In 2012, the world was slowly recovering from the Great Recession while Facebook and other social media platforms disrupted global life and business, ushering in a new era of startup optimism. From his desk at a consulting firm in Stockholm, Sweden, Arnaud Henneville-Wedholm watched in disbelief, wondering, "How could such a waste of time become so popular?"
Bursting with ideas of how to break out of business monotony, Henneville-Wedholm and his coworker were ready to start something of their own. Soon, a lightbulb went off: what if they created a social platform that challenged people to get off the couch and live better lives? And better yet, what if it took down Facebook? There was only one problem: neither of them knew the first thing about running a tech company.
In How Hard Can It Be, Henneville-Wedholm traces, in a uniquely eclectic and cosmopolitan voice, the youthful enthusiasm that propelled the promising rise of his startup-along with its equally calamitous downfall. Along the way, he teaches readers startup lessons by example, such as:
- How to pitch startup incubators like Sting, Europe's version of Y-Combinator
- How uninformed optimism can still lead to real organic growth
- What to do when your business isn't as scalable as you thought
- The brand-building power of guerrilla marketing
- How to pivot (and then pivot again, and again) when user growth stalls
For optimists and idealists everywhere, How Hard Can It Be is a jet-setting parable of the European startup scene that takes on the most elusive business topic of them all: failure. Puncturing the hollow platitudes of how-to guides, Henneville-Wedholm instead offers his real-world experience of trying to go from zero to one.
As a result of his efforts, How Hard Can It Be teaches entrepreneurs that failure need not be feared. In the right light, it can be a blessing in disguise-and it can even be fun.
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