Having been fortunate enough to have worked at some of the best companies in Silicon Valley and beyond, and with five start-ups under my belt, I can assure you that luck and timing aren't everything. Great vision isn't all it's chalked up to be either. And persistence, while crucial, will only get you so far. All of these things are important, to be sure. However, there is an elusive element to what makes a great company from the start. And John Montgomery has captured its essence. From kick *ss companies like SlideShare, which was recently acquired by LinkedIn to Blogger, to Skype to Webmail.us, certain patterns either predispose a start-up to success or lack thereof.
Great from the Start demystifies the "it" behind what makes certain nascent companies different. Chapter by chapter, John "Monty" Montgomery looks at the role that being conscious plays in making decisions that stick. He goes on to discuss how start-up team structure is the foundation for being well positioned to not squander good luck, and to turn bad luck into valuable learning experiences.
But wait, there's more. The most interesting element of Great from the Start is the author's unique, well-informed, and hard-earned perspective on how to use the legal structure of the corporation to advance the role of governance in guiding the company to do the right thing, and get beyond hollow words like, "Don't Be Evil."
This is a book for people who are serious about creating a company and succeeding in the biggest way possible. It's a highly complementary read to Jim Collin's new book, "Great by Choice." And when you're done with both of them, you can pick up The Startup Owner's Manual by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf. Together, these three books provide some of the most important advice you'll ever get.
Pick it up. It's interesting, readable, and will forever change the way you think about starting a tech company.