Skip to Content

Book Summary: No Red Lights – Reflections on Life, 50 Years in Venture Capital, and Never Driving Alone

No Red Lights (2022) is part-autobiography, part-guidebook to assembling the core fundamentals of your career. Geared primarily toward aspiring venture capitalists but helpful for anyone interested in business, it’s packed with instructive lessons and useful advice. Simultaneously, it is a glimpse into the life of man who’s spent 50 years learning –⁠ and living –⁠ the tricks of the trade.

Book Summary: No Red Lights - Reflections on Life, 50 Years in Venture Capital, and Never Driving Alone

Content Summary

Genres
Who is it for?
Never forget the fundamentals no matter what industry you’re in.
When considering an investment, keep the big picture in mind.
Cultivate and maintain relationships throughout your career.
To have a successful business career, you must be constantly curious.
Learn which products are right and wrong for venture investing.
Build a culture of mutual respect within your firm.
Don’t overstep the boundaries of your role in a business.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled for paradigm shifts in your field.
Take a hands-on approach to conducting due diligence.
Make your core convictions a part of your business, and stick to them.
Speak up about your beliefs, even when they may make you unpopular.
Always remain adaptable in business and in life.
About the author
Table of Contents
Overview
Read an Excerpt/PDF Preview
Review/Endorsements/Praise/Award
Video and Podcast

Genres

Finance, Business, Money, Economics, Investments, Securities, Mergers & Acquisitions, Biography, Autobiography, Composers, Musicians, Memoirs, Professionals & Academics, Markets, Investing,

Who is it for?

  • Aspiring venture capitalists and other businesspeople
  • Business students in search of tried-and-true advice
  • Memoir and autobiography fans

Never forget the fundamentals no matter what industry you’re in.

The year was 1955, and the author, Alan Patricof, had just graduated college. In the sweltering July heat, he walked the streets of lower Manhattan searching for a job.

He started at the bottom of the block, at 110 Wall Street. In every building he entered, he rode the elevator to the top and stopped in every office until he reached the bottom. It took him nearly three months until this resulted in something promising: a securities analyst trainee position at a firm that Alan had previously never heard of.

That firm was Naess & Thomas, and it belonged to a famous Norwegian economist named Ragnar Naess. In Naess, Patricof had found a top-notch mentor, someone who could teach him the most essential part of any business career: the fundamentals.

The fundamentals are going to be different depending on the particular type of business you’re in, but let’s take venture capital as an example.

In the investing business, net free cash flow is perhaps the most important foundational principle. It refers to the amount of cash a company has available for stockholders after taking expenses into account.

Why is that important? Well, investors can’t support a company forever. Eventually, it needs to turn a profit independently. And if you, as an investor, discover that there’s really no demand for the company’s product –⁠ if the net free cash flow isn’t high enough –⁠ you’ll need to drop it.

As you gain experience in your industry, you’ll probably end up developing your own list of fundamental principles that inform everything you do. Alan himself has his own framework of four key fundamentals that a company must satisfy before he’ll invest in it. Those four are: a large enough market, a product that clearly addresses a need, sound economics, and a competent management team. Thanks to Alan’s focus on these fundamentals, his companies have successfully turned a profit from investments in countless well-known companies, like Office Depot, Venmo, and HuffPost.

A focus on fundamentals will keep you grounded in the often heady world of business and make it more likely that your company will stand the test of time. Of course, even with a rock-solid core of fundamentals, success isn’t necessarily guaranteed, as you’ll see next.

When considering an investment, keep the big picture in mind.

Every investor, large or small, has that story –⁠ the one in which they decided to forego an investment or opportunity that could have netted them a huge profit.

Alan is no exception. Long after he’d left Naess & Thomas and started his own company, one of Alan’s associates brought up a possible investment in a new coffee shop chain based in Seattle. Alan dismissed the idea automatically –⁠ after all, in New York, there were already too many coffee shops. Who needed another one?

