Book details

The Startup Game

Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs

Author: William H. Draper and Foreword By Eric Schmidt

The Startup Game

The Startup Game


About This Book

The Startup Game is the first up-close look at how the relationship between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs is critical to enhancing the success of any economy.

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Book Details

The Startup Game is the first up-close look at how the relationship between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs is critical to enhancing the success of any economy.

Entrepreneurs drive the future, and the last several decades have been a thrilling ride of astounding, far-reaching innovation. Behind this transformative progress are also the venture capitalists - who are at once the investors, coaches and allies of the entrepreneurs. William H. Draper III knows this story first-hand, because as a venture capitalist, he helped write it. For more than 40 years, Bill Draper has worked with top entrepreneurs in fabled Silicon Valley, where today's vision is made into tomorrow's reality.

From a venture capitalist who saw the potential of Skype, Apollo Computer, Hotmail, OpenTable, and many other companies, come firsthand stories of success. In these pages, Draper explores how to evaluate innovative ideas and the entrepreneurs behind those ideas, and he shares lessons from Yahoo, Zappos, Baidu, Tesla Motors, Activision, Measurex, and more. Also, in revealing his on-the-ground account of how Deng Xiaoping brought China roaring into the modern world and how Manmohan Singh unlocked the creative genius of Indian entrepreneurs, Draper stresses the essential value of farsighted political leadership in creating opportunity.

The author also discusses his efforts to bring best practices of the venture capitalist/entrepreneur partnership to the social sector.

Written in an engaging narrative, and incorporating many of the author's personal experiences, this book provides a much-needed look at how the world of venture capital and entrepreneurship works.

Imprint Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin



In The News

“Required reading. William H. Draper III, to give him his correct title, has lived an adventurous life, which makes his book more exciting than simply a list of high-tech firms he has backed . . ..If the subject interests you then this volume offers advice from a wise figure.” —The Financial Times

“Moving back and forth between the worlds of business and international diplomacy, Draper's book uses anecdotes from a varied career to illuminate the partnership between VCs and startups as well as the ever-changing role of entrepreneurship in economies around the world.” —The Huffington Post

“Reads like a first-person history of the venture capital industry. It includes lots of exposition for those not familiar with venture capital, a generous dose of advice, and anecdotes.” —Fortune

“Bill Draper has written a gem . . .a mix of practitioner stories with some autobiography mixed in.” —Business Insider

“Bill Draper is one of the most knowledgeable people in the world about venture capital investments.” —International Business Times

“His passion for helping startups get off the ground runs deep.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“It's not a stretch to say that the story of Bill Draper is the story of venture capital.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Draper comes across as eminently likable . . .If Draper's book were merely a good window into Silicon Valley's past, it would be well worth a read, but he leavens the anecdotes with practical tips for would-be investors and entrepreneurs alike . . .The passion comes through frequently in the book.” —San Jose Mercury News

“Whether you've experienced the joys and pains of Silicon Valley directly or just want to learn from those who have, you can't do better than this firsthand account of the storied three generations of Drapers. Bill has done a huge favor for those of us who are passionate about technology and innovation by chronicling their experiences. Theirs is a tale worth knowing.” —Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google

“Bill Draper, who began investing back when Silicon Valley was only known for its fruit orchards, tells the story behind some of the most pivotal companies of the last half-century and offers a fascinating look at the inner workings of the venture capital industry.” —Elon Musk, cofounder of Paypal, cofounder, CEO, and CTO of SpaceX, cofounder and CEO of Tesla Motors, chairman of Solar City

“No single venture capitalist more embodies the best in venture capital; Bill Draper sets the bar high. It is not just his demonstrable success in business, but it is also his high ethical standards that earn him the respect and the following that he has in the world of business.” —President George H.W. Bush

“I wish I had this book when I started This is more than a book about how to win over a venture capitalist, or an inside look at this mysterious and powerful industry. This is a book about innovation. Anyone trying to transform a good idea into a breakthrough company with massive impact must read this book.” —Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of

“This is an inspirational tale about using entrepreneurial talent and energy to improve the world. In this book Bill describes a life of meaning and impact that spans venture capital, public service, and philanthropy. We need more Drapers!” —William H. Sahlman, Dimitri V. D'Arbeloff, MBA Class of 1955 Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for External Relations, Harvard Business School

“Bill Draper is one of the most successful and respected individuals in the venture capital industry. Having funded several hundred technology companies, he has seen it all. The Startup Game is not only a captivating account of Silicon Valley, its entrepreneurs, and the venture capitalists who backed them, but it is also an intriguing depiction of how the world of entrepreneurship works.” —John Doerr, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

“An absolutely fascinating and well-told story by one of the great men—and gentlemen—of the Silicon Valley startup world. Must— indeed, required—reading for anyone interested in the American entrepreneurial adventure.” —Christopher Buckley, author and political satirist

“While Bill has a famous reputation as a venture capitalist, the best untold story is how strategic he has been in backing a cadre of world-class social entrepreneurs who are creating massive change. Consider the stories of Bill as a philanthropist as an unexpected bonus of reading this book” —John Wood, Founder and Executive Chairman, Room to Read

About the Creators

The Startup Game

The Startup Game