- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 19, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470929839
- ISBN-13: 978-0470929834
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup 1st Edition
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From the Inside Flap
It is a cold, hard fact of business life that most startups fail. Even many of those entrepreneurs who ultimately succeed have stories of personal challenges, unsuccessful companies, and difficulties along the way. The founders of TechStars, a mentorship-driven startup accelerator, have worked with entrepreneurs and companies over the past twenty-five years, and have seen a number of the same issues come up again and again.
In Do More Faster, the founders of TechStars identify the key issues that first-time entrepreneurs encounter, and offer proven advice from successful entrepreneurs who have worked with the TechStars program.
The authors organize the most critical issues into seven themes: Idea and Vision, People, Execution, Product, Fundraising, Legal and Structure, and Work and Life Balance. Many of the examples are personal experiences from the entrepreneurs themselves, integrated into a cohesive narrativewhile at the same time able to stand on their own. Throughout the book, they debunk numerous myths about startups and reveal some surprising truths. They explain, for instance, that the core of a startup is not always a world-changing and earth-shattering ideain fact, it is often the case that successful startups started out doing something else. They also underscore the efficiency of execution: great entrepreneurs know how to synthesize data, make a decision about the path they are going down, and execute. And they offer some alternatives to traditional ways of raising money, while stressing that you shouldn't start with the assumption that you need to raise money.
Mastering the seven themes may not ensure success, but understanding the issues, reading the stories, and getting advice pertaining to these issues will increase your chances dramatically. And if nothing else, you'll realize that you aren't alone in facing these challenges.
From the Back Cover
Praise for Do More Faster
"Remember when experience mattered? Thanks to this book, no matter how new to your field or how young or inexperienced you are, you can learn from people who have actually done it.
Sure beats failing." Seth Godin, author of Linchpin
"When it comes to pragmatic adviceas well as examples highlighting real-world resultsDo More Faster is a full-course meal. Brad and David have done a masterful job of simplifying into bite-sized chunks the ingredients that every entrepreneur should consider in channeling their enthusiasm into a real-world approach to building a sustainable business. TechStars has set the standard and shared the formulanow you have to execute." Dan'l Lewin, Corporate Vice President, Strategic and Emerging Business Development, Microsoft
"If you have an idea and a dream, read Do More Faster! It offers a unique opportunity to hear first- hand what to do (and what not to do) to build and scale your business." Josh Kopelman, Managing Partner, First Round Capital
"Having recently launched my fourth startup, I can say without reservation that what Brad and David are doing to promote entrepreneurialism is accelerating the pace of innovation. Additionally, the ideas and examples they reveal in Do More Faster are tangible and valuable lessons for anyone thinking about starting a new business. Their passion, vision, and commitment to the startup community, both through TechStars and their personal mentorship, are unmatched."
Pete Sheinbaum, founder and CEO, The Mandelbrot Project, Inc., and former CEO, DailyCandy, Inc.
"One thing is sure in the tech world: that history repeats itself. The lessons in founding companies are always the same, yet these are rarely passed down from one generation of entrepreneur to the next. Brad and David have done a brilliant job of crystallizing the most important lessons and bringing them to life in the words of the entrepreneurs. Every startup founder should read this book!"
Vivek Wadhwa, columnist, Bloomberg Businessweek, and contributor, TechCrunch
"Do More Faster is a locked-room all-nighter with David Cohen, Brad Feld, and the impressive mentors to TechStars; it is candid, smart, and spot-on. This is some of the very best advice entrepreneurs can get anywhere. Buy it already."
Paul Kedrosky, Angel Investor and Senior Fellow, Kauffman Foundation
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Top Customer Reviews
I gave the book a 2 star review because I can't believe the amount on hype around it nor the large amount of 5 stars (which were basically the main reason I've bought the book).
Regarding the actual content, the 'novel' thing would be that it's almost a collection of blog posts. So if you don't want to read too much, you have some nice bite-size wisdom. The information isn't mind-blowing though and if you've read one of the many sites/blogs on the internet about entrepreneurship, you'll find there is little 'fresh' information in there.
But the most annoying thing about the book is that it's almost a marketing brochure about TechStars. They don't miss *a single chance* to tell you again that it's TechStars we are talking about and that person A worked with them, for them, was funded by them, etc. So, usually at the beginning and the end you have some TechStars 'commercials' paragraphs and if possible in the middle too. Now, if you read what I've said above that the articles are quite short, it means that if you try to read more of the book, you'll be bombarded by TechStars advertisement every few minutes (I haven't actually counted how much it takes to read one article, but it isn't that much).
