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Never Bet the Farm: How Entrepreneurs Take Risks, Make Decisions - and How You Can, Too [Paperback]

Anthony Iaquinto , Stephen Spinelli Jr.
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 17, 2006 0787983667 978-0787983666 1
In Never Bet the Farm two leading entrepreneurs, Anthony Iaquinto and Stephen Spinelli, turn much of the so-called expert advice for entrepreneurs on its head. They show that by preparing for setbacks and using a framework that can help reduce risks and simplify decision making, entrepreneurs can increase their probability for success. They refute the idea that there is an ideal entrepreneurial type, and show that luck can be as important as a business plan in many enterprises. Above all, the authors emphasize that entrepreneurship is a career, not a one-time event, and winners are those who can keep themselves in the game. Never Bet the Farm is an easy-to-understand and attractive tool for anyone who has a business idea, but who might be wary of the risks implied in starting their own business.

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Never Bet the Farm: How Entrepreneurs Take Risks, Make Decisions - and How You Can, Too + In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Never Bet the Farm is an outstanding work, with many refreshing insights. A book I will use in entrepreneurship classes for some time to come."
—Albert A. Cannella Jr., Hahnco Companies professor, Arizona State University, Department of Management

"Iaquinto and Spinelli, using a rare mixture of practical experience and academic expertise, have come up with a framework that every entrepreneur should use if they wish to survive the inevitable pitfalls that line their path to success."
—Richard A. Steenerson, president and owner, Polaris Marine, Inc.

"Never Bet the Farm is a book that manages to be both practical and inspirational."
—Arsen Avakian, CEO and founder, Argo Tea, Inc.

"A very readable book for any entrepreneur."
—Rocki-Lee DeWitt, dean, University of Vermont, School of Business Administration

From the Back Cover

In Never Bet the Farm two leading entrepreneurs, Anthony Iaquinto and Stephen Spinelli, turn much of the so-called expert advice for entrepreneurs on its head. They show that by preparing for setbacks and using a framework that can help reduce risks and simplify decision making, entrepreneurs can increase their probability for success. They refute the idea that there is an ideal entrepreneurial “type,” and show that luck can be as important as a business plan in many enterprises. Above all, the authors emphasize that entrepreneurship is a career, not a one-time event, and winners are those who can keep themselves in the game. Never Bet the Farm is an easy-to-understand and attractive tool for anyone who has a business idea, but who might be wary of the risks implied in starting their own business.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (March 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787983667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787983666
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #744,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
If you are thinking about starting a business but haven't done so before, you should read this book. Never Bet the Farm will increase your chances of success, reduce your chances of experiencing a calamity, and focus your attention in helpful ways so you'll make faster progress. The book is a quick read, easy to understand, and unforgettable in its examples and observations.

If you have been an entrepreneur . . . or worked for an entrepreneur, you have a degree in the school of hard knocks about what can come your way. With those bumps and bruises, you'll develop a future business in a more successful way. For example, you probably experienced trying to do too much too soon . . . with not enough resources. That's a natural booby trap for most entrepreneurs who have a strong sense of urgency . . . that often overwhelms their sense of caution.

While the bookstores and libraries bulge with volumes that help you think about who your customer is, how to add great value for that customer, and what you can do to provide superior products and services, there's little to help you realize where it might help you to rein in your enthusiasm. Never Bet the Farm plugs that gap in your inexperience if you are first-time entrepreneur or would-be entrepreneur.

As I read the book, I was struck at how many of the points and examples perfectly match what I teach my entrepreneurial students. Why? Both coauthors are successful entrepreneurs as well as professors of entrepreneurship, and they bring those twin perspectives to bear in practical ways.

The book's structure is a little unusual. The book is short (about 120 pages) with a lot of references (university centers for entrepreneurship, books, web sites, and citation sources used in the book).
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars good premise but boring and weak August 5, 2006
By AJ
Format:Paperback
I was really disappointed in this book. I do believe that many books on entrepreneurship are meant to be inspirational and therefore end up being unrealistic, and to be fair, I do think this book paints a more practical and accurate picture. With that said, the book was very general, lacked interesting and relevant examples, and didn't add much value. Furthermore, the book seems to be 200 pages but about 70 pages are a worthless list of universities.

