I’ve gotten to know William Mougayar through his new company Engag.io. I’m a huge fan, use it daily, and have given him plenty of feedback. He asked me for a pre-release copy of Startup Communities and I happily sent it to him.
His review is up on the StartupNorth blog and titled Book Review – Startup Communities: It’s About the Entrepreneur. It’s an excellent, comprehensive review that includes a summary of the key points in Chapter 6: Classical Problems.
- The Patriarch Problem, when those who made their money many years ago are still running the show.
- Complaining about capital, because there will always be an imbalance between supply of capital and demand for capital.
- Being too reliant on Government. This is self-explanatory, but there’s a whole chapter on it entitled: “Contrasts between entrepreneurs and government.”
- Making short-term commitments. Well, it takes a long time to build a startup community. Twenty years to be exact.
- Having a bias against newcomers. Instead, swarm the newcomers.
- Attempt by a feeder to control the community. Why? Feeders retard the actual growth of the startup community.
- Creating artificial geographic boundaries. They don’t matter much at all at the state and city level. Waterloo-Toronto: are you listening?
- Playing a zero-sum game. This means stop thinking that “Our community is better than yours”.
- Having a culture of risk aversion. Make sure you learn something from what didn’t work.
- Avoiding people because of past failures. Rather, embrace the failed entrepreneur because it encourages more entrepreneurs to take more risks.
William – thanks for the review. I look forward to heading up North and seeing you again soon.
Rob Irizarry has a long review of Startup Communities up on the Startup Bozeman blog titled Startup Communities by Brad Feld. I met Rob a few months ago when I was in Missoula running a marathon and wrote about it in AC/VC, Mamalode, and The Missoula Startup Community.
Rob captures the essence of the book and highlights many of the things discussed. He also offers some constructive feedback that he wishes I’d written more on mentorship which I’ll make sure I do on this blog.
It’s exciting what is going on in Bozeman and Missoula around startups. Rob and the entrepreneurs there get it – they are taking action and playing a long-term game. Good job gang!
Tej Dhawan wrote a great review of Startup Communities that is up on the Startup Iowa site. He delightfully titled the post Higgs Boson of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. I especially liked the following paragraph as it captured one of my goals:
My initial read was quick and the book fascinating. It documented for me much of what I saw during a visit to Boulder this June when attending the Startup America Partnership regional summit. As Brad documented the building blocks of the startup community he has built, nurtured and supported, I particularly thank him for not prescribing how the rest of us should build our communities. He left the building to us, in our own ways, with our own strengths, and an offer to help in his own unique way.
Every startup community is unique. It would have been easy to write a book that was a 12 step guide to building a startup community. If I had simply done this, it would have been a shitty book that undermined the incredible diversity of both the entrepreneurs around the country (and the world) and the natural resources (physical, intellectual, and cultural) of the places they call home. I’m psyched that in early readings of the book guys like Tej caught that it’s up to them to figure out what works for their community, and that it will be different than what works for Boulder, or Silicon Valley, or New York. Learning from existing vibrant startup communities is key – trying to imitate them is foolish.
Tej – I look forward to seeing you in October at the Thinc Iowa 2012 event that I’m speaking at. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on Startup Communities, as well as for all the effort you are putting into your startup community.
Bart Lorang – the CEO of Full Contact – just put up a review of Startup Communities titled Want to build a startup ecosystem? There’s a book for that. I love love love working with Bart and Full Contact. And it’s just awesome what Bart is doing for both the Boulder startup community and the Denver startup community. Dude – you are a total star – and the gang you are building is awesome.
My friend Jud Valeski, the CEO of Gnip, has a nice review up of Startup Communities. Jud has lived in Boulder all of his life and is a great reference point for whether or not my Boulder Thesis of startup communities rings true.
I sent out 150 “pre-publisher draft” copies. Given the tight time frame (the book will be out by 9/15 at the latest) I’m going straight to the final edition rather than sending out a bunch of typeset drafts. It’s up on Amazon for pre-ordering – if you are interested in it, grab a copy now..
I love being in the home stretch on a book.