The Ultralight Startup: Launching a Business Without Clout or Capital Hardcover – Apr 12 2012
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“Jason gives us a rare behind-the-scenes look at the modern startup.” — Seth Godin, author of We Are All Weird
“How do you start something big when you have so little? Good news! It’s now possible to launch and grow a successful startup without having a rich uncle or celebrity connections. This book shows you how. Immensely useful reading for anyone starting something new.”— Dharmesh Shah, cofounder and CTO of Hubspot
“Part handbook, part manifesto, The Ultralight Startup is an inspirational and indispensable tool for anyone interested in getting a business off the ground.” — James Marshall Reilly, author of Shake the World
“If you want to be a tech star, you’ve found your field manual. Jason’s straightforward business advice will make you money and save your sanity. The chapters on PR and fundraising alone are worth the investment.”— Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business
“In a world where raising venture capital seems like the default first step for Internet entrepreneurs, Jason does a fantastic job providing a detailed and current road map for how to get your company to the point where that is a realistic option. The challenges each startup faces are common at the earliest stage of a company and this book will enable entrepreneurs to skip some easy pitfalls and utilize tactics that will give your company a chance to break out.”— Dave Tisch, managing director of TechStars NYC
“Jason captures what it really takes to build a world-changing startup from scratch. The Ultralight Startup is light on theory and heavy on practical nuts and bolts advice that you can implement today. This book will change the way you think about getting your company off the ground.”— David Cohen, CEO of TechStars
“Jason packs an awesome amount of knowledge, experience, wisdom, and practical advice into this tour de force of a book about starting a tech company. If you are thinking about or in the early stages of starting your company, this is an absolute must read.” — Brad Feld, managing director of the Foundry Group
About the Author
Jason L. Baptiste is the CEO and cofounder of Onswipe, a platform for tablet publishing and advertising and one of Time’s 10 Best Start-ups in 2011. Baptiste has been named to BusinessWeek’s Top 25 Under 25 entrepreneurs and Inc.’s 30 Under 30. He is also one of the stars of Bloomberg’s TechStars, a show that chronicled the first six months of Onswipe’s history in the TechStars program for young startups. In his spare time, Baptiste is an avid runner, blogger, and adviser to other startups. He is a graduate of the University of Miami and currently resides in New York City.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First, there is little to no original material in this book. Rather, it is a good compilation of best practices. Perhaps the best way to describe it is that The Ultralight Startup provides the 100 ft view to the 20,000 ft view presented in The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win and The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
So you'll get a lot of bullet points of, basically, how to take a business from zero to something. Basically checklists of content marketing, raising funding hiring, finding cofounders, ideating, building, hiring freelancers, a brief legal section. I say 100 ft view, and not 10 ft view, because Baptiste could have gone deeper on each subheading, but I get he wanted to present an overview, and in that, he succeeded.
It's quick. (I read the book in an hour or so.) And though I wouldn't try too hard to religiously stick to his roadmap, it does present a starting point, which is useful in its way.
If you want more applicability or help developing a system, then Ries' or Blanks' books would be more helpful. Their books aren't without their flaws either, but they draw from a wider body of experience, different companies and different industries to make their points, so analogous situations are easier to find. They also do a better job of systematizing the start-up process.
Product development and minimum viable product
Finding a co-founder
Using freelancers and advisors
Baptiste is refreshingly honest and to-the point in his approach. You'll find various examples in each chapter based on his experiences with his most recent startup, Onswipe.
As a guy who's getting ready to take the plunge from worker bee to entrepreneur, I found this to be exactly what I needed to bridge the gap between knowing little about things like the VC process and the more in-depth readings out there.