Trying to start a new business is what made me read this book. The desire to make it right, to learn at every step and to know where I am going and what to do, motivated me to read it.
This book covers a bit of everything I have to know when I start a business. How important is to have a mantra and make meaning. Positioning is where you establish how your business is different from the competition.In the pitching chapter the rule 10/20/30 got stuck in my mind: ten slides, twenty minutes and thirty-point-font text. The book is also full of real examples which helped me understand how other entrepreneurs applied these concepts, exercises I can do to start my business and recommended reading after each chapter, so I can go deeper into the subject.
The chapters which had a bigger impact on me were “The Art of Writing a Business Plan”, “The Art of Rainmaking” and “The Art of being a Mensch”.
One of the most interesting thing in the business plan chapter was the new perspective I got. “PITCH, THEN PLAN”. It made sense because a plan is a detailed version of pitch. A pitch is also easier to change and improve, you get immediate reaction and the pitch determines if you are rejected, or you generate interest. So, I intend to try a pitch to my mentor and colleagues, do this ten times, discuss with the team what I learned, improve the pitch and then write the plan.
Rainmaking for startups is someone who can bring large quantities of business. As an entrepreneur, I have to get the first version of my service into the marketplace and find out where it blossoms. I have to be flexible and open, so I can see the unintended customers and how they use my service. At this part, I found an interesting example about Univac who was a leader in computers. He considered that computers were tools for a scientist and he did not sell them to the business market. IBM, was thinking differently and let its products in the business market. Univac remained only a name in the history books.
What I stayed with me from this chapter was that I have to find the key influencers and talk, understand and empathize with them. Another thing is that I have to learn from rejection.
The last chapter explained how to achieve “menschhood”. “Mensch” is a Yiddish word which describes someone who is ethical, decent, and admirable. From a business perspective, is about building a great and lasting organization. To do this I need to have moral and ethical standards for the employees. There are three components to a “menschhood”: helping lots of people, doing what’s right and paying back to the society.
In conclusion, I will do some exercises from the book and I will apply the guidelines that I think are useful for stage I am in right now. It was a useful book, and I recommended it to friends who want to start a business, but does not know with what to begin
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