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 narrative – while 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 idea – in 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.