The company he rejected, of course, was none other than Starbucks. He’d turned down the investment because he was thinking in overly local terms. As a result, he didn’t consider the underlying concept of Starbucks –⁠ coffee shops designed for socializing –⁠ and thereby missed out on a great opportunity.

Starbucks wasn’t the only major company that Alan failed to capitalize on. He also met with the CEO of Uber and WeWork at early stages but they were not raising money. Alan did not see the economic business model of either company at the time so he didn’t pursue the investment.

And there was Apple Computer. Alan is often cited as one of Apple’s early investors. That’s true, but it’s also not the full story.

Back in the late 1970s, Alan caught wind of the soon-to-be explosive growth in the personal computer industry. So when he received a phone call from an old connection, asking if he would be a co-investor in a company called Apple Computer, he jumped at the opportunity. He bought the available 30,000 shares at $10.50 per share, adding up to a total investment of $315,000.

When Apple went public in 1980, those shares were worth $6 million –⁠ 20 times the initial investment. Eventually, those shares were distributed. Recently, for fun, and to cry in his beer, Alan calculated that at the current share price, and reflecting several splits and dividends, that original investment of $315,000 would today be worth over $4 billion.

Apple wasn’t a missed opportunity by any stretch, but technically, Alan could have profited even more off of the shares than he did. At some point in your career, it’s inevitable that you’re going to make a similar mistake. When that happens, don’t waste too much time crying over spilled milk. Instead, learn from whatever mistakes you made, if any, and move on.

Cultivate and maintain relationships throughout your career.

Alan dipped his toes into the world of business when he was young –⁠ very young, in fact. At just six years old, his father encouraged him to begin selling magazines outside of a New York City subway station. Then, during World War II, he switched to selling war bonds and collecting tin cans and newspapers from the residents at his apartment building.

Where his father valued work, Alan’s mother, Dorine, valued education. Thanks to her careful frugality, Dorine was able to enroll Alan as a seventh-grader at a prestigious boys’ private school called Horace Mann. There, Alan built friendships that have lasted him a lifetime –⁠ and in the process, gained clients for his business. Those sorts of friendships and bonds are essential to any aspiring businessperson or entrepreneur.

So, how do you go about forging personal and professional bonds?

Well, as you may have guessed, you can’t do it by sitting at your desk and eating your lunch in front of the computer every day. Instead, you’ll have to put yourself out there. Breakfast, lunch, coffee –⁠ these are all opportunities you can use to get to know people.

If you’re currently in graduate school, make it a point to develop connections with the people in your cohort. Since they’ll be around your age, they’ll start working and experiencing life’s challenges at the same time you do. And you never know who among them will become the head of a bank, the founder of a start-up, or the creator of an innovative nonprofit.

No matter where you are in your career, though, you should stay open to meeting people –⁠ no number of connections is too many. So, don’t blow off events or conferences because you don’t think you’ll get anything out of them. Instead, go into each event with the goal of coming away with at least one new connection.

One easy way of doing that is to sit with groups of people who aren’t from your firm during meals. It’s as simple as choosing a group of strangers and introducing yourself to them.

And don’t just stick to people in your industry, either. Expand your horizons and build connections with people working in spaces very different from your own. You never know when such a relationship might turn out to be incredibly helpful.

To have a successful business career, you must be constantly curious.

If you’re currently a business student, consider this question. Are you planning on starting a business immediately after you finish school?

Whenever Alan speaks at a college or university, he asks the audience this question, and very often, large numbers of students end up raising their hands.

Is that a bad thing? Yes and no. Careers don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. But Alan has seen many an overconfident business student attempt to dive right into his own business straight after school –⁠ and then wind up in the gutter. So, it’s probably wise to start your career off as an employee of someone else –⁠ especially if you can find yourself a strong mentor –⁠ and spend that time learning everything you can.

Before Alan started his first company, Apax, he spent time as an employee at several other companies. But he had a keen sense for when it was time to leave those companies and begin his next adventure.

