Disciplined Entrepreneurship Startup Tactics: 15 Tactics to Turn Your Business Plan into a Business

Disciplined Entrepreneurship Startup Tactics: 15 Tactics to Turn Your Business Plan into a Business

Disciplined Entrepreneurship Startup Tactics: 15 Tactics to Turn Your Business Plan into a Business

Disciplined Entrepreneurship Startup Tactics: 15 Tactics to Turn Your Business Plan into a Business


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A hands-on, practical roadmap to get from great idea to successful company

In Disciplined Entrepreneurship: Startup Tactics, renowned entrepreneur and Executive Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship Paul Cheek delivers an actionable field guide to transforming your one great idea into a functional, funded, and staffed startup. Building on the ideas presented in the bestselling Disciplined Entrepreneurship, the author delivers a startlingly complete and comprehensive set of solutions you can implement immediately to advance your company to its next stage of growth.

This is not a theoretical book. You’ll find ground-level, down-and-dirty entrepreneurial tactics—like how to conduct advanced primary market research, market and sell to your first customers, and take a scrappy approach to building your first products—that keep your firm growing. These tactics maximize your impact with limited resources. You’ll also discover:

  • Effective marketing tactics specific to early startups that go beyond cookie-cutter digital MarTech solutions
  • Tactics for designing and testing your product concepts yourself before investing limited resources in developing a fully functional product
  • Methods for equity distribution that minimize conflict and maximize investor return

An invaluable resource for founders and entrepreneurs, Disciplined Entrepreneurship: Startup Tactics will also benefit any professional working at an early-stage startup or launching new products looking for concrete solutions to the most common and difficult problems faced by young companies and the people who work in them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781394223350
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 04/02/2024
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 309,361
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

About the Author

PAUL CHEEK is a serial tech entrepreneur, entrepreneurship educator, software engineer, and patented inventor. He is the Executive Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and a Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the MIT Sloan School of Management. Paul was MIT’s first Hacker in Residence and has since taught, mentored, and advised thousands of entrepreneurs around the world. Paul was named to Forbes 30 Under 30, the definitive list of young people changing the world. Paul is a co-founder of Oceanworks, a for-profit company with a mission to end plastic pollution and previously co-founded Work Today, a venture-backed digital staffing and recruiting company. Paul advises startups and both speaks and consults with Fortune 500 companies and universities globally to advance entrepreneurship. You can learn more about Paul on his website, PaulCheek.com, or follow him on LinkedIn.

Table of Contents

Foreword xv

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction to Tactics 1

Stage 1 Foundations 24

Tactic 1 Goals: Operational Goals and KPIs—Charting the Course to Major Milestones 27

Tactic 2 Systems: Startup Tooling and Systems 39

Stage 2 Market Testing 48

Tactic 3 Market Research: Advanced Primary and Secondary Market Research— Quantifying Qualitative Research 51

Tactic 4 Assets: Developing Startup Visual Assets 77

Tactic 5 Marketing: Proving Persona Assumptions with Digital Advertising 91

Tactic 6 Sales: Early Customer Demand Generation 107

Stage 3 Product Development 120

Tactic 7 Product Roadmap: Building Your Product’s Roadmap 123

Tactic 8 Design: Minimum Viable Business Product Design 129

Tactic 9 User Testing: Validating the Product Actually Works 143

Tactic 10 Engineering: Transitioning from Product Design to Development 161

Stage 4 Resource Acquisition 174

Tactic 11 Legal: Incorporation and Legal Documents for Your Startup 177

Tactic 12 Finance: Path to Greatness—Building the Financial Model and Setting Up the Piggy Bank 191

Tactic 13 Pitch Deck Design: Pitch Decks for Startups 201

Tactic 14 Fundraising: Executing Your Venture’s Fundraising Plan 213

Tactic 15 Hiring: Finding and Onboarding Your First Ten Employees 235

Next Steps 251

Educator Materials 261

Index 263

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"As a founder who has experienced the ups and down of starting and scaling a company firsthand, I highly recommend Disciplined Entrepreneurship: Startup Tactics. Based on first principles thinking, it shares practical and actionable guidance for founders at every stage and is a valuable resource for anyone striving to build a successful startup.”
—Drew Houston, Co-Founder & CEO, Dropbox

“In my book, That Will Never Work, I share our story of taking Netflix from an idea to one of today’s leading entertainment brands. That process was not simple, but it is a process that can be learned. I highly recommend this book for its actionable strategies in setting goals, developing products, and financing new startups.”
—Marc Randolph, Co-Founder & CEO, Netflix

Disciplined Entrepreneurship: Startup Tactics is an indispensable guide for entrepreneurs looking to build and scale their ventures. This book provides a systematic approach to startup success, from market testing to fundraising and hiring. It's a must-have resource for any founder striving to create lasting impact.”
—Brad Feld, Partner, Foundry; Co-Founder, Techstars

