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Will It Fly? How to Know if Your New Business Idea Has Wings...Before You Take the Leap Paperback – September 14, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0130462213 ISBN-10: 0130462217 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (September 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130462217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130462213
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

("Will it Fly?" ) . . . is somehow both easy and rigorous, suitable for startups and established firms thinking of branching out. -- Chicago Business 2004 Small Business Resource Guide, Ten Essential Reads for Entrepreneurs (Crain Communications Inc.)

Number 1 ranked of top 5 must read business books. -- http://www.entrepreneur.com/magazine/entrepreneur/2009/march/200140.html

Review

Top 5 must read business books

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Customer Reviews

The criteria are very simple.
Saravanan Balakrishnan
I have read more books on entrepreneurship than I can remember and I concentrated on entrepreneurship in business school.
Stephane D Fymat
THIS ONE IS DIFFERENT because of the authors extensive experience.
John C. Dunbar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Stephane D Fymat on October 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have been in and around start ups for years now, most recently as a senior executive of a security software company. I have read more books on entrepreneurship than I can remember and I concentrated on entrepreneurship in business school. I have never seen a book as penetrating, practical and on target as this one for the topic that it addresses.
What makes this book different is:
- it is the only one that thoroughly addresses a start up at concept phase, before your business plan, a partner, money or anything else. Every other entrepreneurial book starts after you've decided you have a good idea or devotes a token chapter that tells you to do market research. This book actually steps you through evaluating and modifying your idea to make it fly.
- it provides a practical thorough checklist, with detailed explanations, to evaluate a product/business concept quickly and completely and on how to improve the ratings if your business idea doesn't fly the first time around. What makes this checklist even more valuable is that the criteria are based upon the real-world entrepreneurial experiences of the author.
- it gets you to focus on your gut-feelings about your idea. If you think you have a good idea - the spreadsheets all work out - but your gut feelings tell you that all is not well, this book will help you identify why and guide you on how to fix it.
- it will tell you if your business idea is a bad one - before you spend a dime. Better be sure you're not "pretending not to know".
- it shows you how to do a first-pass evaluation of any idea in 20 minutes or less, without doing a bunch of premature research.
My only complaint is that Tom started teaching at Columbia Business School in 1996 and I graduated in 1990, so I missed him by six years.
If you're going to start your own company, take a job at a start up or young company, fund a start up or launch a new product or service, buy this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ion Yadigaroglu on October 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm one of those many Columbia students that Tom McKnight mentions in the introduction. Having survived his class 5 years ago, I jumped and bought a copy when I saw he'd distilled his teachings into a book.
You won't be disappointed. The magic of Tom's wisdom is that he boils down each concept to a catchy phrase, and those fun phrases anchor the ideas. After reading the book, you'll find that each business you think about triggers a bunch of "happy factors" "cash flow now" "hot market" etc etc etc. If you don't think you need this, read page 261 onwards: "pretending not to know." Let that chapter ring in your ear, and keep you straight!
In any case, 5 years later, I still find Tomisms jumping into my thoughts at every corner. Reading the book was a great experience - it refreshed the elements I had forgotten about, and I learned several new ones. Similar to a Anthony Robbins seminar... you will never be the same!!!
The book is also like a Tony Robbins seminar in another way. You don't have to work too hard at it. Just read the book, and you'll find the language creeping into your brain on its own. Facing a business challenge, unemployed, etc? This book will squeeze you through your own fears and limitations and make you a winner.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Angela H. Dows on September 29, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, written by an inspiring mentor, will provide the framework and guidelines to direct your ideas into a viable business venture. "Will it Fly" clearly and concisely makes you think seriously about your new business and motivates you to put your best foot forward in the marketplace.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John C. Dunbar on October 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
I would give this a 7 on a 5 point scale. This author presents a list of 44 criteria that you should consider in any new business start up. Its one of those matrix scoring systems -- which you'd never use to make a critical decision, like choosing your spouse. So, why would you use it for your business start up?
THIS ONE IS DIFFERENT because of the authors extensive experience. His practicality and experience glows through the simple math weightings. You see the why and the how of each criteria. And, you can see that they have been tested on many previous business ideas and start ups.
You can use this system to evaluate the likelihood of success of your new venture... or you can use it to tune it up. I found using the system to evaluate several business ideas at once to be very helpful.
I particularly enjoyed the author's reasoning on the weights applied to each of the criteria.
THIS IS A REQUIRED BOOK for anyone starting up a new business. Its very practical, usable, and easy to apply.
John Dunbar
Sugar Land, TX
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By TD on November 16, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hate to do this but it only deserves a 2 out of 5. Why, I hear you ask. Because it's unreadable. For example, there is no table of contents to give you any clue as to where the book is headed. There is also something about the writing that just makes you put it down for a very long time after each 5 page chapter.

I'm a voracious reader especially of business books on entrepreneurship. But this is just unreadable. After having it for close to a year, I have only read about a third of the 44 chapters.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By LINO VASSALLO on September 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
I bought the book because I wanted guidelines to start a small business. I was really excited because I thought I had found the key to all my doubts and questions. The more I read the book the more frustrated I got. I have an MBA and I know how complex a business could be, but this is too much. 44 variables maybe could count on a BIG BIG launch, but what if you want to start a small dojo or a small language academy? The more I read the more frustrated and dissapointed I got. I believe that in my particular case I bought the wrong book.
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