- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (October 1, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140257314
- ISBN-13: 978-0140257311
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure Paperback – October 1, 1996
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The founder of the visionary, yet doomed, GO Corporation kept notes throughout his years at the helm, thinking that one day he would produce a book. It shows. This is a vivid and lively rise-and-fall account of a company born to create a pen-based computer. It begins on a corporate jet with the author and fellow industry visionary Mitchell Kapor, founder of Lotus, sharing a vision of pen computing. From there, Startup quickly leaps to the day-to-day challenges of hiring staff, constantly reassessing and readjusting goals, and coping with the stress of endless rounds of venture capital funding. That Kaplan, in his first attempt at running a company, battles with the top forces at Microsoft, IBM, and other industry giants to bring the idea to market, only makes the story more compelling. His company's ultimate failure says more about a cutthroat industry than about the quality of Kaplan's product. This is a real David and Goliath tale. If you've ever wondered why things go right or wrong, how competition can kill you, or how financing really works within a small startup, read this book!
From Publishers Weekly
Entrepreneur Kaplan describes the tribulations he faced while forming his own company in the computer industry.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Among other things I got from this book is:
1. It takes more than passion to succeed in life
2. Like it or not, luck has a role in our lives
3. Life is not fair
4. Know when to let go
5. Love what you do
The book is kind of like autobiographical which I found to give the book a well rounded take on entrepreneur-ism. So, if you like reading books about people who've made it in business and also those who could have but never quite made it then this book will be of interest to you. Although the book is about starting and running a business, success or failure is not only limited in the business world and so the lessons one learns in the book may be equally applied in other areas of life where success is not guaranteed. A great book!
The plot tells the story of a high profile venture in the late 90s, Go Inc., from inspiration through fund raising and product development to fame, near success and ultimate failure. Anyone who may have thought about starting a new venture who wants to sit in the passenger seat and observe the whole ride in detail (though not too much detail -- it's an easy read) will enjoy. I wouldn't say the book is highly educational in a process sense (how to do this, how to do that...), but it does give a lot of high level insight into the difficult tradeoffs and predatory practices that can be confronted in trying to grow a business in high tech. I read it in a few days and enjoyed it thoroughly.