THE MONK AND THE RIDDLE by Randy Komisar

THE MONK AND THE RIDDLE

The Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur

KIRKUS REVIEW

Silicon Valley is the backdrop for this helpful book, written by a successful professional business adviser.

Komisar’s experiences have included working with LucasFilms, Apple, WebTV, TiVo, and Claris Corporation. Devoting himself to a handful of startup companies at a time for about a year or two, Komisar is regarded as a `Virtual CEO` who provides planning and decision-making advice and is not involved in day-to-day operations. Here, Komisar demonstrates his expertise through his conversations with potential entrepreneurs interested in starting an online funeral business. However, while the book does deal with the specific wheelings and dealings of Silicon Valley (such as the role of venture capitalists) Komisar for the most part offers the type of general advice that can be helpful for any entrepreneur. He mixes lofty opinions about business (`Business is one of the last remaining social institutions to help us manage and cope with change`) with practical advice (`Business conditions are forever changing. You need to reconsider your strategies and business models constantly and adjust them where necessary. But the big idea that your company pursues is the touchstone for these refinements`). One key issue that Komisar writes about is the danger of the `Deferred Life Plan,` where one is led to believe that you need to `do what you have to do` before you `do what you want to do.` As Komisar tries to explain, time is the only resource that matters, and what will make an entrepreneur truly successful is the ability to combine both the drive with the passion. The intriguing title refers to a February 1999 incident when Komisar encountered a monk in Burma, an incident that confirmed his belief that `the journey is the reward.`

While perhaps not written for those interested in get-rich-quick schemes, Komisar’s account provides enough business tips and Zen-like ideas to inspire would-be entrepreneurs.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2000
ISBN: 1-57851-140-2
Page count: 192pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2000




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