So, I would have preferred much more if the book would have focused on the content, which is decent, instead of trying so hard to sell TechStars.
I wish one could ask a refund on ebooks (it seems to be possible now that I've googled it, but on the Kindle interface I couldn't do it) because this continuous TechStars ad was so distracting while reading that I could have stopped after the first articles. Anyhow, now it's too late as it's been over a month since I got the book...
I have MBA's in Economics and International Finance.
This book, I could highlight a sentence a chapter to get the gist of what it's saying.
It's an elaborate advertisement.
A pat on the back book.
A yearbook of entertainment to whoever wrote it and whoever participated in the program.
I bought this book because my uncle said it was great.
I have a library of over 800 books; None of them have to be great if I get one good idea.
This book, I didn't even get that.
I have never written a book review.
This is my first.
First time I felt like I really should.
This book is like business 101.
It doesn't really tell you how to do anything.
This hasn't any more content then an inviting cover.
For a very similar set of lessons to the one's contained in this book, you are much better off picking up a book like Guy Kawasaki's, Art of the Start: The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything.
The art of building a startup is analyzed through seven themes, and these are divided into key related topics.
1- Idea and vision: You start with an idea that, after prototypes and multiple iterations, might end up being quite different from what you anticipated in the first place. For your own good, be able to adapt (because no matter how much you fancy yourself as a game-changer and disruption-bearer, you have to solve a real problem for real people. So beware of the "next big thing" and keep away from what David Cohen calls the "everythingitis:" offer something that people want, and if you see that things won't pan out no matter what, close the show earlier rather than later, elegantly.
2- People: However romantic the idea of venturing out as a solo pioneer, put your ego aside, and look for co-founders - while pre-empting the disastrous impact of possible future disagreements with a prenup. Also, no matter how skilled you have become at hiding your personal flaws and insecurities, make it a principle to hire people who are better than you. Given that you are not infallible, learn to fire quickly ("Two strikes and you are out," Brad says), but don't turn into a tyrant: a company is a great team of complementary talents, as well as a managed network of relevant customers and evangelists.
3- Execution: That's the nervous system of any startup and I am glad to see this very early in the book. If you are not an "execution machine," you are just a dreamer and forget about your entrepreneurship dreams. You have to do everything faster than an established company and fall back on you feet as quickly as a cat. Trust your guts, be decisive, learn that a one-of-a-kind customer doesn't create a market, and scale your business through replicability. You may find out that the company will not thrive. So fold it sooner than later. Learning through failures is a great reassuring American spiel (provided than you don't start to believe that it can be a way of life).
4- Product: Another great section, often tied to section 1. Despite efficient filters (Techstars accepts just 10 of the more than 600 startups that apply), "we find at least one-third of those startups are attempting to build a product that they want, or that no one wants, instead of what the market wants" the authors say. Don't wait until you are proud of your own product, focus on what matters, obsess over the right metrics, and never forget that customers are kings.
5- Fundraising: Most companies come to Techstars with the goal of raising money. Well, should it be really your goal? Sure, you will learn more about the art of raising money, but also find out that you may not have to. Beware of angel investors who aren't investors, find the right ones who care about the right things (in the end: it's results!), and realize that bootstrapping can be a very efficient way to right-size your business.
6- Legal and Structure: This is not fancy, but key: form the company early and choose the right company structure - and default to Delaware. And even (some) lawyers can tell you that "lawyers don't have to be expensive," which doesn't mean that you should select your brother in law to stay on the cheap side. Cheap is cheap - and sometimes very expensive.
7- Work-Life Balance: Yes, you will work around the clock. But at some point, you need to recharge your batteries. Various ways to do that, even though it's hard to get your passion out of your mind.
Techstars is a great mentor-driven accelerator, and has become a meaningful part of the ecosystem in Boulder, Boston, or Seattle and will soon in New York City. This is a replicable model, and the great thing about the whole initiative is that David Cohen has been very open about the results.
Entrepreneurs, read Do more faster + Guy Kawasaki's The art of the Start and Reality Check as well as Steve Blank's The Four Steps to the Epiphany, and you are sure of at least one thing: starting with your head on your shoulders. Good luck!
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