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Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World Kindle Edition
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|Length: 320 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Customers who bought this item also bought
"You won't find a more honest, raw, and helpful look into the trenches of founding a tech startup than this book. Rand Fishkin shares the rare hard-won insight no one else dares tell you." -- Nir Eyal, author of HOOKED
"Most books on founders and entrepreneurship sell a Silicon Valley perspective. Yet the inclusive, egalitarian vision of tech that Rand shares is the one that will truly dent the world." -- Nilofer Merchant, author of THE POWER OF ONLYNESS
"Rand Fishkin is like the industry friend we all wish we had - funny, warm, and refreshingly honest about the rollercoaster ride that is founding your own company." -- Julie Zhou, VP of Product Design at Facebook
"Rand Fishkin is the real deal. This book is an honest, generous and useful look at what actually happens when you build a company, including the downs as well as the ups... I wish I had read it thirty years ago." -- Seth Godin, entrepreneur and author
About the Author
- File size : 4236 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 320 pages
- Publisher : Portfolio (April 24, 2018)
- Publication date : April 24, 2018
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B074DGYVD5
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #448,052 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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And now I can’t sleep because my brain is whirring with ideas and reflections and some critical thinking around my career and business goals.
It’s honest, funny, heart-wrenching, educational, and just so, so human.
I’ve long admired Rand for his work and his humanity, but he rose in my estimation that much more for putting so much wisdom and vulnerability to paper for others to benefit from. The writing is engaging and sharp, and Rand pulls no punches when it comes to sharing hard numbers, real emotions and difficult truths.
I read a lot of business books and usually give them away afterward. But this one is staying on my shelf to remind me of the things I always believed that Rand validated (which made me feel so much less crazy) and the ones I need to learn with care and compassion myself.
Go get yourself a copy or twelve. You don’t have to be (or aspire to be) a founder to appreciate the lessons and stories. Just read it.
.... it could equally have been called "Diary of a Mediocre Manager". Rand Fishkin is clearly a nice person, but business-wise he is not a screaming success. Even as documented by himself:
- he started with a subscription product which people dropped after 11 months; and in a not-unlimited business-to-business market
- instead of fixing that, he borrowed large sums from venture capitalists to build even more products (i.e. when he didn't yet have ONE that really worked well)
- when someone suggested that it was too easy to unsubscribe (one click, easy to find) he dismisses the advice as against his values. I sort of see that, but what use those values later when he has to disrupt real lives with major lay-offs? Surely there was a compromise there somewhere to uphold the value but at least gather the intelligence of exactly why customers were unsubscribing
- he mostly doesn't follow the proven business path of identifying an unfilled need in the market and designing a product to fill that need. Rather, he seems to have a product idea and then try to fit it into the market. I'm slightly exaggerating here, but not much.
Anyway, I'm tempted to wonder if it's possible to be too nice to succeed in business.
And yet I give the book four stars. I do this because there are real things to learn from it. There are pitfalls Rand's company fell into which I might avoid myself. The data on venture capital (and later on alternative sources of financing) are more than worth the cover price on their own.
So in conclusion: Read this book and learn from Rand's mistakes. Avoid his conclusions, he hasn't turned them into storming success yet. (Although he might! I shall continue to follow his story.) Read something positive immediatley after, because this is a little depressing in places.
Why do people choose to become entrepreneurs (and thank God that they do)? A big contributor is survivorship bias. The press and popular literature writing up the success stories of the winners. The failures get very little press. Dreams about that cool billion draw people into start-ups. And the world is a better place for it.
This book is a raw account of an entrepreneur that built a very successful business. About the heartache and the pain, the self-doubt, the health problems, the financial pressure and the blood, sweat and tears that go with it. I doubt that it will put anyone off becoming an entrepreneur. But I do think reading it will arm entrepreneurs with grit, more realistic expectations, and a number of valuable strategic and tactical lessons.
Worth reading through to the end.
I'd consider myself a friend of the author's and have had both online and offline conversations about some of the topics in the book. But it's been harder for me to ask for professional advice in person, and frankly the book is so well-structured that I think I got more out of it in this format than I would have in a conversation.
Rand has always been a great writer, but has taken his writing to another level with the polish of this book. Yes there are his trademark cheesy jokes, but mostly it's filled with direct, digestible summaries of his thoughts on the economics of startups, growth lessons he and Moz learned, and how he helped build Moz's company culture into what it is today.
If I had a small criticism of the book, as a former Moz employee, I was hoping for a little more meat behind how decisions were made in the startup boardroom (as opposed to some of the planning sessions he gives short shrift to in the book), particularly in the context of the economics of the business. But I can see how that kind of inside baseball would have gotten cut in favor of appealing to a wider audience.
It more than delivers on its subtitle as a "Field Guide," and I wish I'd read it prior to starting my current company, as it might have steered me on a 30-degree angle to the path I'm on now. In that regard, if you're a founder or thinking about launching a startup, it would be more than worth the one-time $17.53 on Rand's advice. And I'll continue to refer to some of the tables he includes in the book indefinitely.
Top reviews from other countries
There's so many valuable lessons here, not just in how to run a business (or the failures/learnings to look out for). But the big takeaways for me were life lessons. I love how Rand openly shares the real stories behind hard decisions and failures, where you know his approach is always trying to do the right thing for people first.
The empathy shown comes across hugely in many situations in the book - where taking care of people is top of his agenda, ahead of growing his own business / keeping shareholders happy.
In an ideal world you'd achieve both... but Rand can be very proud of what he's stood for, often against what others more purely business-focused would likely advise against. With this attitude, you can't help but want him to win - and in the long-term I have no doubt he will.
Look forward the sequel on how to be a success by doing things the right way!
The insights into venture capital re-enforced why its such a hard path. My favourite chapter was the one where Rand talks about focus - a really undervalued skill of a founder.
Thank you Rand & Geraldine for sharing so much.