Startup Myths and Models: What You Won't Learn in Business School

Startup Myths and Models: What You Won't Learn in Business School

by Rizwan Virk
Startup Myths and Models: What You Won't Learn in Business School

Startup Myths and Models: What You Won't Learn in Business School

by Rizwan Virk


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Budding entrepreneurs face a challenging road. The path is not made any easier by all the clichés they hear about how to make a startup succeed—from platitudes and conventional wisdom to downright contradictions.

This witty and wise guide to the dilemmas of entrepreneurship debunks widespread misconceptions about how the world of startups works and offers hard-earned advice for every step of the journey. Instead of startup myths—legends spun from a fantasy version of Silicon Valley—Rizwan Virk provides startup models—frameworks that help make thoughtful decisions about starting, growing, managing, and selling a business. Rather than dispensing simplistic rules, he mentors readers in the development of a mental toolkit for approaching challenges based on how startup markets evolve in real life.

In snappy prose with savvy pop-culture and real-world examples, Virk recasts entrepreneurship as a grand adventure. He points out the pitfalls that appear along the way and offers insights into how to avoid them, sharing the secrets of founding a startup, raising money, hiring and firing, when to enter a market and when to exit, and how to value a company.

Virk combines lessons learned the hard way during his twenty-five years of founding, investing in, and advising startups with reflections from well-known venture capitalists and experts. His candid advice makes Startup Myths and Models an ideal guide for those readers just embarking on the startup life and those looking for their next adventure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231194525
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 06/02/2020
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Rizwan Virk is a successful entrepreneur, video game pioneer, and venture capitalist and founder of the startup accelerator Play Labs @ MIT. A graduate of MIT and Stanford, he is also the author of Zen Entrepreneurship: Walking the Path of the Career Warrior (2013); Treasure Hunt: Follow Your Inner Clues to Find True Success (2017); and The Simulation Hypothesis: An MIT Computer Scientist Shows Why AI, Quantum Physics, and Eastern Mystics All Agree We Are in a Video Game (2019).

Table of Contents

Stage 1: The Call to Adventure: Myths About Starting a Company
Myth #1: Build a Billion-Dollar Company
Myth #2: Founders Start Companies to Make a Lot of Money
Myth #3: You Have to Be First to Market
Bonus Myth #B-1: Start Something You Are Passionate About
Stage 2: Fuel for the Journey: Myths About Raising Money
Myth #4: A Great Product and a Big Market Are the Most Important Things
Myth #5: Two Guys and a Business Are Better Than Two Guys and a Plan
Myth #6: Talk to as Many Investors as You Can
Myth #7: Take the Highest Valuation You Can Get
Bonus Myth #B-2: Raise as Little (as Much) Money as Possible
Stage 3: Travel Companions: Myths About Hiring and Management
Myth #8: Hire the Most Experienced People You Can Find
Myth #9: Get Out of the Way and Let People Do Their Jobs, or I Can Do It Faster Myself!
Myth #10: Better Management Causes Faster Growth
Bonus Myth #B-3: If I own X%, Then My Stock Is worth $x!
Stage 4: The Road of Trials: Myths About Going to Market
Myth #11: Focus, Focus, Focus
Myth #12: My Product Failed Because My Sales Guy Sucks
Myth #13: If Only We Could Spend More on Marketing!
Myth #14: Fail Fast, Pivot Quickly
Bonus Myth #B-4: There Is No Such Thing as Bad Publicity
Stage 5: Acquiring the Treasure: Myths About Exiting Your Company
Myth #15: At This Rate, My Startup Will Be Worth Twice as Much Tomorrow!
Myth #16: They’re Buying Us Because Our Product is Awesome!
Myth #17: The Best Way to Cash Out Is to Sell or Go Public
Bonus Myth #B-5: Upfront Cash Is Better than Stock or an Earnout
Stage 6: The Underworld and the Return: Myths About Life and Death in a Startup
Myth #18: Startups Are Hard Work
Myth #19: Whew, I’m Glad That’s Over! No More Startups for Me!
Bonus Myth #B-6: If My Startup Fails, My Life Is Over!
Bonus Myths
Appendix A: The Startup Market Lifecycle and Curves
Appendix B: Meet Our Cast of Characters and Startups
About the Author
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