In the second book in the Entrepreneurial Edge series, frustrated individuals, immersed in family businesses, enroll in a two-week course on entrepreneurship that will change their lives.
For ten years Mary has been an office manager at her brother’s business only to see her younger brother join the company and receive shares while she gets none. Plagued by doubts about her ability to change the culture in the family business or succeed outside it, Mary signs up for a seminar series on family entrepreneurship. A crusty mentor named Sam conducts the seminars in a class that includes three others: a son considering taking over a family business, the owner of a successful company involving her two daughters, and a man with a stormy working relationship with his sister.
The narrative brings us right into the class as Sam cleverly leads all of us to decisions about our future. Anyone interested in entrepreneurship, starting a business, or just managing their career will benefit from the shared experiences of this compelling story.
It’s easier than ever before to launch a startup. But in a world where barriers to entry are virtually nonexistent and everyone wants to be the next Facebook, competition is fierce. If you’re just beginning and lack the money and clout to make an automatic splash, how do you differentiate yourself from all the rest?
Jason Baptiste knows firsthand what it takes. After launching his first company while still in college, he cofounded his current venture, Onswipe, in his early twenties, turning it into a multimillion-dollar company in less than a year. Now, drawing on his own experience as a bootstrapping but hungry entrepreneur, as well as on examples from today’s most famous companies, he guides would-be tech moguls through every stage of the process—from testing a concept to acquiring customers to determining the best pricing model—in a cheap, practical way. Among his strategies:
• Build the product you wish you had: Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley created an early version of his product because he wanted to keep in touch with former colleagues.
• It doesn’t have to be sexy to make money: Dropbox took the world by storm by offering a great solution to a mundane problem—online storage.
• Be bold when promoting yourself: Online payment service WePay capitalized on dissatisfaction with industry leader PayPal by dumping six hundred pounds of ice in front of a developer conference.
• Attract fans to attract customers: Budget tracking site Mint.com created its initial user base by offering original and useful content about personal finance.
Baptiste shows you don’t need an MBA, a trust fund, or even experience running your own company to become a star in the tech world. The Ultralight Startup is a comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide that will prepare any entrepreneur to take his or her idea to the next level.
While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.
Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz's personal and often humbling experiences.