What do Elite Venture Investors Read Every Morning?

The most-read blogs of the guests on the Twenty Minute VC

The Most-Read Blogs and Newsletters of the World’s Top VCs

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post showing the most recommended books of guests on The Twenty Minute VC, the terrific podcast covering venture capital and technology by Harry Stebbings.

People seemed to enjoy the format, and I had fun creating it, so I thought I’d do the same for the guests’ favorite blogs and newsletters. And since everyone gets a ton of email, I think it’s nice to have your blogs and newsletters vetted by some of the smartest people in tech.

Here’s the interactive data; it may be easier to see on the Tableau Public site.

The results were interesting to me. There was less diversity in the responses amongst blogs than books. 76% of the book responses were unique versus just 38% of the blogs. This is presumably because since blogs are recurring, people read fewer of them than they do books. The blog recommendations were dominated by a few very popular blogs/newsletters:

AVC by Fred Wilson

No surprise here, Wilson is a legendary investor, as the founder of hugely successful Union Square Ventures in New York. I also just discovered that AVC stands for “A Venture Capitalist,” I always assumed the “A” meant something else. What a time to be alive.

Term Sheet by Erin Griffith @ Fortune

Formerly written by Dan Primack. This one was cited by a ton of highly respected VCs and is a great quick hit of all the important things going on in the industry.

EDIT: Several people have brought to my attention that Dan Primack is now at Axios writing the Pro Rata newsletter. It’s too new to have been included in my data but it’s very good and because so many VCs and entrepreneurs reference Dan specifically I feel compelled to include it.

Mattermark Daily by Nick Frost @Mattermark

I have to assume that the success of this newsletter has done wonders for Mattermark as a company. Good example of content marketing done right.

Ben Evans’ Newsletter by Benedict Evans

I’ve been a subscriber of this for a while, and also follow Evans’ terrific twitter feed. He’s a partner at a16z and a very smart person.

Feld Thoughts by Brad Feld

This is the only top one I had already cited in the resources section of this humble blog. He’s an incredibly successful investor (founder of the Foundry Group and TechStars) but also seems like a very good human being.

The Information by Jessica Lessin

More a full-blown media company than a blog, I like The Information a lot, and you can hear the story behind its founding on the Twenty Minute VC episode where Harry interviews Jessica!

Some of my Favorites

The top blogs on the list are obviously great. But looking through some of the other responses from Harry’s guests, I discovered some great new publications to subscribe to, including a few that weren’t as commonly cited but are terrific. Here are a few favorites among the list:

Wait But Why?

This was the blog that surprised me most with its popularity (6 guests cited it). Most of the other blogs at this level were by heavy hitters in the venture/tech world. I checked out it out, and I immediately fell in love with Wait But Why after reading the About page:

Wait But Why blog's About Section
The hilarious “About” section from Wait But Why

The content is terrific too, I find it a great way to ingest serious information in a light-hearted way. The posts on the recent election we held in America are pretty thoughtful and balanced, check them out. 

Abnormal Returns

This one holds a special place in my heart because the author, Tadas Viskanta, featured my article on a weekly review! (To anyone reading this who has a website or a twitter account, this is a very quick way to get me to like you a lot). The content really is terrific though, and leans more towards finance than tech, so if you’re an econ/banking person it’s a good one to follow. It was cited as a favorite blog of Howard Lindzon of Social Leverage and StockTwits, and Hussein Kanji of Hoxton Ventures.

Strictly VC

I had heard of Connie Loizos (Silicon Valley editor at TechCrunch) and her blog Strictly VC but never consistently read it. Since compiling this data, I’ve subscribed and started reading it consistently. It’s a really good view of Silicon Valley from an insider’s perspective.

The Exponential View

This one was brand new to me, and is the favorite blog of Albert Wenger at Union Square Ventures. It has a great mix of content in technology, economics, math and sociology, and is also beautifully designed.

