Our Reading List

[This list is very, very work-in-progress - I've been terrible at keeping track of my favorite readings, especially when they're not books. This will be a work-in-progress for a while.]

I pride myself on being able to bring and integrate the different facets of who I am into what I do - the very idea of Classic Venture's name is a convergence of my love for cinema and product/brand. Similarly, for the reading list, I introduce some texts which may seem entirely unrelated to VC - literature from post-colonial and feminist thinkers, music from the early days of electronica, advertisements from the 1980s, and much more. It is my belief that the nature of our work is much more about daydreaming than it is investing, so why not push ourselves to our intellectual limits, sharpen our judgements, challenge our values, and become better people?

For your convenience, I've divided this section into 4 main components:

  • Foundational Texts are somewhat unrelated to VC, but are important (imo) for becoming better thinkers.
  • Bookmarks aren't specific readings, but are great resources to keep bookmarked or subscribed to.
  • Must-Reads are things you must read (not by obligation but by our compelling persuasion)!
  • Other Readings are very high quality writings we've come across about more specific topics that you may pick and choose from according to your interests.

foundational texts.


Note that some of these may be part of a larger anthology of texts, or might not be available online. You should check with your local library or university library to see if you can get physical or digital access for free.

  • On Self-Respect by Joan Didion (essay).
  • Postscript on Societies of Control by Gilles Deleuze (essay). Helps situate our technology and data-driven society today among other forms of societies in history, and understanding how technology, albeit baby steps with every innovation, add up to create a categorically different reality for modern participants.
    • May be helpful to understand Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish for context.
  • The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility by Walter Benjamin (book). How does mechanical reproduction change the role that art and literature has on society, when anyone can have the Starry Night on their socks or tote bag? I typically find one-dimensional critique of technology lazy - I particularly enjoy envisioning with Benjamin the new forms of art that are now only made possible with technology.
  • The Storyteller by Walter Benjamin (book). All about how we've become crappier storytellers over time because of how times have changed and our needs have changed. For me, this book is all about putting things in perspective, and understanding when or when not to fight the tide. Some things are meant to be lost forever.

bookmarks.


internet places

  • Thingtesting (website/newsletter). Your guide to new brands.
  • Betalist (website/newsletter). A community of makers and early adopters showcasing their startups and exchanging feedback.
  • Product Hunt (website). You saw it here first. Discover innovation the day it goes live.
  • The CPGD (website/newsletter). The Consumer Packaged Goods Directory curates resources and content for brand-builders.

newsletters/blogs.

  • Pitchbook Newsletter. The information you need to stay ahead of the changing world of VC, PE and M&A—delivered right to your inbox.
  • Fortune's Term Sheet. Daily newsletter on the biggest deals and dealmakers.
  • 2PM. An industry-leading source that analyzes the intersection of media and commerce and how those principles are applied elsewhere.
  • Quartz. The most important and interesting news from the global economy. Inoculate yourself against ignorance with intel, charts, and surprising discoveries.
  • The Future Party. The one newsletter that translates the business of entertainment and culture for free.
  • Chips + Dips. When an idea gets stuck in my brain and grows too big and knotted, I’ll unpack it via this newsletter. Chips are small news bites. Dips are deeper dives.
  • The Hustle. Business and tech in 5 minutes or less daily.
  • Not Boring. The most fun way to learn about what’s going on in business and the strategy behind the decisions companies make.
  • The Block. The Block is the leading research, analysis and news brand in the digital asset space.

must-reads.

  • Venture Deals by Brad Feld (book). The book on venture capital - learn about how VCs structure investments.
  • Talking to Humans by Giff Constable and Frank Rimalovski (book). The best book about talking to and understanding customers.

other readings.


on gen-z

on the creator economy

Last Updated: 2021/11/26