November 9, 2005
News & Opinion: Web2.0 Business Books
With all this Web2.0 talk and all you budding entrepreneurs, I thought might direct you to few titles to help you with your new ventures.
First, I would recommend Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki. Some have said it is the same sort of stuff you see in every startup book. I think Guy does a great job at getting to the heart of the matter whether it is positioning or pitching. The chapters that have the most revelance in the post bubble world are "The Art of Bootstrapping" and "The Art of Raising Capital".
The next book you might want to check out is Startups That Work. Joel Kurtzman, former editor of Harvard Business Review, worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers to do extensive research into what makes or breaks a new company. Here are a few thoughts that caught my attention:
- Of the 328 companies they studied between 2001and 2003, only 18 had gone bankrupt or had a serious negative business development (This support contentions from Start-up Nation; more research needs to be done...).
- Founding teams with a diverse set of skills tend to be far more successful than a single founding entrepreneur, especially if the members of the team worked together previously and had complementary skills and personalities (This would support similar ideas from The Partnership Charter).
- Make certain a marketing or sales person is a part of the founding team. Companies make big mistakes when they focus all of their resources on their products and services but not their markets. Don't worry of the technologists and the marketers disagree. You need them both even though they see the world differently. For start-ups, when conflicts arise, they have to be argued out or mediated toward a creative conclusion, not simply stopped.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.