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417 of 451 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Top selling book on entrepreneurship?, August 9, 2012
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This review is from: The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future (Kindle Edition)
Well I am disappointed in this book. As a top selling book, I was expecting perhaps too much.

First I would say the target audience of this book are probably those people who never ever read any other book on business, or never even thought about starting a business. Almost every advice is very basic.

When I read author had interviewed so many businesses, I was hoping he would have included more "technical" details about them. For example, the photographer in Spain, how she was advertised, how much she invested in her gear, did she take any classes, how she hires assistants, if any etc. Or coffee shop guy, how did he get money for coffee shop, how many hours he works at coffee shop, how did he gain experience for running it etc (I am pretty sure starting a coffee shop is not exactly $100 startup).

Or that single mom who became marketing consultant, exactly how did she land her first client? How did she dress, and gained their respect? How did she learn about marketing? How did she convince companies that she was a real deal not a joke? (At our company, we had experiences with so-called Social Media Marketing experts. It seems most of them just know how to update their Facebook statuses or send a twitter update.)

For good parts, the book is easy to read. It will inspire many people to do what they enjoy. It does provide a starting point. It repeats general knowledge but it is good to have all that knowledge in one place.

In the end, don't expect anything revolutionary from this book. In my opinion, if you are already inspired to do your own thing then try to find a book on that thing. If you want to start a photography business then you might be better served by a book on starting photography business than this book.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 7, 2013 12:38:21 AM PST
First, I think the point of the book is to use examples to show that you don't need massive start-up funds to begin a venture.
Second, even if you had all of the examples you listed you would still have to tweak your business to your region of the country and your potential clients. Using your photographer example would you really be surprised if she gained business via word of mouth and a website. Does it matter if she uses a full frame DSLR or an APS? Do you need a listing of her inventory. I'm still not sure why classes would matter if her clients were happy. And that's important isn't it?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2013 8:57:46 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 9, 2013 8:59:59 AM PST
RinH says:
Elvira, if you read the Q&A with Gretchen Rubin and Chris Guillebeau that is posted on the main page here for this book, you will see the following:

GR: One thing that really sets your book apart from other similar books is its specificity. You really drill down on how people have actually built these businesses. Why did you take this approach?
CB: Because most books about business are too generic. They are filled with platitudes instead of data and real instructions. There's nothing wrong with saying "Go for it!"-but the purpose of this book is to say, "OK, you're ready to go for it? Great. Here's how you actually do it."

I think that the reviewer you replied to is disappointed that the promise wasn't fulfilled.

P.S. You missed a comma in "And that's important isn't it?" and made mistakes in most of your other sentences.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2013 11:25:27 AM PST
Amer says:

As RinH pointed out, the book was marketed as in-depth profile of small businesses. I was hoping for numbers and charts. But the book turned out to be another feel good, you can do anything, inspirational book.

Honestly, the book is not bad. I like inspirational books. However, it is marketed as in-depth study of small businesses when it is not. That I don't like.

Posted on Apr 4, 2013 7:29:20 PM PDT
elle says:
I wondered if you found a book that did answer some of the questions you raised here? I am looking for something like that too...



Posted on Apr 7, 2013 3:31:51 PM PDT
B. Maxfield says:

Posted on May 1, 2013 10:15:46 AM PDT
I think Elvira's point is valid....this isn't an instructional book or 'how-to' about starting a business, this is in my opinion a book about ideas, which is the core of what entrepreneurship is about. There are other books about the step-by-step process of starting a business, but what works for one person starting a business doesn't work for everyone. What this book does address in my view is the kick-start to take action, which for many would-be entrepreneurs is a bigger challenge than getting a business loan. You can also find entrepreneurial formulas and data everywhere if you choose to look. Finally, when did this become a lesson in grammar? Are we in high school?

Posted on Aug 4, 2013 11:54:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 4, 2013 11:55:02 AM PDT
Kobracai says:
interesting discussion. Has anyone found a business book that gives the "how-to" on how to start a business?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2014 9:28:00 AM PST
Wallace B. says:
The comment about her grammar sounded more like a dig than constructive criticism.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2014 11:55:49 AM PST
RinH says:
Wallace, those who wouldn't want America to be what's shown in a movie called Idiocracy would probably have a different opinion.

Posted on Mar 5, 2014 9:05:35 AM PST
Ted Rice says:
To those desiring really granular detail, this is probably not the best book after all. But when one gets really detailed information and then tries to work it, it quickly becomes clear that everyone's situation is different. There is no set formula for success other than: figure out what the customer wants, find a way to give to them at a price they can afford to pay that also provides you with enough profit to keep going. This book does a pretty good job on that level. For really deep detail on specific industries such as photography, subscribe to or follow the trade magazines. There are often great articles about the industry leaders and up and comers. Despite what I said above, those stories have value and little bits and pieces will help you figure out your business. A book as wide ranging as this can't really go there: there are too many kinds of photo business, etc.

The main take away is do something, learn from it, do the next thing, learn from that (whether successful or not) and make adjustments as you go along.
Good luck!!
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