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The Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups from Their Founding Entrepreneurs Hardcover – January 2, 2013

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The Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups from Their Founding Entrepreneurs + Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future + The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Is entrepreneurship in your blood? If yes, then this is your family album." - Peter Thum, founder and CEO, Fonderie 47; founder, Ethos Water

"The world needs more entrepreneurs. By taking the hard part of building a business so seriously, this book should help more people get to the fun part-success. David Kidder brings both a writer's mind and a startup veteran's urgency to an entertaining and useful trip inside the minds of today's most successful creators of organizations-both for profit and for purpose." - David Kirkpatrick, founder, host, and CEO, Techonomy Media; author of The Facebook Effect

"Kidder, a serial entrepreneur and bestselling author of the Intellectual Devotional series, has assembled what can best be described as the perfect coffee-table book of collective entrepreneurial wisdom. He set out to collect key ideas that have inspired the world's greatest entrepreneurs and asked a number of wunderkinds to explain "key practices, behaviors, and ideas" that allowed them to succeed. Aggregated, the critical ideas expressed are know thyself; keep the focus on your big ideas; build a painkiller, not a vitamin; be 10 times better than the competition; and be a monopolist. The participants-including such luminaries as Steve Case of AOL, Robin Chase of Zipcar, Scott Harrison of Charity: Water, Jay Walker of Priceline, Sara Blakely of Spanx, and many others-provide their advice in the form of a playbook and offer pearls of wisdom such as running lean, firing people when they lose faith in your ideas, and staying ahead of the game. The sheer range of projects and ideas makes this an inspiring look at the process behind the successful startup plan." - Publishers Weekly

"From technological entrepreneurs to social entrepreneurs, The Startup Playbook features important tips from top American innovators that will change the way you think about your job, your business, and maybe even your industry." - Alexis Maybank, cofounder and chief strategy officer, Gilt Groupe

"David Kidder writes from experience and passion about what it means to succeed from startup to successful enterprise. Whether old company or new, big or small, Kidder reminds us of the entrepreneurial spirit that can propel many great companies and nations." - Beth Comstock, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, GE

"Bravo! David Kidder's latest book is a gift to aspiring entrepreneurs. His interviews with our era's most successful startup players reveal what we need to know about turning dreams into businesses that last. Readers will benefit from the Playbook's practical advice and the inspiration in every story." - Wenda Harris Millard, president and COO, MediaLink; former co-CEO, Martha Stewart Living; former chief marketing officer, Yahoo

"David Kidder is a master at getting people to reveal themselves. These are all entrepreneurs I have heard from before, but David somehow got them to expose things about themselves-and to distill lessons from their experiences-which no one else has been able to do." - Laurel Touby, founder, www.mediabistro.com

"David Kidder has curated, aggregated, and synthesized an opus for the entrepreneur-whether current or aspiring. The openness with which these great entrepreneurs shared their experiences and insights is an invaluable asset conveniently packaged by Kidder. The Startup Playbook is not some trendy tech book that captures the zeitgeist of the moment, but rather a timeless, actionable reference tool to be read and re-read and kept within reach." - Terence Kawaja, founder and CEO, LUMA Partners

"By shedding light on the insights of top entrepreneurial minds, David Kidder breaks down the secrets to startup success in simple and actionable terms. The diverse mix of entrepreneurs and the thoughtfully posed questions make for an engaging and inspiring read." - Jennifer Fleiss, cofounder, Rent the Runway

About the Author

David S. Kidder is a serial entrepreneur, co-author of the bestselling Intellectual Devotional books, and the recipient of the Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He lives in Westchester, New York, with his wife and three sons. His website can be found at www.thestartupplaybook.com

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (January 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452105049
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452105048
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

David S. Kidder
www.davidskidder.com

Author, The Startup Playbook
www.TheStartupPlaybook.com

Creator + Co-Author, The Intellectual Devotional Series
Two Time New York Times Bestseller
Printed 10+ Languages Worldwide
www.TheIntellectualDevotional.com

Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, Bionic
www.BionicPlatforms.com

David S. Kidder is an entrepreneur with a wide range of marketing and technology expertise focused on social, mobile, and search advertising and product development. Most recently, David served as the co-founder and CEO of Clickable, an online advertising software as a service (acquired by Syncapse). Prior to Clickable, Kidder co-founded SmartRay Network, a mobile advertising pioneer (acquired by LifeMinders), and Net-X, a web-authoring platform (acquired by Target Vision). Kidder is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, and received ID Magazines International Design Award and Ernst and Youngs Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2008. David is also an angel investor through his fund Alt Option Return with investments including: Art.sy, TapAd, MileWise, PayOff, HowAboutWe, BoostCTR, Clothia, DailyFeats, Content.ly, Spontaneous.ly, Lenndo, and Founders Fund III. He is a founding member of the The Acumen Fund One Percent Fund, and serves on the National Board of the Smithsonian. He also is the creator and two-time New York Times bestselling co-author of the book series, The Intellectual Devotional, published by Rodale. He is currently authoring The Startup Playbook, published by Chronicle Books in 2012. He lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife and three sons.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Dariyanani on January 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great because it grabs these spectacular entrepreneurs and asks them the right questions...not about the particular weeds and problems of the moment (like initial funding) but specifically what made them successful. The answers are, sometimes, non-obvious, empirically validated and actionable.

