Running a startup can be immensely exciting and, in the meantime, the most challenging experience in one’s entrepreneurial journey. Most startup founders compare this experience with rollercoaster ride, since the path is full of ups and downs, feelings of sheer joy and bitter disappointment, periods of loneliness blended with uncertainty, doubts and “a-ha moments”.
In the introduction to The Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups from Their Founding Entrepreneurs, author and entrepreneur David S. Kidder underpins this fact by providing an observation that Ben Horowitz shared with him, “The decision to pursue a startup is irrational because the experience can be such a torturous one”. Therefore, survival in a startup world requires irrational commitment since “only the most passionate and irrational people ultimately arrive at the best ideas to solve major market needs”.
The Startup Playbook is a compilation of key lessons, beliefs, startup wisdom and pieces of advice distilled from the interviews done by David S. Kidder with the most prominent entrepreneurs in their fields: Elon Musk, Tony Hsieh, Jacqueline Novogratz, Reid Hoffman, Ben Horowitz, Steve Case, Steve Blank, Sara Blakely and others. The book sheds the unique light on the startup journey of each entrepreneur and reveals key practices and insights on how to build a scalable startup and power its growth in its first 5 years. Among the topics discussed during the interviews are product development, team building, customer and market development, HR, raising capital, culture, competition, leadership and etc.
David S. Kidder is a successful entrepreneur and visionary himself. Prior to co-founding Bionic, an enterprise innovation accelerator and platform, he served as the co-founder and CEO of Clickable, an online advertising software as a service (acquired by Syncapse). Prior to Clickable, Kidder co-founded SmartRay Network, a mobile advertising pioneer (acquired by LifeMinders), and Net-X, a web-authoring platform (acquired by Target Vision).
Having tasted all the “spices” of an entrepreneurial journey, David also decided to reach out to his most admired friends and contacts in business field to create a comprehensive roadmap for all entrepreneurs who have just started their journey or think about it.
As Reid Hoffman writes in the foreword to the book, “Being an entrepreneur is like throwing yourself off the cliff and assembling an airplane on the way down”. The Startup Playbook is aimed to instill your confidence as an entrepreneur and equip you with important knowledge that will help to face startup world with greater courage, make wise decisions along the way and turn ideas into sustainable businesses.
While reading the book, I took a lot of notes. In this article, I would like to share the key takeaways on raising capital (see infographic), since startup founders find it one of the most daunting and difficult tasks.
Written by Natalie Myhalnytska