Determining the correct time was simpler than you might think: He left a company when he felt like he wasn’t learning there anymore. At Naess & Thomas, for instance, the company primarily analyzed and invested in established, public companies. That process is pretty similar no matter which firm you’re at. Knowing this, Alan eventually decided he needed to move on and pick up other skills.

You, too, could implement this principle in your career. Think about your employer as an entity paying for you to learn what you need to know. Once you’ve done that, it’s time for a change.

But the learning doesn’t stop once you’ve eventually started your own business –⁠ you must remain curious throughout your career. Read everything you can get your hands on, from business and economic trends to news about specific sectors you’re investing in. Great investors find new opportunities by always keeping a finger on the pulse of the latest technologies.

If you’re not curious –⁠ willing to follow up on articles you’ve read and conversations you’ve had –⁠ then forming a start-up or joining the investment business might not be the right path for you. Of course, you shouldn’t let your curiosity completely run away with you, either, as you’ll see in the next chapter.

Learn which products are right and wrong for venture investing.

Today, Jaron Lanier is considered the father of virtual reality technology. But the products for which he’s now famous weren’t exactly instant successes.

Alan first read about virtual reality in the newspaper in the mid-1980s and was immediately intrigued. He felt he had to see the technology himself, so he visited a trade show where Lanier was presenting it. After shuffling haplessly around the building for a while, he finally found Lanier in the basement. He was wearing large gloves that allowed him to “interact” with the large screen in front of him.

After seeing the demo, Alan decided to make a small investment in Lanier’s company, aptly named Virtual Reality, Inc. But before long, the company faded into obscurity. What happened?

Products that are very new –⁠ like VR was in the ’80s –⁠ require a gestation period for the public to actually understand what they are. It’s already hard enough to sell a product to people with an immediate need for it –⁠ and selling a future need is even harder.

While VR ultimately did gain traction thirty years later, others may never do so, for various reasons. Perhaps, for instance, the idea for a product is a good one. But it isn’t relevant to a large enough geographical area, like, say, a chain of family-owned hardware stores.

Of course, the product itself isn’t the only variable involved in the question of whether a venture capitalist should invest. A smart manager or team of managers can make a huge difference.

Case in point: Larry Saper, founder of a company called Datascope. Larry was an electrical engineer with big dreams –⁠ and an idea for a device that would eventually become ubiquitous in hospitals everywhere. That device started out with the name “Carditron,” and its purpose was to monitor a patient’s heart rhythms.

Larry first designed it for doctors making house calls, but there was a problem: the practice of doctors traveling to people’s homes was coming to an end. Once he received feedback on how he might alter the product to be used in operating rooms, Larry did just that. With a market ready to go and a real product to sell, Alan agreed to raise $50,000 for him to launch his business. The company turned out to be a roaring success.

Larry’s talent and smarts enabled him to pivot –⁠ to successfully alter and then sell his product. A lesser entrepreneur may have fumbled that move. Clearly, it’s worth keeping an eye not only on the product an individual is trying to sell, but the tenacity and ability of the individual as well.

Build a culture of mutual respect within your firm.

When he first met her, Patricia Cloherty –⁠ Pat, for short –⁠ was a smart Columbia University graduate with serious intellectual prowess. She had no experience in the investment industry, but Alan had a hunch that she would learn fast. So he brought her in on the very first day his business, Alan Patricof Associates, opened its doors on January 1, 1970.

Alan’s hunch about Pat turned out to be correct. Within a year, Pat was made a full partner of the business and stuck with it for almost 30 years. Today, Pat is known as the first woman venture capitalist, among a laundry list of other impressive accomplishments.

Pat’s example is living proof of one of Patricof’s core hiring principles: choose people with smarts, if not experience, and take the time to teach them everything you know. In return, your employees will respect you, and your organization will thrive.

In the investment industry, it’s not a popular move to hire people with little to no experience. But the benefits are considerable. On a personal level, it’s pleasing to help people rise to their full potential. And from a business perspective, it cultivates a sense of responsibility and personal stake in the company. Employees who feel connected to a company’s success are much more likely to stick with it when the going gets rough – and work hard to help it succeed.

