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High Tech Start Up, Revised and Updated: The Complete Handbook For Creating Successful New High Tech Companies [Hardcover]

John L. Nesheim
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 16 2000
The phenomenal success of the initial public offerings (IPOs) of many new internet companies obscures the fact that fewer than six out of 1 million business plans submitted to venture capital firms will ever reach the IPO stage. Many fail, according to start-up expert John Nesheim, because the entrepreneurs did not have access to the invaluable lessons that come from studying the real-world venture experiences of successful companies. Now they do.
This revised and updated edition of Nesheim's underground Silicon Valley bestseller incorporates twenty-three case studies of successful start-ups, including tables of wealth showing how much money founders and investors realized from each venture. Acclaimed by entrepreneurs the world over, this practical handbook is filled with hard-to-find information and guidance covering every key phase of a start-up, from idea to IPO: how to create a winning business plan, how to value the firm, how venture capitalists work, how they make their money, where to find alternative sources of funding, how to select a good lawyer, and how to protect intellectual property. Nesheim aims to improve the odds of success for first-time high-tech entrepreneurs, and offers an insider's perspective from firsthand experience on one of the toughest challenges they face -- convincing venture capitalists or investment banks to provide financing.
This complete, classic reference tool is essential reading for first-time high-tech entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs already involved in a start-up who want to increase their chances of success to rise to the top.

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You've got a hot idea for a new dot-com, and you're itching to join the folks who regularly show up on CNBC and at the Lexus dealerships in Silicon Valley. But you also know your odds of big-time success are about as long as Bill Gates's position in MSFT. What do you do? John Nesheim, an adjunct professor at Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management, who has personally structured over $300 million in new-venture deals, lays out the step-by-step skinny in High Tech Startup. Incorporating some two dozen case studies spanning the technology spectrum, he presents info specific to this industry that will help you get from concept to IPO. It begins with a 14-phase schedule itemizing time requirements, necessary assistance, typical participants, major costs, main risks, and desired results for each step. It then details all the critical stages (i.e., forming the company, preparing the business plan, assembling the team, dealing with venture capitalists and other funding sources). Nesheim focuses on practical strategies that should certainly improve your chances, but don't start prepping for that on-air interview with Mark Haines just yet: Only six out of 1 million high-tech ideas, he notes, ever become successful companies that go public. --Howard Rothman


Chih-Chao Lam founder, Acknowledge and ShoppingList.com This is the book I wish I'd taken to heart in my first start-up. ShoppingList.com is all the more well-grounded for my having read High Tech Start UP.

Ken Tidwell Vice President, Engineering, Clip2.com Next best thing after the founders to have at the kitchen table.

Thomas M. Uhlman President, New Ventures Group, Lucent Technologies Required reading for the next generation of corporate venture capitalists.

Donald T. Valentine General Partner, Sequoia Capital A must-read for all Internet era entrepreneurs.

Mario Rosati Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Great book for high-tech entrepreneurs.

George Gilder Gilder Group, author of Telecosm Super book by the start-up guru of Silicon Valley.

John C. Dean Chairman and CEO, Silicon Valley Bank From idea to IPO, Nesheim provides a virtual road map to start-up success.

David Ben Daniel Professor of Entrepreneurship, Cornell University An invaluable, practical guide for high-tech entrepreneurs.

