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Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup [Hardcover]

by Brad Feld, David Cohen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 19, 2010 0470929839 978-0470929834 1
Practical advice from some of today's top early stage investors and entrepreneurs

TechStars is a mentorship-driven startup accelerator with operations in three U.S. cities. Once a year in each city, it funds about ten Internet startups with a small amount of capital and surrounds them with around fifty top Internet entrepreneurs and investors. Historically, about seventy-five percent of the companies that go through TechStars raise a meaningful amount of angel or venture capital. Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup is a collection of advice that comes from individuals who have passed through, or are part of, this proven program. Each vignette is an exploration of information often heard during the TechStars program and provides practical insights into early stage entrepreneurship.

  • Contains seven sections, each focusing on a major theme within the TechStars program, including idea and vision, fundraising, legal and structure, and work/life balance
  • Created by two highly regarded experts in the world of early stage investing
  • Essays in each section come from the experienced author team as well as TechStar mentors, entrepreneurs, and founders of companies

While you'll ultimately have to make your own decisions about what's right for your business, Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup can get your entrepreneurial endeavor headed in the right direction.


Frequently Bought Together

Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup + The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses + The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company
Price for all three: $64.28

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

It is a cold, hard fact of business life that most startups fail. Even many of those entrepreneurs who ultimately succeed have stories of personal challenges, unsuccessful companies, and difficulties along the way. The founders of TechStars, a mentorship-driven startup accelerator, have worked with entrepreneurs and companies over the past twenty-five years, and have seen a number of the same issues come up again and again.

In Do More Faster, the founders of TechStars identify the key issues that first-time entrepreneurs encounter, and offer proven advice from successful entrepreneurs who have worked with the TechStars program.

The authors organize the most critical issues into seven themes: Idea and Vision, People, Execution, Product, Fundraising, Legal and Structure, and Work and Life Balance. Many of the examples are personal experiences from the entrepreneurs themselves, integrated into a cohesive narrative—while at the same time able to stand on their own. Throughout the book, they debunk numerous myths about startups and reveal some surprising truths. They explain, for instance, that the core of a startup is not always a world-changing and earth-shattering idea—in fact, it is often the case that successful startups started out doing something else. They also underscore the efficiency of execution: great entrepreneurs know how to synthesize data, make a decision about the path they are going down, and execute. And they offer some alternatives to traditional ways of raising money, while stressing that you shouldn't start with the assumption that you need to raise money.

Mastering the seven themes may not ensure success, but understanding the issues, reading the stories, and getting advice pertaining to these issues will increase your chances dramatically. And if nothing else, you'll realize that you aren't alone in facing these challenges.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Do More Faster

"Remember when experience mattered? Thanks to this book, no matter how new to your field or how young or inexperienced you are, you can learn from people who have actually done it.

Sure beats failing." —Seth Godin, author of Linchpin

"When it comes to pragmatic advice—as well as examples highlighting real-world results—Do More Faster is a full-course meal. Brad and David have done a masterful job of simplifying into bite-sized chunks the ingredients that every entrepreneur should consider in channeling their enthusiasm into a real-world approach to building a sustainable business. TechStars has set the standard and shared the formula—now you have to execute." —Dan'l Lewin, Corporate Vice President, Strategic and Emerging Business Development, Microsoft

"If you have an idea and a dream, read Do More Faster! It offers a unique opportunity to hear first- hand what to do (and what not to do) to build and scale your business." —Josh Kopelman, Managing Partner, First Round Capital

"Having recently launched my fourth startup, I can say without reservation that what Brad and David are doing to promote entrepreneurialism is accelerating the pace of innovation. Additionally, the ideas and examples they reveal in Do More Faster are tangible and valuable lessons for anyone thinking about starting a new business. Their passion, vision, and commitment to the startup community, both through TechStars and their personal mentorship, are unmatched."
—Pete Sheinbaum, founder and CEO, The Mandelbrot Project, Inc., and former CEO, DailyCandy, Inc.

"One thing is sure in the tech world: that history repeats itself. The lessons in founding companies are always the same, yet these are rarely passed down from one generation of entrepreneur to the next. Brad and David have done a brilliant job of crystallizing the most important lessons and bringing them to life in the words of the entrepreneurs. Every startup founder should read this book!"
—Vivek Wadhwa, columnist, Bloomberg Businessweek, and contributor, TechCrunch

"Do More Faster is a locked-room all-nighter with David Cohen, Brad Feld, and the impressive mentors to TechStars; it is candid, smart, and spot-on. This is some of the very best advice entrepreneurs can get anywhere. Buy it already."
—Paul Kedrosky, Angel Investor and Senior Fellow, Kauffman Foundation


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470929839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470929834
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 86 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's as if I've paid for a marketing brochure November 14, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've written another review for this (e)book directly from my Kindle but apparently it didn't came through as it's nowhere to be found.

I gave the book a 2 star review because I can't believe the amount on hype around it nor the large amount of 5 stars (which were basically the main reason I've bought the book).

Regarding the actual content, the 'novel' thing would be that it's almost a collection of blog posts. So if you don't want to read too much, you have some nice bite-size wisdom. The information isn't mind-blowing though and if you've read one of the many sites/blogs on the internet about entrepreneurship, you'll find there is little 'fresh' information in there.