To establish that connection, Alan focuses on exposing his junior staff to the business world in whatever ways he can. He’ll bring them to board meetings, lunches, or pitch meetings that, in other companies, only the higher-ups might attend. He’ll also let them sit in on his calls. Alan doesn’t believe there’s any meeting a junior investor should be barred from attending.

All too often, venture firms are plagued by a cutthroat culture where the winner takes all. As a result, frustrated partners end up leaving and forming competing ventures. It’s not hard to see why that’s bad for business. So, take care to equitably share both management decisions and profits –⁠ that way, your company has a much better chance of standing the test of time.

Of course, it’s very likely that you’ll have to deal with some unpleasant people despite your best efforts –⁠ a topic we’ll explore next.

Don’t overstep the boundaries of your role in a business.

New York magazine launched in April 1968 and became an instant sensation. The writing that appeared in its pages was of the highest caliber, regularly including talents like Gloria Steinem, Jimmy Breslin, and Tom Wolfe.

Behind New York’s editorial team was a famous –⁠ or perhaps infamous –⁠ editor named Clay Felker. Meanwhile, Alan and a group of other investors funded and ran the business. Clay was a brilliant editor and received plenty of fame and attention for his role. But that wasn’t enough for him. He also wanted to be involved in the business side of the magazine –⁠ and the chaos he created in his efforts to do so taught Alan an important lesson.

Clay resented any type of control that the business executives wanted to exert over him. That became especially true when he took on the role of the company’s president. He was aggressive and all too willing to unceremoniously kick other board members out of the company. Clay was so hostile that eventually, the board agreed that the only solution was to sell the magazine to a different owner.

Clay’s antics led to a bittersweet end to Alan’s involvement with New York magazine. Neither he, nor any of the other investors, made very much money from the sale.

Of course, Clay wasn’t the only one who occasionally overstepped his bounds. Alan was committed to not involving himself in the editorial side of the magazine . . . most of the time. Journalist friends of his would occasionally send him articles they’d written, in the hopes he could put in a good word for them. On two occasions, he found the articles so fantastic that he personally forwarded them to Clay.

Both times, Clay rejected the articles. Why? Well, in Clay’s view, it was his job to find the best articles written by the best writers –⁠ not Alan’s. Clay had intimate knowledge of which articles would and wouldn’t work for New York magazine.

All investors should have a vision, as Clay did. Alan starts every week with a certain amount of capital to invest and makes decisions on how to use it based on his vision for his company. And what does that vision look like, exactly? We’ll turn to that topic in the next few chapters.

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for paradigm shifts in your field.

One day, Alan was walking down Madison Avenue when he ran into David Carey, the former president of a large media publisher called Hearst Publications. David had his headphones on, and his eyes were far away, as if he were peering into a different galaxy. Alan wondered what in the world could be so engrossing.

He asked David as much and found out the answer: a podcast. The interaction got Alan thinking. The podcasting medium must have grown in maturity, if someone like David – a senior official at a large company – was spending his leisure time listening to them. It may be worthwhile, Alan thought, to look more seriously and carefully into the audio space.

Alan began learning about the podcasting industry by attending a start-up accelerator called Voicecamp. Accelerators are designed to help cohorts of start-ups get a start in investing, so by attending, Alan got to know some audio-focused businesses.

Then, some months later, Alan caught wind of a promising podcast company called Wondery. Ultimately, Alan decided to lead a syndicate of investors to raise a round of funding for the company.

Wondery was purchased by Amazon in 2020, generating a substantial profit for Alan’s second company, Greycroft. Paying attention to paradigm shifts can pay big dividends, and it’s worth your while as an investor to do so.

A key strategy is to look not just at the content that’s being produced –⁠ like podcasts themselves –⁠ but also the technology that supports that content, like high-quality headphones. A holistic view can help you catch paradigm shifts early, helping you potentially become an early supporter of a medium. That will, in turn, cause companies working in that medium to seek you out.

