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Strategic Entrepreneurism: Shattering the Start-Up Entrepreneurial Myths Hardcover – September 15, 2008

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Strategic Entrepreneurism: Shattering the Start-Up Entrepreneurial Myths + The UnStoppables: Tapping Your Entrepreneurial Power + The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: SelectBooks; 1 edition (September 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590791894
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590791899
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #699,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Today's need for capital efficiency makes Jon's book essential reading for all professional angel investors. -John Huston, Chairman Angel Capital Association
--Angel Capital Association/Techcolumbus

Fisher offers much sound advice, making "Strategic Entrepreneurism" a must for business people just starting up. --Entrepreneur Magazine

"Jon is a gifted entrepreneur." -Ray Lane
--Former President, Oracle Corporation

"Jon Fisher's book maps entrepreneurism like a wilderness expedition. A good read for start-up teams out of their comfort zone and in need of a compass."   
John C. Read -President & CEO - Outward Bound

From the Author

The most acquisitive companies in the world must use formulaic processes to buy and integrate so frequently.  An entrepreneur's understanding of these processes increases the chance of a successful exit.

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

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Customer Reviews

I will have to say anyone starting the new business or idea of having business must read this book.
Hemantkumar M. Desai
This book is equally valuable to product marketing managers and marketing managers as they assess their markets, and seek to fill the gaps in their offerings.
Mark Travis
It lays out step by step with specific directions and real examples of what to do and how to do it.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Simon M on October 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read this book over the last week as I'm about to embark on starting my company. My intent is to start an internet-based business, so this book was definitely seemed n interesting read.

The good:
- Quick, easy read
- Simple and good concepts (ie you *don't* need to be first mover!)

The bad:
- This guy started his own enterprise software company and he wants you to as well. He talks incessantly about the value of an enterprise customer over selling to the consumer space. Yet he doesn't touch on the downside: if you get that one company and they walk you are screwed!

- His examples are not correct a good chunk of the time. For example: he uses Apple as a success model for differentiating from Microsoft by building their own machines, conveniently omitting the fact Apple may have made a HUGE mistake by not licensing their OS to compete with windows from day 1.

- His laser-like focus on acquisition misses another path: grow your successful business and keep running it, or IPO and exit yourself. He highlights the sale exit but cleverly dismisses the others.

- He makes high-level blanket assertions like "build your product with your customer". Okay, great idea. How do I do that? Who do I call? He doesn't touch on the nuts and bolts at all.

I found this book to be useful about 40% of the time, and filled with platitudes the rest. I'm glad I read it at the library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jen on September 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Got this book last week and have spent the last few nights reading it. I am a first time entrepreneur running my start-up for the last two years. I wish I had this book before I started - Fisher understands the start-up landscape and the realities of future exits.

I have read hundreds of business books over my career and this is one of my favorites - great analysis and advice.

If you're an entrepreneur or considering becoming one, buy this book and pay attention while you read it - it is a valuable tool.
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Format: Hardcover
I liked this book. It's written by a former startup CEO who sold his company to software giant Oracle. He worked for Oracle during the transition and then quit in order to retire. This book is just another one of those Silicon Valley tomes that try to tell common folk how to start and run a small business. It has the following 11 chapters:

0. Introduction: The real life of an entrepreneur
1. The basics of entrepreneurism
2. The old rules of entrepreneurs
3. The new rules of entrepreneurs
4. Strategically designing your company for success
5. Finding the right business idea: The search for the not-so holy grail
6. Designing a company to be acquired
7. Collaborating with the customer
8. Case studies of failures
9. Calculating success
10. Thoughts
11. Epilogue

Probably the key points I gathered by reading this book are what the author says are the common pitfalls to avoid when starting a company: (1) grow too fast, (2) focus on the wrong product, and (3) accept too much funding from outside investors.

If you can bootstrap your startup using your own funds or borrowed funds, then go for it. That's the best way to start your new enterprise. And if you are "strategic" in the way you design, plan, start, and run your new company as the author advises, then you will be better for it. Of course, you will be richer, too.

I wish the author had not placed so much emphasis on the importance of designing a company to be acquired. It seemed to work for him. But designing a company that CAN BE (as compared to WILL BE) acquired is more the ideal in my humble opinion. Such companies need not be sold but can be operated by someone other than the founding entrepreneur while he continues to own it.
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Format: Hardcover
Coming from the Entrepreneurship Program at Columbia Business School and the Computer Science Program at Brown University, I would highly recommend this book to anyone considering a career in entrepreneurship, especially high tech entrepreneurship. In fact, I even bought a second copy for my brother.

One reason for the failure of many entrepreneurs is that their analysis of the business opportunity stops with an over-optimistic market survey. Strategy often takes a back seat to more immediate considerations such as cash flow and product development. The irony is that it is even more important for small ventures to build in strategic considerations into every move in order to maximize the chances of future viability. Fisher insightfully discusses issues such as making the correct value proposition, positioning yourself when you're the little guy, increasing your value simply through optimal strategic moves, how to analyze funding issues, creating a realistic exit strategy, and etc.... I found that the author's personal experience in dealing with these situations added quite a bit to the book by allowing him to give practical advice.

Another implication of Fisher's recommendation to target being acquired as opposed to an IPO is that it reduces the risk of entrepreneurship to a much more tolerable level. I would also recommend this book to those who have strong technical skills in computer science, engineering or other sciences but no current entrepreneurial plans because of risk aversion.
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