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The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How Three Harvard Business School Graduates Learned the 10 Rules of Successful Entrepreneurship Hardcover – October 12, 2010
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If you're not a Harvard MBA, and/or aren't living in times of ample capital, these stories will not give you a truly accurate picture of the gravity of the risk that most entrepreneurs face going out on their own. You're probably not going to be in the same situation as Marla who had an offer from McKinsey to come back and take a six figure salary if her business failed, or Marc who could have easily gotten a job in a VC firm or i-bank without any problems (and who also had started another business prior to getting his MBA). You'd be better off reading some rags to riches stories if you really want to get a sense of the character it takes to get out there and take chances. That said, reading this book you'll be in a position to judge where the privileged background was value added and where it was not. You'll also get a little insight into Harvard business school which may be of interest for those either in b-school or aspiring to go.
Harvard Business School (HBS) teaches its business classes by having students read, analyze, and discuss case studies. Bill Murphy is a Harvard graduate, and the reason you need to know this before diving into this book, is that basically, it is three extensive and well-described case studies (of Marla Malcolm Beck, Chris Michel, and Marc Cenedella) tied together with their experiences and how they demonstrate (sometimes purposefully and at other times accidentally) the ten rules of successful entrepreneurship:
1. Make the commitment.
2. Find a problem, then solve it.
3. Think big, think new, think again.
4. You can't do it alone.
5. You must do it alone.
6. Manage risk.
7. Learn to lead.
8. Learn to sell.
9. Persist, persevere, prevail.
10. Play the game for life.
In each case, you get a beautifully presented explanation of the real life challenges and triumphs of the three entrepreneurs in the eleven odd-numbered chapters, and in the even-numbered chapters, you get Murphy's key rules of entrepreneurial success that Marla, Chris, and Marc learned along the way (p. 7). It's an interesting format, but it works well.
Once you meet Marla, Chris, and Marc in Chapter 1 and hear their stories (which sets the stage for the entire book), you will not just become interested in how their lives work out, but their stories, too, will captivate you, and you will quickly become absorbed in this well-written, interesting, and enlightening book.Read more ›
If you are looking for an insights-packed book (in the spirit of the dense and insightful Harvard Business Review articles) this is definitely not a book for you. At least not the first 4-6 chapters.
You can tell that this book was not written by a business leader. The book's product description mentions that it was "Based on dozens of interviews with highly successful entrepreneurs, Harvard Business School professors" but this is a misleading statement. This book is not about distilling best practices learned from entrepreneurs and professors. It's about detailed stories about 3 entrepreneurs' experiences. There are very good ideas in this book but you have to sort through long stories to find them.
If you have already been in business school, or if you already have business and entrepreneurship experience, you will probably end up scanning quickly through most of the content. You've heard most of these stories already in one way or another. This book is a better fit for people who are simply looking for an entertaining "airplane" read and interesting stories about entrepreneurship and business school. The book does get interesting and becomes more focused after a few chapters. Towards the middle/end of the book, the author starts to highlight key success factors in entrepreneurship and does a good job at using these 3 students' stories to illustrate his points.
One point that I would like to highlight is the excessive amount of promotion for the Harvard Business School.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a must read book for any entrepreneur. You won't regret it!Published 2 months ago by Arnold G.
I like this book so much not because it provides ten useful rules for intelligent entrepreneurs, but also it describes three successful real life examples of inspiring... Read morePublished 14 months ago by hanbo tian
Ideal read for "budding" entrepreneurs who need to understand the personal qualities, work ethic and perseverance a person must have to become successful.Published 16 months ago by bobc2
The book is great because it shows real life examples of businesses that struggled and finally found success and the 10 rules that applied in those situations.Published on May 12, 2014 by Sumit Shah
This is a very excellent book on entrepreneurship. This books follows a unique and different approach that many readers may not have been exposed to. Read morePublished on December 17, 2013 by Chris