Remember, though, not to get caught up in the euphoria of a new platform or product just because everyone else is. It can be all too easy to fall into this trap, as the example of Viddy shows. Viddy was a video-focused social media platform that everyone pegged as the next Twitter. The hype grew and grew –⁠ right up until the company tanked.

The moral of the Viddy story? Don’t get overexcited when the numbers seem too good to be true. If that’s the case, they probably are.

Take a hands-on approach to conducting due diligence.

One day in the late 1990s, Alan got a phone call from someone at Goldman Sachs. They were asking about a potential investment in a company called Kozmo.com, which was something like a ’90s version of Uber Eats plus Netflix. Customers would call in an order for a movie they’d like to watch – on VHS, in those days – and food from a local establishment.

After meeting with the people from Kozmo and Goldman Sachs, Alan decided he’d better try out the service before making any decisions. He knew that, when conducting due diligence, a hands-on approach is often best. Put differently, the best way to see how a product works is by testing it out yourself.

The same night, Alan ordered two movies and paid $3.95 for delivery, overnight viewing, and pickup. An hour after he called, the doorman handed him a package – but inside it were two movies he hadn’t asked for.

Alan called Kozmo back and explained the situation. An hour later, the delivery man returned with the correct movies. But to do so, he’d had to come all the way back from a different part of the city, where Patricof’s movies had been mistakenly delivered, and then head back to that part of the city to deliver the correct movies to the other people!

The experience gave Alan pause. There were a ton of costs involved in the transaction –⁠ namely, all the trips back and forth that the delivery person had had to make. The math didn’t exactly inspire Alan, and he concluded that Kozmo’s business model was unprofitable.

After his company, Apax, declined to invest in Kozmo, the company did experience some success for a while –⁠ they even filed to go public in 2000. But then, the dot com bubble burst, and Kozmo went bankrupt in 2001. Alan’s hands-on due diligence had saved his company a lot of wasted time and money.

Of course, the hands-on approach isn’t only applicable when it comes to exploring a new business venture. Alan also applies it in his various volunteer activities. No matter his role – board member, observer, investor, or advisor – he makes it a point to spend time preparing for each meeting and reviewing materials. That way, he can provide qualitative input when it matters and really make a difference.

Make your core convictions a part of your business, and stick to them.

It’s safe to say that for Alan’s father, Martin, work equaled survival. So, when his son began working at Naess & Thomas, Martin saw it as an opportunity for Alan to help him out. He asked Alan to direct orders from his firm to him so he could earn commissions. But Alan didn’t want to start off his career by favoring family members so he declined.

Alan’s father wasn’t sympathetic to that decision, but Alan stood his ground anyway. Sticking to his principles was – and still is – important to him. It’s a conviction that he’s carried throughout the entirety of his business career and one that he’s enshrined in the ethos of his company, Greycroft.

Right from the outset, Alan built a set of ground rules into Greycroft’s underlying ethos. So, what were they?

Well, one was that Greycroft would only participate in syndicated investments –⁠ that is, investments that include more than one firm. In the venture investing world, that approach is unusual, because most firms want exclusive deals. But there are a number of benefits to syndicated investments that other firms tend to overlook.

For one, syndicated investments can be especially handy when it comes to evaluating the potential of a start-up. It means you have two coinvestors conducting due diligence – and thus, two different sets of data you can use to evaluate the company.

Alan had learned the value of this approach from his days at his former company, Apax. On one occasion, they’d missed out on an opportunity to invest in Burt’s Bees because one of the partners aggressively refused to participate in a syndicate.

The other benefit of setting and sticking to ground rules is that it sets you and your business apart from the pack. In the venture capital market specifically, competitiveness and orientation toward exclusives over partnership are common. Sticking to your own core principles can make your firm unique –⁠ and not to mention, help you establish a reputation for values and ethics, which can only further help your firm.

Speak up about your beliefs, even when they may make you unpopular.

Alan was six months into his army service when he decided to go toe to toe with Benjamin Ricketts.

