Successful VC founder and Stanford University professor Ann Miura-Ko reveals the 3 books that changed how she thinks about life and business

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Ann Miura-Ko

Ann Miura-Ko is the cofounder of Floodgate, a venture capital firm in Palo Alto, California, and a lecturer in entrepreneurship at Stanford University.

Some of her investments include Refinery29, JoyRun, TaskRabbit, and Modcloth. Her company sold Refinery29 to Vice Media for $400 million in 2019.

In an episode of the “Book I’ve Loved” series on the “Tim Ferris Show” podcast, Miura-Ko shared three books that changed the way she thought.

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Forbes called Ann Miura-Ko “the most powerful woman in startups” in 2010, and her stature has only grown since. 

She is both the co-founder of the Palo Alto-venture capital firm Floodgate and a lecturer in entrepreneurship at Stanford University. Her investments include ride-hailing startup Lyft, the food-delivery app JoyRun, the indie online retailer Modcloth, and website Refinery29, which her company sold to Vice Media for $400 million in 2019. 

She was on the 2020 Midas List of top 100 venture capitalists. 

In an episode of the “Book I’ve Loved” series on the “Tim Ferris Show” podcast, Miura-Ko shared three books that changed the way she thinks.

“How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton M. Christensen

“How Will You Measure Your Life” is a book about work-life balance from The New York Times-bestselling author Clayton Christensen, who also wrote of “The Innovator’s Dilemma”. 

He writes about balancing planned actions — “deliberate” — with unplanned, “emergent” acts, and urges readers to trust their gut when they make decisions. He also talks about prioritizing your work and asking yourself: “What does someone need me to do?”, rather than focusing on what you want to do for them. 

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It will make you think about how you spend your time, Miura-Ko said. It changed how she thinks about her work-life balance and made her both more productive and happier, she said.

“The Dovekeepers” by Alice Hoffman

Miura-Ko splits her reading between fiction and non-fiction 50-50 to constantly “change things up,” And “The Dovekeepers”, which she first read around seven years ago, is still on her list of all-time favorites.

This fiction book is set 2,000 years ago, when 900 Jews held out against Roman armies near Masada, a mountaintop fortress in the Judean Desert in Israel. Only two women and five children survived. The book tells the story of one of the survivors.

“The story was so beautiful and so compelling that for all this time I’ve wanted to go to Masada,” Miura-Ko said. She’s booked a trip to see the Roman ramp that was built to the top of the mountain for next February, she said.


“The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion” by Jonathan Haidt

In “The Righteous Mind,” author Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist, discussed how people are divided by politics and religion. “Morality binds and blinds,” he writes, arguing the people feel a deep desire to belong to a group.

He writes that we morally reason not to make decisions, but to find reasons why someone else should agree with us. He writes of the importance of recognizing both sides …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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