Several of the Most Cited Authors Have Been Guests on The Twenty Minute VC

Favorite bloggers on the guests of the Twenty Minute VC podcast

This goes back to how impressive a job Harry has done creating a massive amount of incredible content. Of the top 10 most cited authors, the following have appeared on the show:

  • Brad Feld
  • Jessica Lessin
  • Mark Suster
  • Tom Tunguz
  • James Altucher

In addition, Harry has worked closely with Nick Frost, writer of the Mattermark Daily, and he hosts Jason Lemkin’s SaaStr podcast. In other words, dude’s got the market pretty well covered.

I personally really enjoy Ben Evans’ newsletter, and would love to hear him on the show. Fred Wilson and Paul Graham would be fascinating guests as well. Good reasons to keep listening!

Below is the Google Spreadsheet containing the raw data. Let me know if you’d like access to it, joe@ramenprofitable.co.

Null values are because guests don’t always answer their favorite book/blog, and Harry occasionally changes questions. Also, please don’t tell me I could’ve structured the data more efficiently, because BELIEVE me, after inputting data for 250-plus guests, I’ve realized that.

Analysis was done in Tableau Public, which I really recommend playing with. It’s free and easy to use.

Have an idea for something interesting to do with the dataset? I’d love to collaborate, just let me know.



Want me to work on content for your firm? Email me. joe [at] ramenprofitable [dot] co.

17 Comment

  1. […] Here’s what those fancy VCs read each morning. […]

  2. […] The top online reads among the investors were AVC, a blog by venture capitalist Fred Wilson, whose firm has invested in companies such as Twitter Inc. TWTR, +0.75%   and Tumblr and Term Sheet, a daily deals newsletter, formerly run by journalist Dan Primarck, according to blogger Joe Hovde. […]

  3. Abc says: Reply

    Wow, the list of books these VCs are reading is so tired and uninspiring. “Zero to One”? “How to Win Friends and Influence People”? Seriously?

    1. jhovde2121@gmail.com says: Reply

      I get what you’re saying, but I’d say this– they’re classics for a reason. Also, dig a little deeper into the list, there’s some really interesting stuff. Hard to bash “Master and Margarita” as a cliche! Cheers.

  4. […] The top online reads among the investors were AVC, a blog by venture capitalist Fred Wilson, whose firm has invested in companies such as Twitter Inc.TWTR, +0.61%   and Tumblr and Term Sheet, a daily deals newsletter, formerly run by journalist Dan Primack, according to blogger Joe Hovde. […]

  5. […] What do Elite Venture Investors Read Every Morning? – Ramen Profitable, November 22, 2016 | The Most-Read Blogs and Newsletters of the World’s Top VCs. […]

  6. […] post on Ramen Profitable, “What do Elite Venture Investors Read Every Morning?” provides insight into what people actually in the industry are […]

  7. Ashwin Gupta says: Reply

    Hey, I would love to get access to the spreadsheet. My email is 06.ashwin@gmail.com

    1. jhovde2121@gmail.com says: Reply

      Certainly! Sending it now.


      1. Hey,

        could you send me that spreadsheet as well? I would like to index those Blogs/Websites on Feedpresso 🙂

        My emai: tadas@feedpresso.com

        1. jhovde2121@gmail.com says: Reply

          Hi Tadas,

          Of course! Sharing with you now. Let me know if I can be helpful with anything else, Feedpresso looks cool!

  8. […] Here’s what those fancy VCs read each morning. […]

  9. Luiz says: Reply

    Hey Joe !

    Could you please send me this spreadsheet ?

    I´d love to buy some of those =)


    Luiz Felippe

    1. jhovde2121@gmail.com says: Reply

      Hi Luiz,

      Absolutely. Thanks for reading.


  10. Bruno says: Reply

    Excelent JOB!!! Congrats

  11. Hey Joe,

    Nice read thanks for all of that content.
    Could you share the excel sheet?



    1. jhovde2121@gmail.com says: Reply

      Thanks for reading, Joseph! Absolutely, sharing it now.

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