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The MouseDriver Chronicles: The True-Life Adventures of Two First-Time Entrepreneurs Paperback – January 7, 2003
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Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I graduated from Wharton with Kyle and John and know them well. But don't let that fact discount my review. The closest books to "The MouseDriver Chronicles" are "Startup", by Jerry Kaplan; "The Monk and the Riddle", by Randy Komisar; and "Burn Rate", by Michael Wolff. All three of these books are insightful reads, but if you only have time to read one book on entrepreneurship, "The MouseDriver Chronicles" is your best bet.
"Startup" isn't as personal and the key insight is that market timing is critical. "Burn Rate" is as personal and funny, but the key insight is that Michael Wolff isn't cut out to be an entrepreneur (and, worse, he doesn't realize it - if you read it, you'll understand what I mean). And "The Monk and the Riddle" is too fictitious, "dot comish", and "on the surface".
"The MouseDriver Chronicles" is the first book I have ever read that gives a truly open and honest view about what real entrepreneurship is about. Kyle and John started MouseDriver from ground zero with the right attitude. As lifelong students of leadership, Kyle and John provide the reader with valuable insights. "The MouseDriver Chronicles" is a personal tale that will remind you of a fireside conversation with friends. Often funny, often serious, and always real. Whether you aspire to be an entrepreneur or just want to read about what it's like, this is a great read.
Their idea: to make and sell a computer mouse that looks like the head of a golf driver.
They fund the venture themselves, find a manufacturer in Hong Kong, move to San Francisco (to be part of all the start up vibe in The Bay area) and run the business from the kitchen of their rented flat.
Their story is brilliantly relayed as they grapple with manufacturing, marketing and distribution hassles. The single product focus of their new company, named Platinum Concepts Inc., makes for a wonderful entrepreneurial story with excellent lessons about what it takes to succeed as a self funded start up. The two founders quickly learn that they need more than the theoretical knowledge acquired on their MBA at Wharton; they need to be street wise. They experiment with different mechanisms to make things happen and end up categorizing their execution strategies as follows:
Plan A: Make use of their business school network and contacts
Plan B: Hit the streets and the shops to find a creative solution
Plan C: Work the Yellow Pages
More often than not, plan B and C worked far better than plan A.
One of the founders, John Lusk, began sharing their entrepreneurial adventure with friends and family via a monthly email called "The Insider". The Insider was a real, often humorous, sometimes highly insightful newsletter about their adventure. The insider subscriber list grew and grew. MBA lecturers began distributing The Insider as prescribed reading.Read more ›
I'm adding "The MouseDriver Chronicles" as my number-two title (after "Dot.Bomb," by by J. David Kuo) on my "must read" book list for entrepreneurs.
"Dot.Bomb" was more fun to read, in part because it was about a dot-com company that crashed and burned, and it's always more fun to write about failure than success.
Though "The MouseDriver Chronicles" isn't quite as fun to read, it is more useful for potential entrepreneurs. The book recounts many logistical and planning issues, in an exceptionally well-written style, using straighforward language and sharing more details (business and personal) than I'd expected (though the details seem to fade in the later chapters, presumably to protect the trade secrets of the continuing company).
Most important, "The MouseDriver Chronicles" is not about a crash-and-burn dot-com failure.
It's about a modestly successful startup whose mission was to build a product and sell it at a profit, a concept that seemed almost obscene when Lusk and Harrison launched their business in mid-1999. In January 2002, that concept (build a product and sell it at a profit) sounds much better, making the book more timely. Even if there are fewer entrepreneurs this year, they all should profit from reading "The MouseDriver Chronicles."
The authors especially deserve credit for admitting how "ignorant" they were (in many respects) when they received their MBA degrees from Wharton, even after earlier careers working for consulting firms.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great fun read!
- Shows how you won't learn about doing business without actually diving in and doing it, and how much someone can learn from starting one. Read more
I'm a product designer and currently manufacturing my own design overseas. Their story is right on target. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Augusto
Read this book for an MBA class on venture strategy, and it's a good view into the mistakes and successes of an old school startup. Read morePublished 23 months ago by I Know
An easy to read and entertaining book about the reality of entrepreneurship.Published 23 months ago by ElTee
Yes, while there are no advanced concepts discussed in this book, it's a solid, inspiring and funny story of the highs and lows encountered when two Ivy League business school... Read morePublished on May 5, 2014 by Amazon Customer
A great real-life account of starting a business from scratch. The ups. The downs. The failures. The successes. This book had it all and much more. Read morePublished on February 14, 2014 by Adam Nallenweg
Makes me want to get out and start a business! Just what the authors wanted to inspire and I am glad i finally read it!Published on February 10, 2014 by Stephan Seifert
Certain business books accomplish telling a great story while incorporating business lessons. This book accomplished that objective and I enjoyed reading it. Read morePublished on June 5, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Really interesting read, very easy to relate to and gives some perspective on starting a business from a rookie point of view.Published on May 22, 2013 by Tricia