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Entrepreneur Journeys Book Review: Starting Small, Making It Big

Posted on Thursday, Jul 9th 2009

Thomas “Duffbert” Duff posts another good review: “Mitra structures Entrepreneur Journeys: Bootstrapping: Weapon of Mass Reconstruction as a series of interviews with people who have started businesses and willingly (or unwillingly) went without massive funding for the first part of their histories. The ranges of personalities are rather astonishing…everything from veterans of startups who have ‘been there, done that’ to youngsters who happened to be at the right place at the right time, and organically grew an idea into a money-generating website. Some of the individuals couldn’t get a venture capitalist to listen to them, and others decided not to go that route in order to retain control. But in all cases, these entrepreneurs were able to successfully negotiate that tightrope between growth and funding.

 While I learned a lot from each of the interviews, I also found Mitra’s commentary quite valuable. She points out a number of flaws in our current VC mindset that cause many good companies to die off too early. Running a company for the first time is hard, and mentoring is even more valuable in many cases than money. Normal VC arrangements don’t do a good job in close mentoring. Instead, it’s a push to build up the value so the VCs can cash out. Angel investors are more likely to work closely with the business, helping them reach their potential without sacrificing the longer-term potential of the business. Very valuable advice.

If you’re starting your own business in the technology industry, Mitra’s book might well give you some perspective on initial funding that you may not have considered. And given what’s at stake, you will want to take the couple of hours you’ll need to read this.”

From a review: “What’s interesting about the book? First of all, it’s very conversational — you feel as if you are sitting in a room and listening to the conversation. Second, the personal stories of entrepreneurs make the book an interesting read.

The book has interviews mainly from Internet and enterprise startups, and Sramana has managed to extract a whole lot of personal stories from entrepreneurs — for instance, Om Malik’s journey from Delhi to the US.

The common theme in all the interviews is that successful entrepreneurs did manage to figure out gaps in the market, started small, were driven by passion or a gut feel and eventually made it big! No, big isn’t just about being Larry Page or Sergey Brin; big is also being about Rafat Ali of paidContent, Beatrice Tarka of Mobissimo and Ramu Yalamanchi of hi5.”

And here is a bit of Sriram Sridharan’s review of the edition now available from bookstores in India, Entrepreneur Journeys: How To Stop Looking For A Job And Start Up Your Life’s Work:

“I feel that a five hundred or a thousand word review can hardly do justice to Sramana Mitra’s book. The little nuggets of tips and information that she’s scattered all through the book make it a pleasure for the both the young entrepreneur and the veteran businessman. I definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to setup a business on their own or even willing to learn a bit about doing so.”

More to come…we encourage you to write your own review.


This segment is a part in the series : Entrepreneur Journeys Book Review

. A Need For Freedom
. "Bootstrapping" In Tune With The Times
. Mentor Capital, Not Venture Capital
. Getting Started
. Finding Niches Within Niches
. Starting Small, Making It Big
. Focus On The Customer
. Find The Value That's Missing
. Value Creators vs. Speculators
. "If at first you don't find funding..."
. Buck The Trend, Back Yourself
. Win Free E-Book Copy of "Entrepreneur Journeys, Volume Three"
. "We twist and turn the ideas and make them our own."
. Bootstrapping In The UK
. "Iron out the wrinkles on your entrepreneurship canvas"
. Positioning & Bootstrapping for Entrepreneurs
. Do You REALLY Have What It Takes?
. Clarify Your Story
. Bound To Lift Drooping Spirits
. Converting Experiences Into Roadmaps
. VentureWoods Reviews "Entrepreneur Journeys"
. Bootstrapping Is The Order Of The Day!
. Dorm Room View of Bootstrapping
. Discussing Entrepreneurship and Positioning
. Forget Venture Capital, Raise Mental Capital
. "Men can do what men have done."
. Entrepreneur Journeys Vol. 3 Kicks SaaS
. Learning Directly From The Masters
. Best Book I Have Read in 2009
. Niches Abound Within Niches
. A Peek At Businesses That Validate The Vertical Movement Of The Web
. Favorites From 2009
. For Entrepreneurs And More
. Trendwatchers Will Not Be Disappointed
. Power Lies Within Oneself
. A Peek At The Way The Minds Of Great Entrepreneurs Work
. If You've The Will, You Will Make The Way
. Bootstrapping Is Good!
. Zest For Creation
. Very Pertinent To The Current Economy
. We Need To Innovate Our Way Out
. Seeking Justice For Entrepreneurs
. Push Of Encouragement To Set You On The Path To Success
. Filled With Terrific And Hard-Won Insight
. Bootstrapping Can Be Successful

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