The book also kindled in (most) of its participants a high level of candor and personal introspection. Usually these types of entrepreneur profiles are eclectically superficial, just one level deeper than a Frequent Flyer magazine hagiographic bio puff piece. There is some real insight here...and the diversity of the group (from heavy industrial to ZipCar) and the entrepreneur's personalities come through so clearly.

Some of my favorites are Catherina Fake, Chris Dixon, Jeff Dachis, Mark Echo, Lisa Gansky, Robin Chase and Elon Musk. Here's a quote from Tesla/SpaceX's Elon Musk on Unions, it gives you a flavor for the freshness and candor in the book:

I once asked the factory technicians on the floor what
they saw as the best value of unions. They said that if their boss was a
jerk, they had no recourse, but the union gave them a recourse. So I
made the rule, "There will be no jerks here." If one of your managers
persists in being a jerk, fire him. It helps morale, and it's a great way
to minimize people's tendency toward being jerks.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Linda M. Holliday on March 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As an entrepreneur with a start-up working with traditional companies, I would say this book is even more valuable to top management in older companies. Listening to the massive insights, grasping the flexibility and the management styles of so many talented modern executives is literally crash course in reinventing your work self for the 21st century. The voices and diversity come through clearly. There's no one right way to do anything. It's an inspiring and fun read, and I love how it was organized.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John W McArthur on February 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Startup Playbook is a terrific read for anyone who has ever launched or run an organization, and likewise anyone who has ever thought about doing either. The book's highly approachable structure is vintage David Kidder (a friend, in full disclosure) - motivated by an ambitious vision for the world while anchored in the practicalities of action. He has collated an all-star cast of perspectives, ranging from some of today's hottest non-profit entrepreneurs to many of the biggest names in new generation business leadership. The insights touch on much more than how to start a business - they speak to universal issues like how to inspire people, how to persist through criticism, how to manage a growing organization, and how to think most constructively about failure. More than anything, they talk about how to define and execute a personal vision. A handful of the entrepreneurs profiled are personal friends, yet the book still taught me something new about each of their stories and insights. I've marked up a bunch of passages, and anticipate that I will keep picking this book up periodically, just to re-read a section or two for some distilled advice and inspiration.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By MetroDigiMom on January 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I wish I had this book three years ago when I set sail on my own startup. Author David Kidder, a respected serial entrepreneur in his own right, talked to the best minds in the business. From those conversations he picked out the golden nuggets that make or break one's entrepreneurial journey.

This is not a journalist's yarn or academic's outsider hypothesis. It's validated learning from 'one of their own', boiled down to its essence -- a must for the innovator's business bookshelf. I expect to refer to it for years to come.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Natural Dad on January 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Best-selling author, David Kidder, has come out with a new book, The Startup Playbook, which has interviews with many of today's most successful entrepreneurs, from Caterina Fake (Flickr) to Elon Musk (Paypal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors). While you get their own personal stories in great detail, its also the story of the modern American economy. There aren't too many manufacturing companies, except those started by Elon Musk. They, for the most part are Internet entrepreneurs.

It was interesting to read Steve Case's story. He is perhaps the most well known of all of the entrepreneurs that Kidder interviewed, but you forget what a visionary he actually was. AOL was launched back in 1985 when only three percent of the American people had Internet access. I'm sure only slightly more knew the Internet existed at that time. Personal computers and laptops were only just catching on.

You can draw some interesting lessons from the group (as Kidder does), but things like first mover advantage still mean a lot and other obvious things like perseverance and hard work play critical roles as well.

The past two decades have truly been an incredible time for entrepreneurs. It will be interesting to see if the next two are as fruitful, particularly if the new Maker Revolution takes off, which promises to change not just how we connect with each other and gather information, but how we work and manufacture things.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Ezra on February 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Reading The Startup Playbook is like being mentored by some of the smartest entrepreneurs around. You can think of it as a companion volume to "Founders at Work", getting to hear the actual stories behind the companies, supplemented by more concrete "do this, not that" advice. There's so much great content in here, I think it's better to pace yourself, only read one story a day.

One great detail -- it's not just the big 10 entrepreneurs that always get featured in Fortune Magazine, Peter Thiel and Zuckerberg. The builders profiled in this book are more down to earth, with more practical and achievable businesses than those lofty enterprises. It's the perfect companion to your morning cup of coffee, and a reminder that being an entrepreneur is one of the most interesting, challenging and rewarding jobs in the world.
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