Not literally –⁠ Ricketts was his captain, after all –⁠ but figuratively. Ricketts was a tall, surly man who enjoyed tormenting the reserves for no discernible reason. Once, for instance, he ordered a group of people to clean the kitchen grease trap from inside the trap itself. On another occasion, he forced them to walk 15 miles on a blisteringly hot day, in full fatigues and heavy backpacks.

Alan decided he needed to speak up about the abuse, even though it was a risky proposition with him being a low-ranking officer and Ricketts a captain. But Alan’s decision paid off –⁠ Ricketts was ultimately removed –⁠ and Alan proved to himself the value in always speaking his mind.

Through various charities and other organizations, Alan spent many years working to aid small- and medium-sized businesses in Africa, Latin American, and Asia. On one of his many visits to Africa, Alan found himself in Lagos, a Nigerian city.

Unfortunately, the experience wasn’t pleasant. The city was strewn with garbage. Potholes pockmarked the streets. Guards with machine guns stood vigilant everywhere the eye could see.

Alan kept these observations to himself until he found himself sitting next to Nigeria’s president, Olusegun Obasanjo, at a dinner event in New York City. At one point during the conversation, Obasanjo asked Alan what he’d thought of Lagos when he visited. Alan answered honestly and told him it was one of the worst travel experiences he’d ever had.

After Alan described the issues he’d seen, Obasanjo asked Alan to write him a letter recounting his experiences. This ultimately resulted in Alan receiving a phone call from President Obasanjo asking if Alan would consider joining his Presidential Advisory Council.

Alan was reluctant but ultimately accepted the offer. The experience was fascinating but occasionally embarrassing. At one meeting, he was asked to recount his experiences in Lagos to the city’s governor, after which the governor and the president devised a plan to tackle some of Lagos’s problems.

Today, Lagos is in a much better place. Alan doesn’t know whether his input had anything to do with the upturn –⁠ in fact, he doubts it. But if he hadn’t spoken up honestly and with integrity, he would never have had the chance to make an impact at all.

Always remain adaptable in business and in life.

In 1961, the first stretches of the Berlin Wall were laid down to separate the two halves of the city, East and West. Not long after, US President Kennedy responded by activating 156,000 army reserves. One of the units called up was the one Alan belonged to –⁠ the 411 Quartermaster Corps.

Alan’s life and career were suddenly flipped upside down. In just 30 days, he had to complete all the preparations to leave and then report to Fort Lee, Virginia.

Alan was fortunate in the fact that his boss at the time assured him he’d still have his job when he came back, and that he’d even pay Alan his salary while he was gone. Despite that, the sudden activation of the reserves was deeply disruptive to Alan and everyone else in his unit. But Alan rose to the challenge and adapted to it, as he always aims to do.

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest challenges that Alan faced in life was watching the slow decline of his wife, Susan, who fell ill in 2008.

The issue began with Susan experiencing fairly minor memory issues. It didn’t seem like such a big deal at first, but eventually, she and Alan decided she needed to see a doctor.

Susan was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Alan watched as her illness progressed over ten-plus years, taking a deep emotional toll on him as Susan’s mind and body slowly slipped away from her. She ultimately died peacefully among her family in January 2021.

Although the experience was extremely difficult, witnessing his wife’s decline in addition to his own experiences with aging inspired Alan. He considered how aging could potentially apply to a business venture. Despite the fact that the aging sector is the fastest-growing segment of the population, the market for products, services, and technologies designed for aging individuals is still relatively untapped.

The opportunity seemed too good to pass up, so Alan thought: Why not create a third business focused on investing in older entrepreneurs and business ideas related to aging?

And that’s exactly what he did, opening up his latest company, Primetime Partners, on July 1, 2020. Most people may be inclined to say that at Alan’s age, it’s time to throw in the towel and retire. But Alan disagrees. He’s still got plenty of energy, so why stop now? That, essentially, has been the overarching motto of his life: just keep going; there are no red lights.

