The Titanic Effect: Successfully Navigating the Uncertainties that Sink Most Startups

The Titanic Effect: Successfully Navigating the Uncertainties that Sink Most Startups


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Leveraging decades of startup experience, The Titanic Effect uses stories of success and failure to reveal the often-overlooked human, marketing, and technical “icebergs” that sink startups, while drawing entertaining parallels to little known parts of the original Titanic story.

The Titanic is an iconic tale of what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. The tragedy is in that instant when the ship struck the iceberg, killing over 1,500 passengers and crew—and the hubris of thinking humans can build something too big to fail. But, while the iceberg may have represented the killing blow, what many don’t realize is that the demise of the Titanic was in fact a result of a series of small decisions and missteps across a number of dimensions.

Like the Titanic, venture failure is nearly always the result of a series of errors that were not obvious—problems that lurked beneath the surface—that were a consequence of navigating uncertainty in the early stages of development. Dr. Todd Saxton and Dr. Kim Saxton, business professors, and Michael Cloran, a serial entrepreneur, show similar patterns for entrepreneurial ventures by drawing on lessons learned from the Titanic, as well as case studies of failed and successful startups. Hidden debts accumulated early in the life of even the most promising startup can subsequently sink them. The Titanic Effect offers suggestions for entrepreneurs and investors on how to identify and manage these hidden debts and sail to the promised land.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781642792140
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Publication date: 06/11/2019
Pages: 254
Sales rank: 581,873
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Dr. Todd Saxton, Associate Professor and Indiana Venture Faculty Fellow at the IU Kelley School of Business, is an award-winning professor of strategy and entrepreneurship. Todd has advised, helped launch, invested in, and served on the board of multiple startups. He has published numerous book chapters and articles on corporate and startup strategies for success. Todd hails from New Jersey and has lived in Virginia, the DC area, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Bloomington IN, currently residing in Indianapolis, IN.

Dr. Kim Saxton has over 30 years of marketing and market research experience, working with large corporations, startups and medium-sized businesses. Currently, she teaches marketing at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Her research on market segmentation, branding, and venture ecosystems has received national recognition. Kim is also an active angel investor and advisor to high-potential startups. Kim grew up in Florida, went to school in Boston, and has lived in the DC area, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. She currently resides in Indianapolis, IN.

Michael Cloran is a serial entrepreneur who has raised tens of millions of dollars for ventures he has co-founded. He is a founding partner of DeveloperTown, a software design and development firm that helps both startups and larger firms manage technical debt. Michael was born in Kentucky and has lived in Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, and Yugoslavia. He currently resides in Indianapolis, IN.

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