A veteran entrepreneur shares his insights into starting and building a business.
In this debut, Lewis combines his knowledge from years of creating and selling several successful companies with a cheerful, breezy assurance. After detailing the various qualities that he believes a successful business founder should have, he addresses readers with the assumption that they already have drive, intelligence, and creativity, and only need some direction and wisdom from someone with experience. He intersperses his discussions of funding sources, initial hires, and intellectual property with episodes involving the fictional Dave. This engineer’s decision to quit his job and start a company shows the book’s topics in action: Dave evaluates his family’s finances before making the decision to leave, trades a majority stake in his new company for much-needed cash, and survives his first trade show while supervising frat-boy-like salesmen. Lewis’ verbal shrugs and claims to ignorance (“Disclaimer: I don’t have a PhD in psychology or neuroscience and have spent very little time actually reading about what makes some people creative”) can sometimes be distracting, particularly when the book’s main strength is in the very knowledge he claims to lack. His narrative voice is distinctive, but it may not resonate with all readers; those who find it grating to read that Moore’s Law “was pretty much dead nuts on,” or sentences such as “The news…felt like somebody had crushed my left testicle,” may want to look elsewhere for business guidance. Those who find Lewis’ prose style appealing, however, will find plenty of solid information here, from how to establish rapport with engineering hires to how to estimate revenue metrics before one’s very first sale.
An informative business guide by an author with substantial experience, written in a style that will put off some readers, but win over many others.