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TAKEAWAYS by Brian M.  Friedman


Secret Truths From Leading a Startup

by Brian M. Friedman

Pub Date: May 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5445-0245-8
Publisher: Rolling Thunder Ventures, LLC

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.