A Silicon Valley CEO-turned-company adviser uses the Socratic method to help readers clarify their ambitions, circumstances, and capabilities.
Daglow begins each of six major sections in this debut business book with questions that address such topics as defining projects, building teams, locating work sites, securing funding, managing risks, and thinking long-term. He asks readers to write thoughtful answers to these queries before reading his commentary, which is filled with anecdotes, observations, and tips drawn from his experience leading video game makers Electronic Arts and Broderbund, founding game developer Stormfront Studios, and advising new and established companies. The format mirrors his previous volume for video game designers, but the questions and comments here are designed to apply broadly to anyone with a “Dream Project.” That said, they’re particularly relevant for tech-based startups. He explores issues related to new products and services, retail shops, home-based solo operations, and new initiatives within large organizations. But although Daglow addresses readers’ dreams, he’s no pollyanna; he also warns readers to conserve cash, avoid foolish risks, and not neglect family, and his watchwords are “balance and common sense.” He calls his approach “The Passion-Process-Product Method,” which considers an entrepreneur’s motivating passion to be foundational, and he offers practical steps toward achieving a profitable product. No single guide for entrepreneurs can cover everything, but Daglow’s touches on many essential startup challenges. The author also excels at probing internal issues in a company, discussing how one assesses commitment and prepares for failure. His prose shows a clarity of thought and authority borne of experience. Daglow suggests that readers “Think of this book as a private discussion between you and me.” Then he adds, “Wait, check that. Think of this book as a private discussion between you and you.” Those who combine introspection with his seasoned counsel will gain not only a tutorial on business realities, but also insight into themselves.
A comprehensive, easy-to-read manual for people launching new ventures.