HOT or NOT:: How to know if your Business Idea will Fly or Fail Paperback – Dec 1 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book breaks down Mr. Wise's Wiseguy(tm) scoring system ([...]) and covers what he considers to be the 44 elements that you need in order to succeed. Each element is made up of: What is it?, Why it matters? Questions to ask, and How to score this element.
The book is not meant to be read in one sitting. It is meant to be with you every step of the way. It is set up for you to refer to as you get to certain stages of implementing your business. This book seems less geared for those who want to set up a family business, but more for those who are looking to either franchise at some point or have their product sold nationally and internationally.
Although I am not currently thinking about starting up a new business, I know that if I do I will have "Hot or Not" with me. I feel that Mr. Wise has solid information and using his scoring system will definitely help you make better decisions.
The writing is rather dry since it is more meant as a manual, but it is well researched and Mr. Wise shows us his experience on helping people avoid common pitfalls and succeed in making their dreams a reality.
**I have received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. It has, in no way, influenced my review.**
Wise is an adviser for venture capital firms and is also the online host and adviser for the reality show Dragons' Den. He's heard literally thousands of entrepreneurs' idea pitches.
Wise takes all this experience and breaks down what makes a business idea HOT...or NOT into smart, insightful, small steps. The book outlines his WiseGuide (yeah, even he admits it's a cheesy name) to judge your idea. With great detail--but also amazing simplicity--he describes how to award points to every aspect of your idea: 44 elements that you need to consider; 8 pitfalls you REALLY need to consider. He also includes ideas about what to do if your idea is weak in a specific area. So you can not just evaluate, but also fix what's wrong.
Every chapter was short, to the point, clear, and useful.
When I was done, I felt as if I'd just had a three-hour, personal consultation with an incredibly smart man.
Finished the book in one sitting, and now am going back to re-read and study. Fast and excellent read.
by: Sean Wise
I won this book on Goodreads/First Reads
This book is a must read for anyone thinking of starting a business or thinking of investing in one. I found the book easy to read and it has a non-nonsense way to figure out if an idea will really fly in a business sense. I loved the insight in this book and I think it will be invaluable to weed out the good from the bad. This book doesn't just stop with ideas but rather gives you the whole sense of what it takes to suceed in a business. There's even a scoring system to help you decide if it's a good or not so good idea. This book is a must-have for business!
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.