Book Review: The Art of the Start

I was hesitant to read this book - thinking it is another feel-good, self-help, inspiration, yes you can do it kind of content. However it turned out to be completely different. It is a step-by-step guide for entrepreneur to start a business.  There are 11 chapters each detailing a specific topic - the art of starting, positioning, pitching, pitching, writing a business plan, raising capital, bootstrapping, recruiting, partnering, branding, rainmaking and the being a Mensch. The book should be useful for starting any kind of business but is more geared towards technology start-ups seeking venture capital. The message is clear and simple – Put your passion to work –and the book will guide you to do so.


“Entrepreneur is not a job title.  It is a state of mind of people who want to alter the future.”

“The higher you go in big organizations, the thinner the air, and the thinner the air, the most difficult it is to support intelligent life”

“10/20/30 rule of presentations- 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 font size”

Bozo explosion – “A” players hire "A+" players, but "B" players hire "C", "C" hire "D", etc..”

“Beware of the "successful bozo" wearing a nice suit - People automatically equate rich with smart"

“10 slides of VC presentation – Title, marketing and sales, problem, solution, competition, team, business model, projections, underlying magic, status and timeline”

“You should always be selling—not strategizing about selling. Don’t test, test, test—that’s a game for big companies. Don’t worry about being embarrassed. Don’t wait to develop the perfect product or service. Good enough is good enough. There will be plenty of time for refinement later. It’s not how great you start—it’s how great you end up.”

“And doing, not learning to do, is the essence of entrepreneurship.”

“The wisest course of action is to take your best shot with a prototype, immediately get it to market, and iterate quickly. If you wait for ideal circumstances in which you have all the information you need (which is impossible), the market will pass you by.

“Make the world a better place. Increase the quality of life. Right a terrible wrong. Prevent the end of something good.”

“Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength.”


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