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Hot or Not: How to Know If Your Business Idea Will Fly or Fail [Paperback]

Prof Sean Evan Wise

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Book Description

Dec 1 2011
GREAT IDEAS CHANGE THE WORLD, but how do you know if your idea is truly great? That is the problem Professor Sean Wise addresses in his third and best book to date. Sean Wise, former online host and business advisor to the hit reality show, Dragons' Den, has heard tens of thousands of entrepreneurs' idea pitches. Some were good, most were bad, and in this book he shows you how to tell the difference. Based on more than 20,000 hours of pitches, Wise takes us inside the minds of investors and other opportunity spotters to learn how they separate the best from the rest. In doing so, Wise provides readers with an objective framework for gauging the potential of Startup business ideas. This book provides: • an entrepreneurial field guide for innovators • tools to help you recognize great entrepreneurial opportunities • an interactive framework to help Startup entrepreneurs address key issues • a multidimensional objective scorecard to assist in the decision process • lists of key considerations to address before you invest your time, energy and money So before you drop out, invest in, or quit your day job to pursue an opportunity, first discover if your idea is HOT or NOT and learn how to get investors to back your pitch.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Createspace (Dec 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468024493
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468024494
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #140,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps for people thinking of auditioning for Dragon's Den? March 24 2012
By Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
*** Hot or Not? was provided to me free-of-charge by the author through a Goodreads, First Reads Giveaway. ***

Sean Wise's book "Hot or Not?" is best described as a tool for entrepreneurs to assess the potential of their business idea and to provide concrete recommendations for improving their business idea to make it attractive to potential investors. The author, Sean Wise draws on his many years of experience as Professor of Entrepreneurship & Strategy at the Ryerson Entrepreneurship Institute, as Director of Ernst & Young's Venture Capital Advisory Group, as a venture capitalist for a New York-based private equity firm, and as the Industry Advisory for Canada's Dragons' Den in compiling a great resource for those wondering whether their business has merit.

I have very mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, some things are very, very well done.

This book is comprehensive in that it really does seem to cover everything an entrepreneur should consider when moving an idea forward into reality. The information is presented in a logical, easy-to-follow format that I can really appreciate. Each section covers the same points when considering each individual element: What is it? Examples. Why it matters? How to score a particular element? Raising the score (when possible)? It reads like a cookbook and I really liked that about this book.

The book makes great use of examples and walks the reader through a detailed case study. For those without a business background, key text is bolded and defined and there is a glossary of terms in the back of the book. It is very user-friendly.

Now the problems I had with the book:

First, I received an e-book version which was not formatted correctly making the text quite disjointed and difficult to follow. Ok, I understand that it's an advanced, non-proofed copy so while I was frustrated, it doesn't really affect how I feel about the content.

As I read through the book, I often felt like it was a big plug for the Dragon's Den. It just kept getting mentioned over and over and over. Also, I found it interesting that Kevin O'Leary provided a forward to the book, was frequently used in the examples, and was even included in the index! Interestingly, only Jim Treliving and Kevin O'Leary from the Dragon's Den were mentioned (and indexed) in the book (not the other dragons). Hmmmm....

For those who are not familiar with Kevin O'Leary, he is a bit of a controversial individual in Canada - - even being compared to Don Cherry of Hockey Night in Canada; both having the ability to not only offend others with their inappropriate comments, but to seemingly fail to understand why their comments are offensive in the first place.

So, when you use a controversial figure to write the Foreward in your book, that's simply a risk you take. Some people will be put off right away.

Finally, I think the biggest issue I had was that I feel that this book is written for people who have BIG IDEAS and who are seeking investors for their business. This was made evident by the examples that were cited over and over and over, e.g., Facebook, Amazon, Wikipedia. These types of ideas are such a small percentage of successful businesses. Who seems left out is the small business owner who may simply want to do something small, and begin a business doing something they ENJOY. In short, the "human factor" is largely left out. Further, for less lofty business ideas, not all the elements are necessarily relevant. For examples, you don't necessarily need a Board of Directors or a CFO to run a successful business.

I've seen the Dragon's Den and I think this book would be relevant for people who think along the same lines as the people who pitch their ideas on the show: that is, people who have a simple idea and are largely motivated by making money. From where I sit and in the wake of the Occupy Movement, that's not me.
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Handbook Jan. 9 2013
By Bobby - Published on Amazon.com
I run my own start-up that provides much needed advice to other entrepreneurs in helping them assess their idea and how to pitch said idea to convince others to invest. This book along with his other work "How to be a Business Superhero" is well-thumbed and has a variety of post-it's sticking out of it. It's definitely an incredibly useful book that provides important information in an easy to understand manner. The questionnaire/idea evaluator on the back is very useful as well, we've adopted it into our process.

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