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It is a cold, hard fact of business life that most startups fail. Even many of those entrepreneurs who ultimately succeed have stories of personal challenges, unsuccessful companies, and difficulties along the way. The founders of TechStars, a mentorship-driven startup accelerator, have worked with entrepreneurs and companies over the past twenty-five years, and have seen a number of the same issues come up again and again.
In Do More Faster, the founders of TechStars identify the key issues that first-time entrepreneurs encounter, and offer proven advice from successful entrepreneurs who have worked with the TechStars program.
The authors organize the most critical issues into seven themes: Idea and Vision, People, Execution, Product, Fundraising, Legal and Structure, and Work and Life Balance. Many of the examples are personal experiences from the entrepreneurs themselves, integrated into a cohesive narrativewhile at the same time able to stand on their own. Throughout the book, they debunk numerous myths about startups and reveal some surprising truths. They explain, for instance, that the core of a startup is not always a world-changing and earth-shattering ideain fact, it is often the case that successful startups started out doing something else. They also underscore the efficiency of execution: great entrepreneurs know how to synthesize data, make a decision about the path they are going down, and execute. And they offer some alternatives to traditional ways of raising money, while stressing that you shouldn't start with the assumption that you need to raise money.
Mastering the seven themes may not ensure success, but understanding the issues, reading the stories, and getting advice pertaining to these issues will increase your chances dramatically. And if nothing else, you'll realize that you aren't alone in facing these challenges.
Praise for Do More Faster
"Remember when experience mattered? Thanks to this book, no matter how new to your field or how young or inexperienced you are, you can learn from people who have actually done it.
Sure beats failing." Seth Godin, author of Linchpin
"When it comes to pragmatic adviceas well as examples highlighting real-world resultsDo More Faster is a full-course meal. Brad and David have done a masterful job of simplifying into bite-sized chunks the ingredients that every entrepreneur should consider in channeling their enthusiasm into a real-world approach to building a sustainable business. TechStars has set the standard and shared the formulanow you have to execute." Dan'l Lewin, Corporate Vice President, Strategic and Emerging Business Development, Microsoft
"If you have an idea and a dream, read Do More Faster! It offers a unique opportunity to hear first- hand what to do (and what not to do) to build and scale your business." Josh Kopelman, Managing Partner, First Round Capital
"Having recently launched my fourth startup, I can say without reservation that what Brad and David are doing to promote entrepreneurialism is accelerating the pace of innovation. Additionally, the ideas and examples they reveal in Do More Faster are tangible and valuable lessons for anyone thinking about starting a new business. Their passion, vision, and commitment to the startup community, both through TechStars and their personal mentorship, are unmatched."
Pete Sheinbaum, founder and CEO, The Mandelbrot Project, Inc., and former CEO, DailyCandy, Inc.
"One thing is sure in the tech world: that history repeats itself. The lessons in founding companies are always the same, yet these are rarely passed down from one generation of entrepreneur to the next. Brad and David have done a brilliant job of crystallizing the most important lessons and bringing them to life in the words of the entrepreneurs. Every startup founder should read this book!"
Vivek Wadhwa, columnist, Bloomberg Businessweek, and contributor, TechCrunch
"Do More Faster is a locked-room all-nighter with David Cohen, Brad Feld, and the impressive mentors to TechStars; it is candid, smart, and spot-on. This is some of the very best advice entrepreneurs can get anywhere. Buy it already."
Paul Kedrosky, Angel Investor and Senior Fellow, Kauffman Foundation