Founder vs Investor

The Honest Truth About Venture Capital from Startup to IPO

by Elizabeth Joy Zalman, Jerry Neumann

On Sale: September 12, 2023

Price: $29.99

Book Summary

A no-holds-barred look into the minds, motivations, and machinations of how investors and founders team up to build a successful startup, debated in a brazenly honest way by two of the best in the business.

About the Book

“The rarest of business books, one that provides genuinely actionable counsel delivered without empty cliches.” – KIRKUS

How many world-changing startups will fail because the founders and investors never figure out how to work together?  Founder Elizabeth Zalman and Investor Jerry Neumann square off in this one-of-a-kind book, exposing how startups are built, broken, and fought over. 

Every iconic tech company was once a startup. And while these companies like to paint an origin story full of surefooted confidence, the truth is usually something different: the early life of most startups is pure chaos.

This chaos comes from the vastly different motivations and incentives between those with the vision and those with the money. From fundraising paranoia to boardroom coups, Zalman and Neumann train their inimitable voices on the gulf between what founders and investors promise to do and what they end up actually doing.

Founder vs Investor is the brutal truth, from each side’s perspective, of the pitfalls of this tenuous relationship—where bad blood can turn sure things into shattered dreams. It is the only book written by insiders with the temerity to pull back the curtain on the world of high growth venture-backed startups.


'... No pulled punches, no half-truths, no politically correct weasel-words.'

'A fascinating, informative, and stellar study of tech company turmoil based on the differing perspectives and goals between creators and financial investors inside the tech companies that have come to so dramatically and fundamentally influence our lives, our economy, our politics, and our culture. Founder vs Investor: The Honest Truth About Venture Capital from Startup to IPO is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, corporate, college, and university library collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.'

'Since I first began learning about startups--from the perspective of both founders and investors--I've relied on Jerry to explain how things really work. It's no surprise he and Liz have written the definitive guide to the trickiest parts of the relationships between founders and investors. Anyone in or around startups will emerge wiser having read this book.'

'True leaders make the hard decisions that oftentimes don't please founders or investors, but are ultimately in the best interests of the company. I wish Founder vs Investor had been around earlier in my career; it would have been required reading before the first board meeting.'

'Zalman and Neumann's Founder vs Investor: The Honest Truth about Venture Capital from Startup to IPO, is an unvarnished, first-hand guide to their lessons learned about the complex relationship between startup founders and funders. This is a must-read for entrepreneurs and investors alike, demystifying everything from term sheets and valuations to the impact of identity and interests, aligned and conflicted, in fueling a venture-backed startup.'

'This is an impressively candid work, and one of remarkable practical value to anyone who intends to be a founder or investor, or work with either. The rarest of business books, one that provides genuinely actionable counsel delivered without empty cliches.'

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781400242764
  • ISBN 10: 1400242762
  • On Sale: September 12, 2023
  • Pages: 288
  • List Price: $29.99
  • Trim Size: 156.000mm x 237.000mm x 24.000mm
  • Category 1 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Corporate Finance / Venture Capital
  • Category 2 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Entrepreneurship
  • Category 3 : BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Small Business