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About Rocky Richard Arnold PhD
Rocky Richard Arnold (1948-present) was born in Iola, Kansas. His family moved to Springfield, Missouri when he was four. As a child and young man he enthusiastically enjoyed playing sports and he seriously considered becoming a professional bowler. After high school he discovered science and engineering after taking his first course in physics during his sophomore year at Southwest Missouri State College.
He served in the US Army after graduating from the University of Missouri at Rolla and being commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant. He served over 8 years in the US Army Reserves eventually leaving as a Captain. He went on to secure his BS and advanced degrees at MIT and Stanford University including his PhD.
After being an engineer for over 22 years he turned his interests to helping entrepreneurs, innovators, and inventors build their businesses by writing grant proposals and business plans and securing funding. Seeing the struggles of many talented entrepreneurs fueled his passion to understand as much as he could about the underlying principles of entrepreneurship. After securing his MBA at the Notre Dame de Namur University in the late 90's he taught a graduate-level course in Entrepreneurship at the same school.
Eventually, being an entrepreneur captured his interest and he co-founded a technology company that was acquired in a reverse merger with a UK public company on the AIM which he also co-founded with his investor partners. In the 2000's he served in various public and private companies as CEO, CTO, and COO.
The ability to navigate the entrepreneurial environment is enhanced by following the guidance provided by the serial entrepreneur and author of the book “The Smart Entrepreneur: The Book Investors Don’t Want You to Read.”
Unlike many business books that only tell the reader what to do in general terms, the focus of this book is on the specific actionable activities and process-oriented details of “how” to execute in a disciplined manner and achieve success.
So, why wouldn’t an investor want you to read this book? Perhaps they would if they believed you would perfectly execute on the idea and plan you presented. However, nothing ever works perfectly. There are a multitude of reasons why the best expectations for a business are never realized. What happens when things don’t go right? In the worst of circumstances investors secure greater control and equity through the funding agreements they originally made with the founders.
The ability of investors to secure greater control and ownership lies at the heart of the entrepreneur’s relationship with an investor. Avoiding pitfalls and preserving founder equity underpins the author’s approach to entrepreneurship.
The author has structured the chapters of the book around eleven chronological essential topics: (1) founder vision and invention, (2) due diligence by founders on the founding team, (3) incorporation mechanics, (4) technology and intellectual property development, (5) marketing and sales plan, (6) financial plan, (7) valuation of the opportunity, (8) business plan, (9) preparations for investment and investors, (10) investor network, and (11) leadership and early-stage company operations.
The goals of this book are to help an entrepreneur: (1) achieve his/her vision, (2) maximize her/his enterprise’s value and return on investment, (3) achieve results efficiently and preserve the equity of founders, (4) avoid catastrophic pitfalls, (5) minimize stress and uncertainty inherent in the processes.
The book provides insights and guidance to help an entrepreneur negotiate the difficult issues that often delay or thwart success. The book is intended to help entrepreneurs maximize the starting value of the enterprise, preserve equity along the way, and provide help with early-stage management issues that can cause the entrepreneur to stumble and lose traction.
This book also attempts to provide realism to the process of entrepreneurship by outlining what is reasonable and what is not. The author states that “as a founder and leader of your company, how you respond to challenges makes a difference in the success of your endeavor.
It is good to be realistic about entrepreneurship. If you are aware of how things might work, and might not work, it will make you more keenly aware of what needs to be done to best assure success. That is why I wrote this book.”