With the good weather and barren inbox (thanks Olympics!) I had time to plow through Do More Faster - a compendium of startup short stories by the founders of TechStars (Brad Feld and David Cohen). Based on the Amazon sample I felt some trepidation as it seems like another useless brag-a-thon of successful start-ups. However, based on rave reviews I plowed ahead.
The first half o the book was largely as expected - repetitive and cliche stories about listening to customers and making good products. *yawn* When I have real conversations with start-up junkies there is usually some secret sauce or unfair advantage they have/discovered/acquired to win in their market. Its usually messy and held together with lots of hope and duct tape, but it's true. I want to hear that - not 20 iterations of the obvious.
That being said, the last two chapters of the book on on legal issues and work-life balance made the slog worth while. Stories told by many (but especially Brad Feld) unveiled some sinister issues almost any entrepreneur will face (equity battles and upset spouses) when going all in on a company. These problems fall into the easy to prevent, but hard to solve category. So, getting a good feel for the warning signs is absolutely critical (write a great vesting schedule and set up regular conversations with loved ones). And the genuine, unique and heartfelt stories was a fresh infusion of life experience. Wish they'd led with that!
Not one of my bibles, but worth a weekend read!