“From the outside, HubSpot might seem like a smooth, up-and-to-the-right story. It belies what actually goes on inside. The best way I’d describe HubSpot is two steps forward, followed by one step back, followed by two steps forward, followed by one step back, etc. Disciplined Entrepreneurship: Startup Tactics provides an experimentation framework helpful for determining what your next two steps forward should be and what to do when you need to take one step back. Startup Tactics is such a valuable continuation of the entrepreneurship lessons we learned at MIT when we were starting HubSpot.”
—Brian Halligan, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, HubSpot

“As a co-founder of Care.com, scaling the organization from start-up stage through 5 rounds of funding and IPO, I gained a strong appreciation for the entrepreneurial process. Disciplined Entrepreneurship: Startup Tactics is a resource that will be incredibly helpful to entrepreneurs at any stage. This book provides an action-oriented framework for startup success. Having spent the past 10 years teaching entrepreneurs I know that this book will help founders learn the skills they need to be successful.”
—Donna Levin, CEO, Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Babson College and Co-Founder, Care.com

Disciplined Entrepreneurship: Startup Tactics is a game-changer for founders. In my career, I have spent significant time working in startups, especially as employee #10 at Jumia, the largest e-commerce company in Africa. When I started the venture development process all over again for a new startup (Bumpa), the Tactics course at MIT helped me stay grounded, providing the right focus and strategy I needed to execute. It gave me the skills and knowledge to thrive as a founder and helped the venture succeed early. This book will help you do the same.”
—Omolara Ajele-Awoyemi, Co-Founder & Operating Partner, Fast Forward Venture Studio and Advisor, Bumpa

“This book goes beyond the usual clichés and dives deep into the real-world challenges and opportunities that startups face. The approach within can truly make a difference in your entrepreneurial endeavors. An essential addition to any entrepreneur's toolkit!”
—Paul English, Co-Founder & CTO, Kayak

Disciplined Entrepreneurship: Startup Tactics has revolutionized my approach to entrepreneurship. This book offers practical tactics and actionable advice that have helped my team and I take a more systematic approach to building our business, Memorable AI. Tactics have truly helped us organize our startup around solid foundational principles, test our hypotheses more effectively, and hire the right people. I often refer back to these learnings when discussing with my co-founder and team. Having leveraged the Tactics course at MIT, I can say confidently that following this framework increases the odds of success for any venture. It's a must-read for any founder.”
—Camilo Fosco, MIT CSAIL PhD in Computer Science and Founder, Memorable AI

“Having witnessed the journeys of over 3,000 startups as the founder and long-time CEO of MassChallenge, I can confidently say that Startup Tactics is an indispensable resource for entrepreneurs building new ventures. Whether you're a first-time founder or a seasoned entrepreneur, this book will help you navigate the complexities of building a successful startup.”
—John Harthorne, Founder, MassChallenge and Founder & Managing Director, Two Lanterns Venture Capital

Disciplined Entrepreneurship: Startup Tactics offers a fresh perspective on entrepreneurship, emphasizing founder-led skills through a rigorous, systematic approach. I highly recommend it to aspiring entrepreneurs and students who are looking for a framework to develop their strategic and execution skills. From goal setting to hiring, this invaluable book is a comprehensive guide that equips entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed.”
—Mo-Yun Lei Fong, Executive Director, STVP, the Stanford Engineering Entrepreneurship Center, Stanford University

“As the Founder and Managing Partner of OpenView Venture Partners, I have consistently emphasized the importance of disciplined entrepreneurship in building successful startups. The book Disciplined Entrepreneurship: Startup Tactics aligns perfectly with this philosophy, offering practical guidance and actionable tactics that are crucial for founders looking to achieve sustainable growth. With its insightful content, this book empowers entrepreneurs to make informed decisions, drive innovation, and unlock their full potential, making it an invaluable resource for anyone seeking entrepreneurial success.”
—Scott Maxwell, Founder and Managing Partner, OpenView Venture Partners

“Entrepreneurship requires a diverse skill set, and Disciplined Entrepreneurship: Startup Tactics provides the training and knowledge needed to excel in today's startup ecosystem. This book offers practical tactics that empower founders to make progress efficiently and effectively. A must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovation-driven startups and one that I highly recommend to students and entrepreneurs.”
—Matt Segneri, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Executive Director, Harvard Innovation Labs, Harvard University

“As co-founder of BitSight and a fellow instructor alongside Paul in the course that inspired this incredible book, I am thrilled to endorse Disciplined Entrepreneurship: Startup Tactics. Witnessing countless students apply the framework presented within these pages to achieve remarkable success and become entrepreneurs, I can attest to its transformative power. Paul's systematic approach, honed through years of teaching and practical application, equips founders with the tools they need to navigate the unpredictable waters of entrepreneurship. Whether you're a first-time founder or a seasoned entrepreneur, this book is a must-read for anyone aspiring to build a thriving startup with discipline and resilience. With a perfect balance of theory and real-world application, Paul’s expertise shines through, making the book an engaging and practical resource.”
—Nagarjuna Venna, Co-Founder, BitSight and Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management

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