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Angels, Dragons & Vultures Paperback – 21 Oct 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Beaufort Books (21 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857885511
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857885514
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.1 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Simon Acland is the author of 'The Waste Land' and 'The Flowers of Evil', two historical adventure stories set at the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries. They feature Hugh de Verdon, a monk turned Crusader knight. Hugh joins the First Crusade in the retinue of Godfrey de Bouillon, the Duke of Lower Lorraine. In 'The Waste Land' he travels to Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem, falls in love, endures siege, plague and famine, encounters the Assassins and discovers the truth behind the Holy Grail. 'The Flowers of Evil' continues his story in the early years of the 12th century as he seeks revenge and fulfilment. In this second volume he meets the Knights Templar and the origins of some of the myths surrounding the mysterious military order are revealed.

Hugh's tale is retold by the bitchy old-fashioned dons of St Lazarus' College, Oxford. They find an ancient manuscript containing his autobiographical story in their library and craft it into these two best-selling novels to rescue their College's finances. This has unexpected and sinister consequences for them, and some of the edges between past and present seem to blur. The dons' story is humorous and provides light relief from the medieval adventure, while also providing a commentary on some of the historical events and some literary allusions in the books.

The Waste Land and The Flowers of Evil have been acclaimed by reviewers : 'Legendary entertainment indeed', 'Hugely enjoyable, engrossing and engaging from start to finish', 'Intelligently and perceptively written', 'This series may yet do for the Crusaders what the Twilight saga did for vampires and werewolves'.

Simon has also written a non-fiction book, 'Angels, Dragons and Vultures - how to tame your investors...and not lose your company.' It is a guide for entrepreneurs to the world of venture capital, in which he worked for over 20 years. He was managing director of Quester, one of the UK's most active early-stage technology investors with more than £250 million under management, and non-executive director of 25 companies in its portfolio. A long-standing member of the British Venture Capital Association's Technology Committee, he was also a Director of the British Business Angels' Association.

www.simonacland.com

Product Description

Review

'Down to earth, readable and often humorous...well worth a read'
Richard Branson

'A helpful, expert and practical guide for those risking the world of venture capital funding. Full of excellent advice.'
Tim Waterstone

An Insider's Guide to the opaque and much sought after world of venture capital… decodes the industry and offers sound advice for those who will engage with it.
Julie Meyer, Dragon on the BBC's Dragon's Den Online

'Anyone seeking outside investment from either an angel or venture capitalist should read this first…he'll have plenty of entrepreneur fans before long'
Director Magazine

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About the Author

Simon Acland was a successful venture capitalist for 20 years. He was managing director of Quester, one of the UK's most active early-stage technology investors with more than £250 million under management, and non-executive director of more than 25 companies in its portfolio. He has been involved with many successful trade sales and flotations; he has also had failures and learned from them. A long-standing member of the British Venture Capital Association's Technology Committee, he was also Director of the British Business Angels' Association.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. H. Fraser-sampson on 12 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
I teach Private Equity modules at a leading business school, and recommend this book to my students as their set text on venture capital. In my view it gives all the practical details you need to understand this exciting area, but without getting unduly technical.

The author had a long career as a venture capitalist and it shows. However, for the purposes of the book he is a poacher turned gamekeeper as it is written very much for the entrepreneur, giving helpful tips on how to minimise the amount of equity and/or value which he or she will lose from their company as a result of choosing venture backing.

It also helps that Acland's writing style is so accomplished - a testament doubtless to his other life as a historical novelist (at which, incidentally, he is also very good). I read the whole book straight through from cover to cover when I first got it, and it really was a pleasure to read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas J. Kingsbury on 30 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
I have been in the VC industry ten years and I have not seen an explanation of the issues and factors at play when a company takes on investment that is so easy to follow. What is interesting is not only the things that an aspiring entrepreneur needs to know but also a detailed expose of the financial model at the heart of the VC's own business which drives his or her behaviour.

The text is made more authoritative by the frequent table and charts that show the hard numbers that substantiate the assertions made.

The book is also, perhaps surprisingly given the above, very readable and engaging.

Recommended.

Nick
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By An Historian on 10 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
I recently read and enjoyed very much Simon Acland's novel and was therefore intrigued to see if someone who can write such an excellent 'entertainment' can also produce a serious business book. The answer is yes. Not only is this a well thought-through and practical guide, it is also amusingly written and very accessible.

No entrepreneur even considering talking to a VC let alone raising money should be without this book. It is packed with sensible and clearly explained advice.

As someone who has danced with the devil (or 'vultures' as Acland calls them) for more than two decades, it is my view that it is high time some of the myths were exploded. In contrast to their all too often inflated self image, I was intrigued to discover how lacklustre the returns are for many VCs. Apparently many have never achieved a 9X return on any single investment. There are, of course, some good ones around but the majority are vin ordinaire. A small minority are actually value-destroying buffoons. Many have remarkably little management experience.

For entrepreneurs raising money, Acland points out many of the tricks that VCs use to better their deal such as deploying interest bearing loan stock rather than equity. He is very good too on the role of the Chairman.

Two minor gripes: I could not find a mention of the excellent review site (thefunded) which rates VCs and no explanation as to why VCs who persecute their portfolio companies over every penny of cost choose always to inhabit Ritzy office palazzo themselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By An Italian in London on 20 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
I was recommended Angels, Dragons and Vultures by a colleague. I have worked in financial roles for VC-backed tech businesses for a number of years and have encountered a broad range of Angel investors and VCs ("Vultures").

Acland's book is an excellent read with simple tables illustrating his points in cold blood. The book is a clear exposition of the risks and rewards of taking on VC funding, and the tricks and treats in store for those who do. Acland manages, marvellously, to cover a huge amount of ground in 250 pages, the outcome being that the book is impressively comprehensive in its scope. His inclusion of illustrative tables means that the book is of practical use.

In short, it is one of the most directly relevant business books I have read and one I would recommend most heartily to any entrepreneurs raising money or, indeed, to anyone seeking to understand the intricacies of Venture Capital.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By barrie on 12 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
I have been an entrepreneur for over 20 years and have participated in raising Angel and Venture money on both sides of the pond.

Simon's book has allowed me to understand the dynamics from the investors perspective in a way that I never have done before. Prior to reading this book, I have always focused on my own reasons for raising money (market opportunity, growth, etc) vs. clearly understanding the rationale and motivations of the investors. The insights in this book have changed that dynamic for me.

This book also contains incredibly solid good business advice. The chapter on remuneration, shares, options and bonuses is worth the cost of the book just on its own.

Read this book is you are serious about growing your business - either organically, through Angel investors or by jumping in with the Vultures.

Oh, and by the way - this book is also very entertaining!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
When looking for capital to grow your small business, remember that it's a jungle out there: "Vultures" and "Dragons" abound, so try to get an "Angel" on your side. That's what veteran venture capitalist Simon Acland recommends. In his breezy, occasionally irreverent, but always informative guide to the ways of venture capitalism, Acland portrays its characters in colorful terms. But don't mistake the book's insouciance for lack of substance. The stakes for both business owner and investor are high. Your investor could lose millions, and you could lose your company. Or you both could be creating the next Microsoft or Yahoo. getAbstract recommends this guide on how to approach venture capital to all entrepreneurs (or "Lions") looking to ascend to the next level. Just beware of the creatures that can eat your company - and your dreams.
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