- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: HarperBusiness (June 5, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006286906X
- ISBN-13: 978-0062869067
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Straight Talk for Startups: 100 Insider Rules for Beating the Odds--From Mastering the Fundamentals to Selecting Investors, Fundraising, Managing Boards, and Achieving Liquidity Hardcover – June 5, 2018
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“Straight Talk for Startups memorializes age-old best practices and empowers both experienced and new investment professionals to beat the odds.” (David Krane, CEO, Google Ventures)
“Straight Talk for Startups is filled with real, raw, and fact-based ‘rules of the road’ that you need to know when diving into our ultra-competitive startup world. A must read and a re-read!” (Tony Fadell, Coinventor of the iPod/iPhone & Founder of Nest Labs)
“Not only one of the most useful and fun books ever written for founders, but these 100 rules will help any manager become wiser and more effective—and anyone with a passing interest in the human side of business will find this book a delight to read.” (Robert Sutton, Stanford Professor, author of Good Boss, Bad Boss)
“It’s never easy to launch a new venture, but this book accelerates your learning with advice from experts who’ve been there and done that. Read it cover to cover to save yourself from making rookie mistakes that upend all too many big ideas.” (Elaine Paul, Chief Financial Officer, Hulu)
“Straight Talk generously shares the collective wisdom of decades of startup leadership and investing.” (Mihir Desai, Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Harvard Business School)
“Aspiring entrepreneurs are hungry to combine knowledge with experience, mentorship, and character. Straight Talk for Startups provides a PhD in entrepreneurship.” (Professor Tom Byers, Endowed Chair Entrepreneurship Education, Stanford University)
“Straight Talk’s venerable best practices provides global startups outside the US with the advantages of a Silicon Valley insider.” (Jennifer Li, CEO of Baidu Capital)
From the Back Cover
Best practices for successful startups—from veteran venture capitalist Randy Komisar and startup executive Jantoon Reigersman
In today’s world, everyone seems to aspire to be an entrepreneur. Brilliant, multimillion-dollar ideas are a dime a dozen, and huge success appears inevitable. But when it comes to transforming that idea into a lucrative business, most people fall short. The excitement of starting a company quickly fades when budding entrepreneurs face a stark reality—they lack the know-how and experience to get the job done.
Randy Komisar and Jantoon Reigersman are the knowledgeable mentors every entrepreneur needs. With decades of experience, they know firsthand what works—and what doesn’t. In Straight Talk for Startups, they share the knowledge, tips, and tricks they’ve gleaned from years of being on both sides of the table.
Their list of 100 rules will give insight into every part of the process, tackling topics from “Mastering the Fundamentals” and “Selecting the Right Investors” to “The Ideal Fundraise,” “Building and Managing Effective Boards,” and “Achieving Liquidity.”
Straight Talk for Startups includes such vital rules for founders as:
- The best ideas originate from founders who are users.
- Create two business plans: an execution plan and an aspirational plan.
- Net income is an opinion, but cash flow is a fact.
- Don’t accept money from strangers.
- Raise capital in stages as you remove risk.
- Personal wealth doesn’t equal good investing.
- Small boards are better than big ones.
- Add independent board members for expertise and objectivity.
- Conflicts of interest and conflicting interests are elephants in the room.
- Choose an acquirer; don’t wait to be chosen.
- Success is not linear.
- Learn the rules by heart so you know when to break them.
Filled with helpful real-life examples and specific, actionable advice, Straight Talk for Startups is the ideal handbook for anyone running, working for, or thinking about creating a startup, raising venture capital, or just curious about what makes high-potential ventures tick.
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I have known Randy since we attended Harvard Law School together from 1978 to 1981 and he has been a thought leader in Silicon Valley for decades. Randy has played every role in Silicon Valley from founder to CEO to board member to investor. He has distilled this multi-dimensional experience into this book and made the advice very accessible. You can easily dip into it for the particular problem that you are facing, rather the need to “distill” advice from traditional business advice books. One of the most important decisions of a founder is the selection of the right investor (given the current time to exit, you are likely to be working with them for 10 years) and Part 2 about how to choose investors is invaluable.
If you want to understand (and succeed) in the venture ecosystem, this book will be an invaluable guide for you.
Randy Komisar has literally see almost all of the games, lies and tricks out there. He has funded companies (at KPCB), run companies (as President of Lucas Arts) and seen the inside of tech companies such as Apple. The book is written in a clam, easily understood and well thought out fashion. Unlike most “business” books you don’t have to drag yourself though chapter after chapter to get a morsel of insight. Straight Talk is different. I think it is like having an arm chair conversation with the experts that only want to help you. The format of this book is a breakthrough in “business” books. I would suggest reading the introduction, the epilogue and any relevant rule you need right now. After that I’ll bet you keep going back to this book for new rules as you confront new issues in the business.
You can literally read a couple of relevant pages before going to a meeting and avoid big mistakes by just letting to Randy and Jantoon be your guide through these murky waters. Or another way to look at it is think of these waters as shark infested and you don’t want to chum, let the authors help.
Just my thought, but I like the book and how easy it is to use.
The insight they provide a very often counter-intuitive, but once explained make a ton of sense. People involved in start up - be it founders, employees, investors .... should definitely read this book.
The background of the founders raised the expectations. Randy Komisar is the former CEO of LucasArts, has taught for years at Stanford, and is an extremely successful investors at Silicon Valley's legendary partnership Kleiner Perkins. The book fully lives up to the expectations and exceeds them.