Summary: A compendium of short discussions on what you will encounter in an early-stage startup and advice that can help you to handle these situations.
Intended Audience: Anyone involved in startups that is looking for guidance or new ideas
Why You Should Read It: This is an extremely pragmatic book that contains invaluable lessons learned by entrepreneurs who lead and participate in the TechStars program. Each item is short (2-3 pages) and focuses on a single story and lesson learned, quite often the hard way. It is divided into seven themes that discuss items related to the conceptualization of the company, building and growing the right team, executing on your ideas, determining the right product to build, financing the startup, legal structure, and how to take care of yourself so you don’t burn out. Taken together, all these tips can help you avoid many fatal avenues, greatly enhance your chance for success, and give you more opportunity to enjoy the wild ride.
- Validated learning is perhaps the key element to determine if you are successfully executing on your ideas. If you don’t have customers confirming your progress (preferably through financial commitment), then you cannot be sure you are building a viable company.
- Startups need friends and external champions for your ideas. Look for opportunities to share experience with similar stage companies and engage early customers as development partners.
- Find the one thing you are going to do better than anyone else in the world to delight customers and focus on executing only this until you know otherwise.
Recommended?: This is a book I wished I had at my first startup 13 years ago