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How They Started: How 25 Good Ideas Became Great Companies Paperback – May 29, 2012

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“For anybody like me who’s an entrepreneur (or dreams of becoming one), this book is a welcome reality check. Yes, pluck, luck, and being smart enough to know you need some good mentors are vital. And as for the reader in all of us, who likes a good tale, How They Started delivers big time, too!  It’s the personalities involved, and the values that drive people to be bold and creative that I found most endearing.” - Dan Hill, author of Emotionomics
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crimson Publishing (May 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781780590745
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780590745
  • ASIN: 1780590741
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hi there -- thanks for checking out my Amazon author page.

I am a longtime freelance writer and writing-business coach. I help other writers grow their income on my Make a Living Writing blog at http://www.makealivingwriting.com, and in my community, Freelance Writers Den (http://freelancewritersden.com).

My newest ebook for writers is 13 Ways to Get the Writing Done Faster: 2 Freelance Writing Pros Share Their Secrets, co-authored with my pal Linda Formichelli of The Renegade Writer.

I've been writing business and finance topics for roughly 20 years. And I still love it! My first co-authored print book, How They Started: How 25 Good Ideas Became Great Companies, was published in May 2012.

I am also featured in another edition of the book, How They Started: Digital. My first solo-authored book, The Pocket Guide to Starting Your Business on a Shoestring, came out in July 2013 from Skyhorse/Allworth Press.

I'm featured in The Writers Market 2013 and 2014, now on sale.

Places I've written for include Entrepreneur, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Seattle Magazine, the Seattle Times, Puget Sound Business Journal, and many more.

Corporate clients have included Costco, American Express, Dun & Bradstreet and Lending Tree.

Online, I've appeared on Copyblogger, Forbes.com, Problogger, WritetoDone, DIYThemes, Freelance Switch, and many more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Moi on May 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
So... EITHER the idea of writing a book on how companies got their start OR writing in the brilliantly informative and clear style of the authors would be enough to make me enjoy this great business book.

However, the combination, represented here, is really remarkable.

First the concept: read about how some great companies started from a good idea, the roadblocks they encountered, the good decisions (and sometimes bad) they made. This is a great, straightforward concept. You almost never will end up, as an entrepreneur (of which I am one), entirely imitating the path of another company, no matter how successful. This is because of the different variables, such as product line and timing, that are inherent in every business situation. Nonetheless, having these remarkable examples to a) benchmark and b) inspire you is incredibly useful as a pick-me-up, idea generator, and in many cases actual guidebook.

Now, to the style in which this book is written. Many business authors, ironically, aren't actually particularly good writers. On the other hand, some really are good writers, and yet notheless fail to write in a way that maximizes ease of reading and comprehension. Ms. Tice and Mr. Lester, however, have shaped literally every sentence in a way that goes down easy and actually sticks in memory in a very retrievable way. For a business book, that is my highest compliment.

Micah Solomon
Author of "High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Writing Lady on July 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a great read for someone with a great idea and what's involved in bringing it to fruition. I love the writing style of Carol Tice on her pieces because you can envision yourself in the midst of the story and almost feel like you're participating. It opens doors for new ideas, shows the reality of roadblocks and how they can be broken apart, and clearly reveals that if you believe in yourself and what you want to do, it can be done despite the odds. How They Started: How 25 Good Ideas Became Great Companies shares to qualities of true entrepreneurs and their passion to build something from an idea.

The writing is solid, provides great visuals and engages the reader to uncover more ways to make something work. Carol Tice write clear, concise copy that truly inspires. David Kester has organized the book in such a way it's entertaining and fun. The other writers are equally engaging and write solid content that moves you forward to learn more and get you thinking about how you could find new ways to put a spin on an existing idea to make it come alive. And all the articles show how sometimes doing what seems crazy is actually a great way to break through the mold and find a new niche. It's a good read for a brief break, or for an evening of sitting down to absorb some thought-provoking ideas and learn about great success stories.

In an volatile economy, this book is an inspiration to people who want to truly pursue their dreams. Finding innovative ways to get around obstacles makes the idea an even stronger dream. I love the way each idea is established and how each individual is portrayed to pursue the idea to make it a working, profitable company.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dkanenh on June 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you have a stack of untouched "how to" business books gathering dust on your nightstand (like I do), then "How They Started" is the perfect read: it's short, smartly written and won't put you go to sleep.

Focusing on 25 American companies, from famous Internet start-ups like Google, Ebay, and Twitter, to more established names like Coca-Cola, IBM, and Walt Disney Company, the book tells insightful, entertaining stories of how these businesses started and what made them successful. All have one thing in common: they started with a great idea. Some of the founders had financial resources, many didn't; some were college drop-outs or by-passed college altogether. All had chutzpah. For example: Sara Blakely, founder of SPANX, a women's shapewear manufacturer, got her first big order by modeling the undergarments herself for a Neiman-Marcus buyer; Stephen Kaufer started TripAdvisor because he wanted honest advice about where to go on vacation; and Whole Foods founder John Mackey pioneered retail sales of organic food in beef-centric Texas, in the early 1980s.

Each chapter features a different company, with a profile of the founder(s), age(s), education and where they're from. The chapter continues with the story of how the business started, finishing with a summary of where the company is now.

"How They Started" is entertaining and informative -- though I got bogged down by tech-speak in a few chapters. For entrepreneurs seeking additional inspiration as well as readers interested in a behind-the-scenes look at American business, it's a good read, packaged in an entertaining, easy-to-read format.
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Format: Paperback
You might think that this book was directed primarily at the USA reader, which it might be, but it makes for great reading for those in the UK too! There is a variety of different companies written about, some of which were not familiar to me but most of which were. The common theme is that they all became success stories in their own way with a number active for decades and sure to be known world-wide. The underlying message has to be to inspire anyone who has done some research and has a good idea that it doesn't have to cost a fortune to give it a go. The book contains some salutary lessons, is completely frank and brings things as up-to-date as is possible in a book by asking "Where are they now?". It's an easy and enjoyable read even if you don't want to start your company but are just interested in finding out about how some successful entrepreneurs have done it and brought some great brands and ideas to fruition.
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