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Straight Talk for Startups

100 Insider Rules for Beating the Odds - From Mastering the Fundamentals to Selecting Investors, Fundraising, Managing Boards, and Achieving Liquidity
Narrated by: Randy Komisar
Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
Categories: Business, Career Skills
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

Non-member price: $33.37

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Publisher's Summary

Veteran venture capitalist Randy Komisar and finance executive Jantoon Reigersman share no-nonsense, counterintuitive guidelines to help anyone build a successful startup.

Over the course of their careers, Randy Komisar and Jantoon Reigersman continue to see startups crash and burn because they forget the timeless lessons of entrepreneurship.

But, as Komisar and Reigersman show, you can beat the odds if you quickly learn what insiders know about what it takes to build a healthy foundation for a thriving venture. In Straight Talk for Startups they walk budding entrepreneurs through 100 essential rules - from pitching your idea to selecting investors to managing your board to deciding how and when to achieve liquidity. 

Culled from their own decades of experience, as well as the experiences of their many successful colleagues and friends, the rules are organized under broad topics, from "Mastering the Fundamentals" and "Selecting the Right Investors," to "The Ideal Fundraise," "Building and Managing Effective Boards," and "Achieving Liquidity."

Vital rules you’ll find in Straight Talk for Startups include:

  • The best ideas originate from founders who are users
  • Create two business plans: an execution plan and an aspirational plan
  • Net income is an option, but cash flow is a fact
  • Don’t accept money from strangers
  • Personal wealth doesn’t equal good investing
  • Small boards are better than big ones
  • Add independent board members for expertise and objectivity
  • Too many unanimous board decisions are a sign of trouble
  • Choose an acquirer, don’t wait to be chosen
  • Learn the rules by heart so you know when to break them

Filled with helpful real-life examples and specific, actionable advice, Straight Talk for Startups is the ideal audiobook for anyone running, working for, or thinking about creating a startup, or just curious about what makes high-potential ventures tick.

©2018 Randy Komisar and Jantoon Reigersman (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Straight Talk for Startups memorializes age-old best practices and empowers both experienced and new investment professionals to beat the odds." (David Krane, CEO, Google Ventures)

"Straight Talk for Startups is filled with real, raw, and fact-based ‘rules of the road’ that you need to know when diving into our ultra-competitive startup world. A must read and a re-read!" (Tony Fadell, coinventor of the iPod/iPhone & founder of Nest Labs)

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  • John Shupe
  • 07-11-2018

Well worth the investment of time.

Very well organized book. Simple approach to pushing out a lot of excellent information. As a heavier user of audiobooks, It’s important for authors voice to read it. I have marked a number of key rules and took quite a few notes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Splento Photographers On Demand
  • 18-08-2018

Highly recommend

John Doerr recommended “Straight Talk for Startups” in his “Measure What Matters” book. I loved the former, so I decided to give a go to the latter. Very glad I did. Really, really good book. I’ll be re-reading it regularly.

Roman
CEO, Splento

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  • M.
  • 09-06-2018

Very complete and current resource for startups

This book is a must read for any startup. It provides tangible and fact-based tools and examples needed for survival in a very competitive world of (tech) startups.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt Drouillard
  • 11-07-2019

Narrators voice is worse part, content OK

This book should be titled:
"Straight talk for multi million dollar startups complete with investments, board of directors and large budgets". Simply did not command an interest in a typical "Startup". It assumes you have already scored millions in investments and have large teams, did not appeal to me.

Was hoping for more advice on starting small, not assuming you are already a company with an operating budget in the millions complete with board room meetings, investors and other corporate structures. A startup to me - is a 1-5 person team trying to launch a company, this book should focus on yet even earlier stages to help more people. Since a small % of startups actually get funded, focus on them!

I wish it didn't focus so much on the small percent of companies that already have millions or hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank from investors - this is the part which annoyed me. More advice for the little guy trying to launch a startup out of his garage would be more appropriate.

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  • Thando
  • 23-06-2019

Honest, tough love

I like the perspective of startup life from the point of view of investors. Most of the points seem to apply to startups with a lot of traction but may also be applicable to early stage ventures. The rules also cover a lot of external stakeholders management which complements the other inward focused books quite well.

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  • Jean-Pierre
  • 16-04-2019

Essential and practical advice for startups

Well narrated, up to date, and full of battle tested rules to have a fighting chance as a startup entrepreneur.

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  • Gregory
  • 08-04-2019

So so

Lots of tips, most are generic and not particularly useful. The speaker uses a halting style which is difficult to enjoy

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  • FERNANDO PAEZ MORENO
  • 03-01-2019

Good <br />

Great advise for enterprenurs in the startup fase. The narrator can be a little boring with his voice. altough the content compensates this.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-03-2019

Wow 🤯

Being the Founder of my own startup “CurveBlock” I found this book absolutely amazing and so powerful and extremely useful, everyday is a school day!

But this book and consume it immediately, you won’t regret it.

Regards
Gary Woodhead

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  • A W Smith
  • 01-03-2019

Excellent book

I’ve read a lot of start up books. This is one of the best. It takes you on a chronological journey in sync with the start up process. I’ll be using it as a reference manual on my own journey.