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Starting Something: An Entrepreneur's Tale of Corporate Culture Paperback – January 15, 2006
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... in comparison to Donald Trumps latest book, I found Starting Something to be much more interesting and entertaining. -- Mimi Grant, President, Adaptive Business Leaders
A must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs... unfortunately not yet taught in business schools. -- Denis Coleman, Founder, Symantec
An engrossing portrait of every entrepreneurs dream from the inside, executed with skill and brimming with insight. --Jerry Kaplan, author of Startup
For managers, a handy tool, as well as a tale of financial daring exciting enough to interest a general readership. --Kirkus Discoveries
McVicker is a gifted storyteller and he takes you inside the whirlwind. --Jamis MacNiven, author of Breakfast at Bucks
From the Publisher
Ravel Media's new book, Starting Something, has been named:
Winner of 2004 DIY Book Festival Book of the Year
Winner in the Business category of the Writers Notes Book Awards
Winner in the BookAnnouncements Business Author of the Year Award
Winner of the Business category at the 2005 Independent Publisher Book (IPPY) Awards --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Wayne was the co-founder of Neoforma - a pre-bubble startup that was one of the early 2000 B2B IPO's. It's peak market cap was over $3 billion - today it is a publicly traded company with a $150m market cap, $3m / quarter of revenue, negative gross margins, a $15m loss last quarter, and about $25m of working capital - basically, a small-cap Internet bubble survivor that has a questionable future. Wayne left Neoforma in 2001 and spun out a new company called Attainia.
Starting Something is Wayne's story starting at the inception of the concept for Neoforma. It's deeply personal and autobiographical - Wayne writes beautifully about his experience. Each chapter is a month in the story, is artfully titled, typically has one key concept, and has two metrics at the beginning (# employees and valuation) to help you keep pace. While Wayne changes some names to protect the "innocent" (or not so innocent), the characters are easily recognizable if you are either in the venture business or were in the bay area frenzy at the end of the century.
Unlike so many other "Internet bubble biographies", this one is full of awesome lessons. Wayne is clearly a thinker - he's been able to reflect on his experience and built a coherent narrative that teaches something while telling a great story. While there are some gossipy sections, they are woven into the story so they actually add rather than subtract from the lessons (yeah - I've had enough boom and bust titillation at this point.)
I deeply identified with several stories, both from the perspective of an entrepreneur, angel investor, and a VC. Wayne tells his tale with a nuance that is precise without being annoyingly insider-ish. And - in the end - it cycles back around to people and relationships - which is ultimately much more interesting storytelling.
This one - like MouseDriver Chronicles - is a must read for every entrepreneur (both aspiring and practicing).
Is there any way to justify Bret's actions here? Please, tell me that I'm missing something here.
If you are or have been directly or indirectly involved in a rapidly growing company, this book is a "must have."