Chong Huai Seng Publisher, Asian Entrepreneur A must-read for entrepreneurs, angels, and venture firms seeking the best practices.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The research on which this book is based provided a lot of data about start-ups of all kinds that use technology, from semiconductors to Internet sites. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars A big disappointment July 14 2004
If the title was "Managing and Financing Your Startup", I would not have been disappointed. It seems that Nesheim's central message is to find an experienced CEO, and push constantly to get financing.
Nesheim is so insistent on this point that he basically ignores the critical, fundamental question of market assessment: how to determine whether the product is desirable and whether the company has a true "unfair advantage". It seems that Nesheim is more focused on a successful IPO and exit for the funders than on developing a viable business.
As I read the book, I thought of companies like Webvan. Webvan would be successful in Nesheim's view: experienced management, seasoned directors, and well financed. But history showed that they had a product that was too expensive for the marketplace, and they are gone. While Nesheim does not cite Webvan, he does offer other success stories that have fallen far from their initial valuations: DoubleClick, Netscape, and SGI.
Given that, I have a hard time trusting this book. The prettiest forecasts are meaningless unless they are based on a solid product and a solid competitive advantage. And here, Nesheim offers virtually no guidance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Think you have what it takes? March 15 2003
Thinking about starting a company? Read this book to find out what it really takes to create a successful high-tech company. This book covers just about every detail and sacrifice you will need to make. A lot of techies aspiring to be the next Bill Gates thought they could start a company based upon the merits of their idea alone, but the facts are it takes a lot more than a good idea to create a successful high tech company.
The book outlines the whole process from initial idea to IPO. The book tends to focus on the IPO-Venture model for startups, giving little ink to other methods. The only downside of this book is it was written during the height of the .CON boom, so don't expect to find the magic formula for developing a startup in today's business climate. The information dealing for personnel, legal, IP, and getting VC funding is worth the cover price alone. Overall, this is an extremely informative book and a must read for anyone thinking about starting a company or joining a startup.
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Having worked with dozens of entrepreneurs, I know that most of them ask the same questions during the very early stages; this book answers most of them.
"High Tech Start Up" provides a practical, real-world view at the complex process of forming the company (beyond just the simple incorporation process), preparing yourself legally, developing the business plan, assembling a team, and then raising the capital. This book is truly an "A-to-Z" reference guide that belongs on every entrepreneur's bookshelf.
Author Nesheim's only shortcoming with this work is that little time was dedicated to the very important process of answering key questions about any start-up: What problem do you solve? For whom? Will they pay to have it solved for them? How can you leverage that ability into a long-term business? And so forth...
My suggestion is that the true first-time, early-stage entrepreneur read "Entrepreneur America" before reading anything else. This book provides a "bigger picture" overview and causes the reader to critically assess the business model. Once all of the "assignments" from "Entrepreneur America" are complete, the reader can then move on to "High Tech Start Up" for a more detailed look at the business and capital formation processes.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Effort! March 2 2001
Using enormous detail and plenty of case studies, John L. Nesheim presents a step-by-step plan for starting a new high tech company. Given the abundance of insider insights, his guidebook could be a critical part of your training if you are contemplating such a venture. (Although in light of the current atmosphere for new tech ventures, you might want to reconsider altogether.) But after reading this book, you'll at least know what you're getting yourself into before you make that first call to your newly acquired corporate attorney. Nesheim designed his book, also, to be informative for venture capitalists and corporate development managers who work with new ventures. Nesheim backs up his authoritative tone with plenty of facts and figures (updated in this year 2000 second edition) So, if that pregnant gleam in your eye relates to a bouncing, baby tech firm, we at getAbstract.com recommend this book as an essential part of your planning process, with the caveat that times have changed for start ups since this book went to press.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A case study in and of itself Jan. 9 2001
By A Customer
Nesheim's book is Nesheim's business. He has written a primer on entrepreneurship, from the VC perspective, and is providing basic information that can be garnered for free from the Internet or any small business development center or university incubator in the country. Among other texts, this one may prove useful in the classroom for the purpose of critical analysis, but it can be misleading to entrepreneurs who need to have a fuller picture. Unimpressive are such entries as: ". . .a famous university study showed that sixty-nine disk drive start-up companies got rolling during the heyday of the personal computer, around 1983. . .(p. 45). Nesheim also takes a VC stance against non-disclosure agreements between VC's and their prospective clients. There are plenty of us in the technology start up business who vehemently disagree. The NDA is a useful tool, not necessarily to protect from infringement as much as to signify good faith. They can be, and have been enforceable as well. Nesheim's book also neglects any discussion of incubators as viable locations in which to begin a business--in spite of his acknowledgement that start up costs and overhead can be tough on new businesses. Again, his lack of understanding of incubation seems to stem from his VC perspective. VC's are more familiar with the more recent 'accelerator' phenomenon of the dot coms--VC portfolios in a building if you will--which lasted all of about 12 months this last year and came crashing with the NASDAQ. Mr. Nesheim has taught one or two online classes via the Internet as a visiting lecturer to Cornell University. He spends most of his time travelling throughout Europe and Asia selling his text and talking to would be entrepreneurs. His text is his product and his Silicon Valley address is what he would call "his unfair advantage", particularly to unsuspecting listeners in foreign lands.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars provides excellent conceptual framework for new company
For neophyte Hi-Tech entrepreneurs this book lays out the areas that need to be dealt with in order to successfully move from the early idea stage to the functioning company... Read more
Published on Oct. 14 2003 by Naftali/Cliff Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Focused too much on the IPO
I'm giving it four stars because it really was a good and informative book, but it focused too much on raising money from venture capitalists and taking your company public. Read more
Published on Sept. 25 2003 by David
4.0 out of 5 stars Focused too much on the IPO
I'm giving it four stars because it really was a good and informative book, but it focused too much on raising money from venture capitalists and taking your company public. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I should have known
This book changed the way I view the role of CEO in a start-up. Being a CEO of a start-up is a hard job. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2002 by J. West
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book!
This is a great book for anyone thinking about starting a company. It walks through all the essential steps of the process and drills down into details like how much in savings... Read more
Published on Sept. 15 2001 by Paul Cannon
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Startup book I've read so far
This book is a nice collection of practical, how-to advice with little hype. It does a good job of giving you a good road map. Read more
Published on June 24 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Still dated, but still excellent
Here's the bottom line. If you are thinking of starting your own company, you'd be crazy not to buy this book. Consider it your first expense. Read more
Published on Dec 3 2000 by Michael G
3.0 out of 5 stars It depends on your profession
I see the book as a very specialized tool-book in hi-tech start-up -- detailing what to do (if one wants to make a hi-tech start-up), how to do, when, expected period, who to... Read more
Published on Sept. 3 2000 by alibaba
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