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The Startup Equation: A Visual Guidebook to Building Your Startup Paperback – January 29, 2016
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"Read this book and understand the elements that make up a successful startup. Let this knowledge react with that ingenious idea you have brewing in your head and finally concoct something that will forever change the world." - David Alston, Marketer, Investor, Startup Advisor and Film Maker (Code Kids, Millennial Dream)
From the Publisher
Steve Fisher (Boston, MA) is co-founder of the Revolution Factory, a global network that funds, builds, and launching new products. He is also co-founder of The Revolution Institute, a global nonprofit that promotes social good.
Ja-Nae Duane (Boston, MA) is a speaker, strategist, social scientist, artist, creative economist, and author of How to Start Your Business with $100.
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As a serial entrepreneur, I can tell you that you don't need to account for all of these pieces to be successful. That's the beauty of all the other business canvases/models out there. There is one page/poster to document the entire business. The authors of this book have several canvases to document all the components. You'd need a team just to document and update it, which isn't a bad thing but it's something that you can't just glance at and fully understand.
Like I mentioned, it's an ambitious and useful book. It's just too complicated for the typical entrepreneur. For me I didn't find enough data, case studies, and research backing how all these components, sub-components, and sub-sub-components are necessary. After a while it just felt like a list of business lists. Plus even if there were plenty of case studies, backing their list choices, I'm not sure it would help since every business is different and has different challenges/opportunities.
People have to remember if creating a business were as simple as following a formula or equation, everyone would have a billion-dollar business.
The truth is, a lot of the time entrepreneurs can't account for everything and somehow manage to create amazing businesses. I say stick to the basics, apply the scientific Method, and create remarkable value. Master the basic principles and finer details work themselves out. For a completely different philosophy on startups by a creator of three billion-dollar startups, read Thiel's "Zero to One" too.
In sum, you do need a business model but I'm not sure if it needs to be exhaustive. This book is one option of how complex business models can be. The bonus of this book are some very good infographics and general ideas. Get it for that, a bird's eye view of the entire business model universe. But simplify it!
It's a big book... with lots and lots of words but for more visual people like myself much of the information is also available in well thought out info graphics and illustrations. Useful patterns in information and data are not always easy to perceive in a few paragraphs or a spreadsheet but when structured into something visual you may see connections not realized previously. I also think this makes some of the material more approachable. Kudos to the illustration team and authors for taking the time with that work.
I'm proud to personally know the two authors and want to congratulate them on a beautifully rendered business tome. I think this book will have something useful and interesting for students and business people regardless of level.
I should also note I have been friends with the authors for a number of years. I say this not just for disclosure purposes but to point out how thrilled I am for them that they were able to put their combined expertise into a book. Steve and Ja-Nae have been heavily involved in the digital/social media world for a long time, and have helped multiple individuals and businesses launch and flourish. Point being, their insights come from hard work.
Top international reviews
This book is written for visual learning. It is sticky and more valuable than verbal approaches. Drawing is the sophisticated form of thinking.
I was suspecting that indian edition may have inner pages without colors. It was a delight to find the book, same as the international edition.
It is a guidebook, so expect it be handy throughout the startup journey.