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on November 14, 2010
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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on April 17, 2011
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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on April 8, 2011
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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on February 20, 2011
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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on April 13, 2011
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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on October 18, 2010
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. Also, no matter how skilled you have become at hiding your personal flaws and insecurities, make it a principle to hire people who are better than you. Given that you are not infallible, learn to fire quickly ("Two strikes and you are out," Brad says), but don't turn into a tyrant: a company is a great team of complementary talents, as well as a managed network of relevant customers and evangelists.
3- Execution: That's the nervous system of any startup and I am glad to see this very early in the book. If you are not an "execution machine," you are just a dreamer and forget about your entrepreneurship dreams. You have to do everything faster than an established company and fall back on you feet as quickly as a cat. Trust your guts, be decisive, learn that a one-of-a-kind customer doesn't create a market, and scale your business through replicability. You may find out that the company will not thrive. So fold it sooner than later. Learning through failures is a great reassuring American spiel (provided than you don't start to believe that it can be a way of life).
4- Product: Another great section, often tied to section 1. Despite efficient filters (Techstars accepts just 10 of the more than 600 startups that apply), "we find at least one-third of those startups are attempting to build a product that they want, or that no one wants, instead of what the market wants" the authors say. Don't wait until you are proud of your own product, focus on what matters, obsess over the right metrics, and never forget that customers are kings.
5- Fundraising: Most companies come to Techstars with the goal of raising money. Well, should it be really your goal? Sure, you will learn more about the art of raising money, but also find out that you may not have to. Beware of angel investors who aren't investors, find the right ones who care about the right things (in the end: it's results!), and realize that bootstrapping can be a very efficient way to right-size your business.
6- Legal and Structure: This is not fancy, but key: form the company early and choose the right company structure - and default to Delaware. And even (some) lawyers can tell you that "lawyers don't have to be expensive," which doesn't mean that you should select your brother in law to stay on the cheap side. Cheap is cheap - and sometimes very expensive.
7- Work-Life Balance: Yes, you will work around the clock. But at some point, you need to recharge your batteries. Various ways to do that, even though it's hard to get your passion out of your mind.
Techstars is a great mentor-driven accelerator, and has become a meaningful part of the ecosystem in Boulder, Boston, or Seattle and will soon in New York City. This is a replicable model, and the great thing about the whole initiative is that David Cohen has been very open about the results.
Entrepreneurs, read Do more faster + Guy Kawasaki's The art of the Start and Reality Check as well as Steve Blank's The Four Steps to the Epiphany, and you are sure of at least one thing: starting with your head on your shoulders. Good luck!
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on February 15, 2011
. . . unless you're currently living a startup and have the confidence to think for yourself.

"Do More Faster" is hands down one of the best books out there for entrepreneurs. It's so densely packed with wisdom, I actually see it being difficult for someone not currently living a startup to glean more than a small slice of all that's there. When you do read it, you'll need to decide for yourself what applies to your startup and what does not (see the chapter, "It's Just Data" in the book). There's no 'quick fix, one size, all your answers' false promise here.

---------------------

I'm mid stream in my own startup immersion, but here's the reading sequence I'd follow if starting again:

1. Guy Kawasaki's "Art of the Start" while you're thinking about a startup to gain the lay of the land.
2. Browse but don't read "Do More Faster". You'll know from the chapter titles which ones to read now.
3. Deep dive on chapters 1 and 2 of Steve Blank's "Four Steps to the Epiphany" to learn how NOT to get started.
4. Launch your startup (but not your product).
5. Deep dive of "Do More Faster" cover to cover.
6. Deep dive of Ash Maurya's "Running Lean" for a streamlined iteration of "Epiphany" applied specifically to web applications startups.
7. Read Cooper & Vlaskovits' "Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development" to jump start you on Customer Development, then go back and read chapter 3 of "Epiphany".
8. Read Heath & Heath's "Made to Stick" for great insight on messaging and how to communicate your vision and value proposition.

Only so much one can learn from even great books, but iteratively reading and doing has driven more rapid learning and improved execution for me. All this said, if you only have time for one extra-startup learning activity, don't read. Find the two or three best entrepreneurial and speedpitch/feedback groups in your area, such as New Tech or LaunchUp, and get in the flow.
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on February 18, 2013
I read a lot of business books and have been involved in multiple successful startups over the past several decades, among them tech as well as creative sector/arts nonprofits. Do More Faster is or can be a quick read, but if your experience is similar to mine you'll find yourself wanting to loop back and dig into some of the topics more than once.

The book very clearly and understandably linked to TechStars, a terrific program for identifying, mentoring and helping aspiring tech entrepreneurial teams to rapidly prototype, launch and attract attention and investment from Angels and VCs. However, this book is also very useful for businesses seeking to streamline and accelerate development of new products and business niches. It is practical while also emphasizing some of the key intangibles that startup teams too often push aside. And, while emphasizing practical, real-world requirements, most chapters include additional observations.

Highly recommended for industry you may be in and whether or not you are oriented toward the technology sector.
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on August 5, 2014
David Cohen and Brad Feld are geniuses.

They each are also kind individuals (each, for example, took the time for a seven page interview with me).

This book is chock full of advice that every entrepreneur needs to be successful.

If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, and also want some insight into TechStars and the great success and successful companies it has spawned, read this book.

Very highly recommended!!
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on September 22, 2013
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. But overall, there are enough nuggets in here to make it easily worthwhile. The writing styles vary across chapters, and it does read like a blog with a bunch of guest posts -- but good ones!
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