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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

4.6 out of 5 stars 58 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“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.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 14.6 ounces
  • Hardcover : 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 006286906X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0062869067
  • Publisher : Harper Business (June 5, 2018)
  • Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.01 x 8.25 inches
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 58 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
58 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on August 14, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars It delivers!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2020
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Danny Iny
5.0 out of 5 stars that smart entrepreneurs will come back to again and again (if ...
Reviewed in Canada on June 24, 2018
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Be Happy
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 stars
Reviewed in India on January 25, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Reviewed in India on March 10, 2019
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