A worthy and informative, if familiar, guide to starting a tech company.




A debut business manual shares tips the writer picked up as a tech entrepreneur.

Friedman’s Silicon Valley experience amounted to only three years, but during that time he successfully founded and served as the CEO of his own startup, Loopd, eventually selling it to a larger corporation for millions of dollars. That may seem like a pretty quick turnaround—“It was indeed a best-case scenario,” admits the author in his preface—but brevity is sort of his thing: “This book is short, because your time is limited. My hope is that it can serve as a quick reference of insights from someone who has been there.” After relating his own story—including an itemized timeline of Loopd’s history—Friedman offers insights in the key areas one should consider when developing a startup. From planning on how to grow the company—which includes everything from formulating a business model to “subordinating arrogance and myopia”—to considering various exit strategies, the author breaks down the necessary steps while delivering anecdotes from his personal experience. Friedman presents a nice, round 50 rules in all, divided by category and stage and each with a helpful “months from start” number to let readers know just how early they need to begin thinking about various items. Each section ends with numbered “takeaway” lists, and the author helpfully includes a glossary of relevant startup terminology in the back of the book. Friedman’s prose is direct and accessible, even when he discusses dry business concepts, such as designing a dependable lead-generation method: “For a startup targeting major corporations, the most strategic task is finding the right person inside a company with the authority to buy your products. In our case, we were looking for early adopters willing to buy new, unproven products with a five-figure price tag over the phone.” While there is nothing in this guide that is not available in other entrepreneur-penned manuals, Friedman’s presentation is clean and easily digestible. While no book can guarantee readers a multimillion-dollar sale, the author’s advice will surely be of use to those who find themselves with hot ideas and the will to get them off the ground.

A worthy and informative, if familiar, guide to starting a tech company.

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5445-0245-8

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Rolling Thunder Ventures, LLC

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2019

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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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