. I’m looking forward to see what might be coming. More importantly, I’m taking this as an opportunity to get to know him better before hopefully meeting him when I am back in Los Angeles in the spring. (Read: If you know him, Adam Lilling, or Joshua Webb of the LaunchPad LA team, please let me know!)
Also, this has lead to me buying the Kindle version of Mark’s recommended book, Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist.