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The Agile Startup: Quick and Dirty Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know

Book Description

An inspiring and impactful compilation of the most important lessons of entrepreneurship

The tools of a digital age make it easier than ever to start a new business. And with billion-dollar IPOs and acquisitions making weekly headlines, the potential rewards are enormous. But even with all of the advantages and resources that today's entrepreneurs have access to, the likelihood of any one business succeeding is slim. That's why you need the simple, clear lessons found in The Agile Startup.

Engaging and informative, The Agile Startup doesn't offer step-by-step instructions on how to build a better mousetrap. Instead, it shows you how to build companies that continually adapt to the "real" world. Along the way, you'll discover you're not alone in your entrepreneurial endeavors, and that almost every challenge a startup can face has already been faced, and overcome, by someone in the past.

  • Contains lessons culled from decades of creating successful companies, which includes possessing a flexible mindset

  • Provides valuable insights, based on a market-driven philosophy, regarding launching and managing products, businesses, and brands

  • Written by two authors who have a combined sixty-plus years of startup experience and understand the reasons behind their successes and failures

  • A companion Website contains supplementary material that allows you to learn in a hands-on fashion long after closing the book

The journey of a startup is daunting. Think about everything that has to be overcome and you'll quickly see that the odds are stacked heavily against you. But with The Agile Startup as your guide, you'll learn exactly what it takes to succeed in your entrepreneurial endeavors.

Note: The ebook version does not provide access to the companion files.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Contents
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Why You Should Read This Book
  6. The Entrepreneur’s Life Cycle
  7. Chapter 1: Agile Philosophy
    1. Rule #1
    2. What’s Your Why?
    3. You Are Wrong
    4. Heaven . . . and Hell
    5. You Get Only 15,000 Days
    6. The Entrepreneurial Method
    7. Focus on Problems, Not Solutions
    8. Three Requirements for Success
    9. Dreamers versus Doers
    10. Get Out of the Building
    11. Business Plans Are Worthless
    12. Let Them Steal It
    13. Embarrass Yourself
    14. Fail Fast—and Often
    15. Contain Risk as Early as Possible
    16. First, Decide What Not to Do
    17. Rules? What Rules?
    18. Focus—Follow One Course Until Successful
    19. Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid
    20. Get in over Your Head
    21. There Is No Silver Bullet
    22. It Ain’t a Problem ’Til It’s a Problem
    23. Launch to Learn
    24. Resourcefulness, Not Resources
  8. Chapter 2: Make It Feasible
    1. Is It Feasible?
    2. ASS Out of U and Me
    3. Three Questions You Must Answer
    4. Double Your Worst Case
    5. Five Risk Factors
    6. Product 1.0—A Brochure
    7. Good Ideas, Bad Businesses
    8. Wrong Questions → Wrong Answers
    9. Vitamin, Painkiller, or Cure?
    10. Create Massive Value
    11. Why Won’t It Work?
    12. Show Me the Money
    13. Does It Pencil?
    14. Play Dumb
    15. Take a Haircut
    16. If You Build It, Will They Come?
    17. Buying Customers
    18. CLV >= 2 × CAC
    19. Cash Is More Important than Your Mother
    20. Think Like a VC
  9. Chapter 3: Customers and Competition
    1. Break It Down
    2. Ride the Wave
    3. Know Thy Market
    4. WII.FM—Your Favorite Radio Station
    5. Tell Me What Sucks
    6. You Can’t Boil the Ocean
    7. Reframe the Competition
    8. Make a Competitive Matrix
    9. Differentiate or Die
    10. Competition Is a Good Thing
    11. Follow the Leader
    12. Fast Followers Finish First
    13. 10× Better
    14. You Need a Moat
    15. Zero Degrees of Separation
  10. Chapter 4: Making Money
    1. What’s Your Business Model?
    2. The Best Source of Capital
    3. How Do You Make Money?
    4. Gross Profit Margins
    5. Prefer Variable to Fixed
    6. Go Bootstrap Yourself
    7. The First Rule to Making Money
    8. The First Dollar Is the Hardest
    9. Bottoms Up!
    10. Build a (Bad) Financial Model
    11. How Much Runway?
    12. Know Your Do-or-Die Numbers
  11. Chapter 5: Marketing
    1. Luck Is Not a Plan
    2. What’s Your Positioning?
    3. Hold the Presses
    4. Old Meets New
    5. Sell Wants, But Deliver Needs
    6. How Can I Help You?
    7. Turn $1 into $2+
    8. Do It Twice
    9. Perception Is Reality
    10. Be a Guerrilla Marketer
    11. The Secret to Writing Copy That Sells
    12. Promise . . . Then Overdeliver
    13. Your Brand Talks
  12. Chapter 6: Team
    1. Not So Fast, Partner
    2. Get a Pre-Nup
    3. ABCs of Hiring
    4. Your Startup Is a Boat
    5. The Build/Sell Team
    6. Make Sure You’re Aligned
    7. How to Get the Best People
    8. Fire Yourself
    9. You Are Not Scalable
    10. Mess with the Vest, Die Like the Rest
    11. Delegate, Don’t Abdicate
    12. Form an Advisory Board
    13. Who’s the Boss?
    14. The Right Partner Formula
    15. Hire Slow, Fire Fast
    16. Sharing a Submarine
  13. Chapter 7: Pitching Your Startup
    1. Get Your Story Straight
    2. Get to the Next Step
    3. Half as Long Is Twice as Good
    4. First Rule of Elevator Pitches
    5. Get Used to Rejection
    6. Use the Use Case
    7. Make It Stick
    8. Name It and Frame It
    9. Find the Hot Buttons
    10. Fake It ’Til You Make It
    11. Be Simple, Not Simplistic
    12. Don’t Bury the Lead
    13. Back of a Business Card
  14. Chapter 8: Investors
    1. You Are the First Investor
    2. Got Traction?
    3. Passionate Obsessed
    4. Pigs Get Slaughtered
    5. Investors Are Not Created Equal
    6. Do You Want to Be Rich or Be King?
    7. When No Leads to Yes
    8. The Train Is Leaving the Station
    9. Calling All Angels
    10. The Lemmings Need a Leader
    11. Don’t Expect to Hear “No”
    12. Save the Best for Last
    13. Get to Your Next Milestone
    14. Fuel to the Fire
    15. A Demo Is Worth 1,000 Words
    16. Money Only Buys Time
    17. If You Want Money, Ask for Advice
    18. The Investor Triad
    19. The Day You Take an Investor’s Money
    20. What’s the Business Worth?
    21. Valuation Isn’t Everything
    22. Friends, Family, and Fools
  15. Chapter 9: Building the Business
    1. Nail It Before You Scale It
    2. Tipping Point
    3. Think on Paper
    4. The First Question to Ask
    5. Make Meetings Matter
    6. Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst
    7. Expect the Unexpected
    8. Be Your Own Customer
    9. Think Big, Execute Small
    10. Forget the Mission Statement
    11. Metrics Matter
    12. Your Network Is Your Net Worth
    13. Who’s the Bad Guy?
    14. Your Reputation Precedes You
    15. Build It Like You’re Going to Sell It
    16. Be Frugal, Not Cheap
    17. When the S#!t Hits the Fan (and It Will)
    18. Know When to Fold ’Em
  16. Chapter 10: What to Know Before You Go
    1. Startups Are Boring
    2. Young at Heart
    3. Your Three Hats
    4. You Are on Your Own
    5. Dangers in the Moonlight
    6. The Part-Time Entrepreneur
    7. A Family Affair
    8. Congratulations, It’s a Boy!
    9. Ten Things You Should Never Do Before Starting
    10. The Five-Year Overnight Success
  17. Conclusion
  18. Acknowledgments
  19. Recommended Reading
  20. About the Authors
  21. Online Course Offer
  22. Bonus Material for eBook Readers
  23. Index