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Managing Startups: Best Blog Posts Paperback – May 14, 2013
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Suggested improvement for the next edition: please include author's name & reference in the Table of Contents.
IT (more specifically, hardware and management) is my professional area, so this book has a natural interest for me, however, I wouldn't say that's a requirement to enjoy this book.
Anyone who dismisses the book as a simple compilation of blog entries, misses the point that we still live in a multi-channel delivery world, and a compilation like this, aggregates more than just "articles", but turns information into knowledge.
It does this by covering a broad swath of areas for any business, not just computer related ones. These areas include "Lean startups", customer discovery, and sales & marketing.
Overall, I found the book to have a lot of actionable points that are both relevant and fresh.
That said, there is a lot of solid content such as manufacturing recruiting, marketing, and fundraising guidance.
Read the yc combinator blog on the authors website. If you find it useful, then consider buying this book.
The book is divided into 13 main sections:
1. Lean Startup
2. Business Models
3. Customer Discovery and Validation
4. Marketing: Demand Generation and Optimization
5. Sales, Marketing and PR Management
6. Product Management / Product Design
7. Business Development and Scaling
8. Funding Strategy
9. Company Culture, Organizational Structure, Recruiting and Other HR Issues
10. Startup Failure
11. Exiting by Selling Your Company
12. The Startup Mindset and Coping with Startup Pressures
13. Management and Career Advice.
I have read the bound copy, and I think that an eBook version would be better suited. There are a lot of links and websites that are referenced throughout the book and it would have been a lot easier for me to just click those (or cut and paste) rather than painstakingly copying each web address. There is not a lot of material on funding in regards to how to get it, but as the title suggests, it covers mostly managing strategies.
But to the substance of the book itself. The best entries were entrepreneurial themselves, they described a new idea or approach to an existing process: for example, some innovative interviewing techniques described by Ben Yoskovitz. Others were good overviews of a topic, such as Rob Go's piece on seed investments (although the commonly had notion of the dangers of taking seed money from a large VC is being disputed by the latest report from CB Insights showing that statistically doing just that increases your chances to get your series A funding). Some other entries are more commonsensical.
The level of insight varied widely from entry to entry. What unites them is that they are all written from experience and express views developed as a result of much trial and error. That alone should make this compilation a worthwhile read for anyone interested in entrepreneurship.