The worst thing? The authors repeatedly present italicized quotes of themselves, attempting to make their own thoughts and backgrounds seem even more important than they are. Disappointing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rebuttal and A Recommendation April 2, 2006
Format:Paperback
In Mr. Panah Mosaferirad's review, (a "Spotlight" review based apparently on his penchant for reviewing books and products) he seems to have an agenda in negatively comparing Never Bet the Farm to another book, The Entrepreneurial Mindset. They are completely different types of books! NBTF states upfront that it is not a textbook, but an easy to understand tool for regular folks who have business ideas but are intimated by all the Jack Welch-like profiles of uber-entrepreneurs. I'm sure The Entrepreneurial Mindset is a fine book, which seems tailored to corporate types who are comfortable with MBA concepts, and indeed it clocks in at 400 pages which to Mr. Mosaferirad's mind makes it better. He even criticizes the paper-stock used for NBTF, which is pretty strange. NBTF, however, is intended to demystify the process by which people with creative business ideas can overcome their fears and embark on an entrepreneurial career. The authors, who blend both academic and entrepreneurial expertise, apply their own experiences as well as anecdotes from well-known entrepreneurs to outline the decision-making tools necessary to take smart risks. The last section of the book is an Entrepreneur's Guidebook which identifies entrepreneurship schools/centers throughout the nation, a list of websites focusing on national business and government organizations, and recommended entrepreneur books organized by sub-category. These resources are invaluable to anyone starting out. I wish I had read this book when I opened my retail store 10 years ago, it would have saved me a lot of grief (and money)!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth The Money February 27, 2006
Format:Paperback
I thought this book was great, very instructive, innovative and inspiring.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is a sure bet! March 25, 2009
Format:Paperback
It's hard to surf cable TV channels these days, without seeing an iteration of the "World Series of Poker," a "Texas Hold `Em Championship," or some charity "Celebrity Poker Playoff" being broadcast. And if you stop surfing long enough to watch one of these guilty pleasures, you'll inevitably see someone go "all in" as they boldly push their entire stake to the center of the table - usually to the wild cheers of spectators. While this type of all-or-nothing stunt makes for intense TV drama, it has no place in the world of business. So says Anthony Iaquinto who authored the book titled - Never Bet the Farm. The writer states that the best way for businesses to avoid unnecessary risks and financial misfortune is by consciously preparing for those setbacks in advance. Soundview recommends this read because it recognizes the fact that despite the best planning, resources and skill - things can still go wrong, but by simply recognizing that very fact an organization can help neutralize potential negatives before they occur. Additionally, the book stresses the point that bankruptcy and initial business failures don't necessarily mean the kiss of death - true winners are always seeking another chance, as well as the opportunity to keep themselves in the game. According to the author, one of the best way to stay in the game is by disciplined decision-making and risk avoidance as well as never going "all in" when you have other options.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately unedifying
I'm not buying any more books on 'how to be an entrepreneur' that was written by a college prof who had a business failure and retreated back to the ivory tower.
Published 19 days ago by Femme Vitale
3.0 out of 5 stars Good points, boring execution
I could summarize this book as saying it has some really solid points on taking risks & making decisions for start-up businesses, but it is a pretty boring book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Brent
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential risk management and decision making course for entrepreneurs
This book is made up of 15 principles in 2 parts as follows:-

Developing the Correct Frame of Mind:-
1. Entrepreneurship is a career
2. Read more
Published 5 months ago by ServantofGod
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and good primer for risk management.
I enjoyed this book and found it very inspirational. I am a graduating college student this semester and aspire to start a career as an entrepreneur after I finish school. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jketts
4.0 out of 5 stars Two business gurus offer straight talk about start-ups
Libraries are filled with inspiring but intimidating tales of business success, but such superhero tricks of business engineering seem beyond the reach of mere mortals. Read more
Published on September 7, 2007 by Rolf Dobelli
5.0 out of 5 stars WorkSavvy considers this a must read for entrepreneurs
This book about business startup and avoiding potential pitfalls, by two entrepreneur-academics may have a negative in the title, but is far from negative in content. Read more
Published on February 21, 2007 by William Keyser
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy It
This was the first book I read when starting my business. I enjoyed the real world examples they gave about the trials and tribulations of other entrepreneuers like Sam Walton,... Read more
Published on September 17, 2006 by C. Mann
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read with tons of valuable information
I agree with one of the previous reviewers, D. Freeman, that Never Bet The Farm is an excellent tool for those looking to gather as much infomation as possible about starting a... Read more
Published on April 7, 2006 by Aaron Nepper
5.0 out of 5 stars Power to the people
What this book does, which is so amazing, is that it puts the power of entrepreneurship in the hands of the average Joe. Read more
Published on March 31, 2006 by Cecil Howell
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