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Prospective entrepreneurs may think they know everything there is to know about starting a business in Silicon Valley. They can draw up business plans, have meetings with venture capitalists, maybe even get funded and actually launch a start-up. However, in The Monk and the Riddle, Silicon Valley sage Randy Komisar reasons that's only half the equation for success. And it may not be the important half. Komisar has worked with a number of companies--Apple, LucasArts Entertainment (the gaming division of George Lucas's empire), and WebTV among them--and has come to a rather startling conclusion: if you can't see yourself doing this business for the rest of your life, don't start it. In other words, he wants to see passion and purpose in business, not just spreadsheets and a by-the-numbers business model. To illustrate, Komisar takes the reader through a hypothetical Silicon Valley start-up, with an eager entrepreneur named Lenny trying to get funding for an online casket-selling business. As Komisar helps Lenny find the real purpose of the business, the passion behind the revenue projections, he reflects back on his life as an entrepreneur. Komisar emerges as a master storyteller, the kind of guy you'd feel honored to share a bottle of wine with. And you believe his conclusion: "When all is said and done, the journey is the reward." It's great if you've made billions on the journey, but the important thing is that you do something you can truly throw yourself into. --Lou Schuler --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
Komisar is among a new breed of executives who have been called "virtual CEO's." Unlike consultants, they not only advise but actually work for companies that tend to be very small high-tech or Internet start-ups. In addition to working currently for seven such companies, Komisar has worked with WebTV and TiVo, was the "real" CEO at LucasArts Entertainment, and was one of the founders of Claris Corporation. With the assistance of freelance writer Kent Lineback, who has produced numerous films and videos for the Harvard Business School, Komisar here intertwines the story of his own career with that of two fictional entrepreneurs. The purpose is to show how deals are made and businesses get started in Silicon Valley. Komisar's many experiences allow him to speak firsthand about how venture capitalists and headhunters think and operate. He also warns that passion and vision are just as important as a well-crafted business plan. Throughout, we also get a strong dose of Komisar's own philosophy of success and fulfillment, a philosophy that might best be called Zen capitalism. David Rouse --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.See all Editorial Reviews
I read this all weekend! It came highly recommended by John Doerr one of the top vc's in Silicon Valley. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Gina Lynch
Occasionally you read a book that speaks to you fully and powerfully. Randy Komisar's The Monk and the Riddle does that for me. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Flying Kame
Wow - what a pretentious book. I have no idea why someone has successful at Randy apparently is - has to write a book - whose sole purpose is to show how quick, smart, cool he is. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rose
Short, accessible and with great insights. I found this book inspiring and a great reminder to remain aware of decisions in the greater context. "Focus and priorities matter most".Published 2 months ago by Anake Goodall
I was not sure that this book would still matter. It is set in Silicon Valley, but in another time. For those wondering if it is worth reading in 2015, I say yes. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Valuegal
Chapter nine is the best chapter. If you only were to read one chapter, read chapter nine.Published 6 months ago by R. Mozingo
Too much name dropping. Overall good point. Sure, Harvard Law was a waste of time, but it was his initial ticket. More failures than successes until his hit with Nest.Published 7 months ago by Lewis