Backable: The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance on You

Backable: The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance on You

Backable: The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance on You

Backable: The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance on You


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A groundbreaking book that boldly claims the key to success is not talent, connections, or ideas, but the ability to persuade people to take a chance on your potential.
"The most exceptional people aren't just brilliant...they're backable." —Daniel Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of When, Drive  and To Sell is Human
No one makes it alone. But there’s a reason some people can get investors or bosses to believe in them while others cannot. And that reason has little to do with experience, pedigree, or a polished business plan. Backable people seem to have a hidden quality that inspires others to take action. We often chalk
this up to natural talent or charisma...either you have “it” or you don’t.

After getting rejected by every investor he pitched, Suneel Gupta had a burning question: Could “it” be learned?

Drawing lessons from hundreds of the world’s biggest thinkers, Gupta discovered how to pitch new ideas in a way that has raised millions of dollars, influenced large-scale change inside massive corporations, and even convinced his eight-year-old daughter to clean her room. Inside Backable are long-held secrets from producers of Oscar-winning films, members of Congress, military leaders, culinary stars, venture capitalists, founders of unicorn-status startups, and executives at iconic companies like Lego, Method, and Pixar.

Backable reveals how the key to success is not charisma, connections, or even your résumé, but rather your ability to persuade others to
take a chance on you. This original book will show you how.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316494519
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 02/23/2021
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 192,480
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Suneel Gupta is on faculty at Harvard University where he teaches students how to be Backable. Using the 7 steps inside this book, Suneel went from being the face of failure for the New York Times to being the “New Face of Innovation” for the New York Stock Exchange. His ideas have been backed by firms like Greylock and Google Ventures, and he has invested in startups including Airbnb, Calm, and SpaceX. Suneel also serves as an emissary for Gross National Happiness between the United States and the Kingdom of Bhutan.


Table of Contents

Author's Note 3

Introduction 5

Step 1 Convince Yourself First 15

Schedule Incubation Time 18

Steer into Objections 24

Throwaway Work 28

Measure Your Emotional Runway 30

Step 2 Cast a Central Character 33

Choose One Person 35

Create a Storyboard 39

Keep Your Character in Sight 43

Step 3 Find an Earned Secret 48

Go Beyond Google 51

Intoxicate Them with Effort 54

Step 4 Make it Feel Inevitable 61

Be an Armchair Anthropologist 62

With or Without Us 66

Show Momentum 70

Have Vision, Not Visions 71

Step 5 Flip Outsiders to Insiders 75

Share What It Could Be, Not How It Has to Be 78

The Story of Us 82

Make Them the Hero 85

Share Just Enough 89

Step 6 Play Exhibition Matches 94

No Venue Is Too Small 97

Be Willing to Be Embarrassed 100

Don't Ask, "What Do You Think?" 101

Build Your Backable Circle 104

The Rule of 21 109

Reboot Your Style 111

Step 7 Let Go of Your Ego 114

Show, Don't Tell 115

Forget Yourself 117

Find the Passionate Few 121

Conclusion: The Game of Now 127

Acknowledgments 135

Appendix 1 Chapter Summaries 137

Appendix 2 Highlights from Select Interviews with Backable People 147

Kirsten Green 148

Peter Chemin 155

Adam Lowry 166

Tina Sharkey 174

Andy Dunn 183

Brian Grazer 192

Ann Miura-Ko 200

Trevor McFedries 207

John Palfrey 213

Notes 219

Index 233

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