But the most annoying thing about the book is that it's almost a marketing brochure about TechStars. They don't miss *a single chance* to tell you again that it's TechStars we are talking about and that person A worked with them, for them, was funded by them, etc. So, usually at the beginning and the end you have some TechStars 'commercials' paragraphs and if possible in the middle too. Now, if you read what I've said above that the articles are quite short, it means that if you try to read more of the book, you'll be bombarded by TechStars advertisement every few minutes (I haven't actually counted how much it takes to read one article, but it isn't that much).

So, I would have preferred much more if the book would have focused on the content, which is decent, instead of trying so hard to sell TechStars.

I wish one could ask a refund on ebooks (it seems to be possible now that I've googled it, but on the Kindle interface I couldn't do it) because this continuous TechStars ad was so distracting while reading that I could have stopped after the first articles. Anyhow, now it's too late as it's been over a month since I got the book...
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to see here, move on April 17, 2011
Format:Hardcover
Essentially it's a collection of blog posts, none of which you couldn't find online. If you like having your biz blogs printed out, this might save you the cost of the ink. There is little actionable knowledge here. It's fine inspiration, but I don't need to pay $30 bucks to get that.
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars mediocre book on entrepreneurship February 20, 2011
By hue
Format:Kindle Edition
I felt this book did a poor job of distilling the lessons from the TechStars experience. The collection of essays felt poorly edited and very few of them contained engaging writing that clearly communicated the intended lesson.

For a very similar set of lessons to the one's contained in this book, you are much better off picking up a book like Guy Kawasaki's, Art of the Start: The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything.
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37 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Honestly? April 8, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read a lot. I used to be a programmer. From 2000 til 2004 I worked the web.
I have MBA's in Economics and International Finance.
This book, I could highlight a sentence a chapter to get the gist of what it's saying.
It's an elaborate advertisement.
A pat on the back book.
A yearbook of entertainment to whoever wrote it and whoever participated in the program.
I bought this book because my uncle said it was great.
I have a library of over 800 books; None of them have to be great if I get one good idea.
This book, I didn't even get that.
I have never written a book review.
This is my first.
First time I felt like I really should.
This book is like business 101.
It doesn't really tell you how to do anything.
This hasn't any more content then an inviting cover.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste April 13, 2011
By mb
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book is a collection of pieces written by different entrepreneurs. These are like blog posts, not a book with a story.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for entrepreneurs (also angels and VCs...) October 18, 2010
Format:Hardcover
David Cohen is the founder and CEO of Techstars, a mentorship-driven startup accelerator, and Brad Feld has been an early stage investor for over twenty-five years. Both authors are innate entrepreneurs and authentically love entrepreneurs. So Do more faster is not simply a platform to create speaking-opportunities, but the sincere expression of their desire to guide people through their journey. In this book, they do not steal the limelight away from entrepreneurs; while authoring a number of passages themselves, they also bring together a wide variety of contributors - and they do it to make sure that entrepreneurs will reap the benefits of key lessons learned by peers. This book is a must read. Even though it's always difficult to measure how advice can really "accelerate a startup," it's certain that there are ways to make sure not to waste time.

The art of building a startup is analyzed through seven themes, and these are divided into key related topics.
1- Idea and vision: You start with an idea that, after prototypes and multiple iterations, might end up being quite different from what you anticipated in the first place. For your own good, be able to adapt (because no matter how much you fancy yourself as a game-changer and disruption-bearer, you have to solve a real problem for real people. So beware of the "next big thing" and keep away from what David Cohen calls the "everythingitis:" offer something that people want, and if you see that things won't pan out no matter what, close the show earlier rather than later, elegantly.
2- People: However romantic the idea of venturing out as a solo pioneer, put your ego aside, and look for co-founders - while pre-empting the disastrous impact of possible future disagreements with a prenup.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for entrepreneurs
A must read for entrepreneurs. David and Brad know their stuff and have packed this book full of knowledge that will help every entrepreneur be more successful as he/she launches... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Luke Culligan Vernon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read for Everyone!
This book is wonderful...it is not just for entrepreneurs and startups, this book contains great lessons from hard working people that are applicable to all.
Published 3 months ago by Marie
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice, practical and insightful topics on the art of starting a...
Do not follow each advice written on this book, it is very counterintuitive, and full of extreme suggestions as most startup founders tend to be. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Oscar Fabra
2.0 out of 5 stars bad.
It's a giant plug for tech star events. No real valuable information is in here. You will get annoyed reading it i'm sure.
Published 4 months ago by C. Bokesch
4.0 out of 5 stars Do More Faster
I am in a hurry to get a business going as I am approaching retirement. I am tired of working for others but not too old or tired enough to quit. Read more
Published 5 months ago by HM1150
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Bite-Sized Lessons
As a startup founder, I've found the book to be pretty useful. A given chapter may or may not hit the sweet spot for the reader. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mark Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for entrepreneurs
Brad Feld and David Cohen bring a wealth of insight about succeeding with your startup from their own experiences and from their vast network. Read more
Published 7 months ago by K. Hale
1.0 out of 5 stars Vague Advice and Clear Advertisement
This book plugged techstars WAYYYYYYYY too much. It was sickening.

This is a good book if you know NOTHING about startups. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Entre Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting!
Good style! Easy reading and good lessons!
Some lessons seem obvious, even so I think they are useful for most readers!
Published 9 months ago by Ingrid Porto
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read!
I am a budding entrepreneur that wants to launch a business right the first time. This book has taught me invaluable lessons and saved me time and money.
Published 11 months ago by Aaron Duke
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