About the author

Alan Patricof is an American venture capitalist who founded the firms Greycroft and Apax Partners. Throughout his long career, he has been involved in the growth and development of such major companies as Venmo, Bumble, HuffPost, America Online, Office Depot, and Apple Computer. Currently, he is working on developing his latest company, Primetime Partners, which is focused on investing in technology, products, and services related to aging.

Alan Patricof has started three separate successful firms that have made a mark on the venture community over the past fifty years. These firms have participated in the financing at an early stage of more than 500 companies including Apple Computer, AOL, Office Depot, Cellular Communications, New York Magazine, Audible, Huffington Post, Sunglass Hut, Axios, and the list goes on. In addition to his professional business career, he has lived an eclectic life participating in politics, art, theatre, and international development, while being a 5x marathon runner, a world traveler, and a person who lives life to its fullest. At age eighty-seven, he is still working full-time, rides a bike twenty miles a weekend, hikes several times a week, and is pursuing an active personal life.

He was married for fifty years to his extraordinary wife, Susan, until she passed away from Alzheimer’s last year. He lives in NYC and has three sons and seven grandchildren.

Alan Patricof | Website
Alan Patricof | Twitter

Table of Contents

Preface
Chapter 1 You Get Where You’re Going from Where You’ve Been
Chapter 2 Sitting Shotgun
Chapter 3 Taking the Wheel
Chapter 4 Steering My Own Route
Chapter 5 Driving on the Left Side of the Road
Chapter 6 Road Trips in Politics and Volunteering
Chapter 7 Carving a New Path
Chapter 8 My Next Trip
Acknowledgments

Overview

As featured in The Wall Street Journal!

A look back at entrepreneurial growth and venture capital in the last half century by one of the leading figures in the industry.

Extensive media and online coverage of the business arena, news of start-ups, mergers, and deals are familiar headlines these days. But that wasn’t always the case. The early years of venture capital were a far cry from today’s very public dealings. Alan Patricof, one of the pioneers of the venture arena, offers a behind-the-scenes look at the past fifty years of the industry. From buying stock in Apple when its market valuation was only $60 million to founding New York Magazine to investing in AOL, Audible, and more recently, Axios, his discerning approach to finding companies is almost peerless.

All of Patricof’s investments—from Xerox to Venmo—share certain qualities. Each company had sound product with wide appeal, the economics were solid, and the management team was talented and committed to seeing their visions come to fruition.

Read an Excerpt/PDF Preview

Video and Podcast

Review/Endorsements/Praise/Award

“Our dear friend Alan Patricof is one of the most fascinating people we know—constantly looking for new ways to learn and grow, to be ahead of the next curve, and to embark on another adventure. In No Red Lights, he shares a useful roadmap for building a life and career that is successful, interesting, and fulfilling. Like Alan himself, this wonderful book is brimming with wisdom and wit, energy and exploration, curiosity and common sense.” – President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton

“Alan Patricof has had extraordinary success in the investment world with his innovative and forward-thinking approach. In this captivating memoir, he offers an insider’s perspective on some of the most notable business deals of the past fifty years, and gives us a look at what makes companies successful over the long-term. The book is a must read for anyone interested in the world of venture capital.” – Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO, Thrive Global

“Alan Patricof believed in Audible when we were little more than a vision of the possible. No Red Lights is a chronicle of a ceaselessly curious investor’s singular journey through decades of innovation and a life well lived.” – Don Katz, Founder and Executive Chairman, Audible

“Alan Patricof has always been ahead of the curve. I saw that firsthand as Alan invested in America Online in its infancy, when only 3 percent of consumers were online and most people didn’t believe in the Internet’s potential—but he did. This book is packed full of riveting stories from Alan’s extraordinary life, that can help inspire and guide your life.” – Steve Case, Co-founder, AOL, CEO, Revolution

“After the first few pages, you want to put this book down and get to your dream. That’s what Alan does to you. He’s the best in the business, and his love attracts you.” – Iqram Magdon-Ismail, Co-Founder, Venmo

Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. We need money to operate the site, and almost all of it comes from online advertising. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Please disable ad blocker