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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

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