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Managing Startups: Best Blog Posts

If you want salient advice about your startup, you’ve hit the jackpot with this book. Harvard Business School Professor Tom Eisenmann annually compiles the best posts from many blogs on technology startup management, primarily for the benefit of his students. This book makes his latest collection available to the broader entrepreneur community.

You’ll find 72 posts from successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, such as Fred Wilson, Steve Blank, Ash Maurya, Joel Spolsky, and Ben Yoskovitz. They cover a wide range of topics essential to your startup’s success, including:

  • Management tasks: Engineering, product management, marketing, sales, and business development
  • Organizational issues: Cofounder tensions, recruiting, and career planning
  • Funding: The latest developments in capital markets that affect startups

Divided into 13 areas of focus, the book’s contributors explore the metrics you need to run your startup, discuss lean prototyping techniques for hardware, identify costly outsourcing mistakes, provide practical tips on user acquisition, offer branding guidelines, and explain how a choir of angel investors often will sing different parts. And that’s just for starters.

Table of Contents
Part I: Lean Startup
Chapter 1. How We Fooled Ourselves into Delaying Our Startup’s Launch
Chapter 2. How to Build It: Lean Prototyping Techniques for Hardware
Chapter 3. How Many Metrics Do You Need to Run Your Startup?
Chapter 4. The Lean Stack MVP—A Different Approach
Chapter 5. Software Inventory
Chapter 6. How to Get Out of the Building with the Validation Board

Part II: Business Models
Chapter 7. MBA Mondays: Revenue Models—Commerce
Chapter 8. Freemium Pricing for SaaS: Optimizing Paid Conversion Upgrades
Chapter 9. Why Churn Is So Critical to Success in SaaS
Chapter 10. Achieving the Network Effect: Solving the Chicken or the Egg
Chapter 11. Reverse Network Effects: Why Scale May Be the Biggest Threat Facing Today’s Social Networks
Chapter 12. Business Model Canvas for Puppies (Part I)

Part III: Customer Discovery and Validation
Chapter 13. All Customers Are Not Created Equal
Chapter 14. You Shouldn’t Use a Survey If…
Chapter 15. A Perfect Use for Personas
Chapter 16. Fucking Ship It Already: Just Not to Everyone at Once
Chapter 17. Stop Validating Your Product
Chapter 18. Using Surveys to Validate Key Startup Decisions

Part IV: Marketing: Demand Generation and Optimization
Chapter 19. Very Basic Startup Marketing
Chapter 20. The Ultimate Guide to Startup Marketing
Chapter 21. What the Highest-Converting Websites Do Differently
Chapter 22. Understanding the Customer Buying Cycle and Triggers
Chapter 23. Building It Is Not Enough: Five Practical Tips on User Acquisition
Chapter 24. Introduction to A/B Testing for Landing Pages
Chapter 25. You Built It But They Didn’t Come: Eight Tricks for Marketing Your Mobile App

Part V: Sales, Marketing, and PR Management
Chapter 26. At Times Not Losing Is as Important as Winning
Chapter 27. Nine Ways to Make Your Startup Grow Virally
Chapter 28. Our PR Stinks: Here’s What Your Startup Can Learn from It
Chapter 29. Some Tips for Interacting with the Press
Chapter 30. Startup Branding: A Practical Guide for Entrepreneurs

Part VI: Product Management/Product Design
Chapter 31. Sometimes It’s Not the Change They Hate
Chapter 32. What You Will/Won’t Learn from Usability Testing
Chapter 33. Product Marketing Contribution
Chapter 34. Time-Boxing Product Discovery
Chapter 35. Product Management Then and Now
Chapter 36. Live-Data Prototypes Versus Production
Chapter 37. Continuous Discovery
Chapter 38. The Role of Product Managers
Chapter 39. Why Companies Should Have Product Editors, Not Product Managers
Chapter 40. Five Outsourcing Mistakes That Will Kill Your Startup

Part VII: Business Development and Scaling
Chapter 41. Who You Gonna Call? Partnering with Goliath: A Tale of Two Announcements
Chapter 42. A Recipe for Growth: Adding Layers to the Cake

Part VIII: Funding Strategy
Chapter 43. Micro-VCs and Super Angels Two Years Later: Looking Back and Some Predictions for the Future
Chapter 44. Why Do VCs Have Ownership Targets? And Why 20%?
Chapter 45. How to Evaluate Firms for a Seed VC Syndicate
Chapter 46. A Choir of Angel Investors Sing Different Parts
Chapter 47. Super Pro-Rata Rights Aren’t Super

Part IX: Company Culture, Organizational Structure, Recruiting, and Other HR Issues
Chapter 48. Getting Promoted Too Quickly
Chapter 49. Recruiting Developers? Create an Awesome Candidate Experience
Chapter 50. Startups: Stop Trying to Hire Ninja-Rockstar Engineers
Chapter 51. How to Hire Hackers: A Realistic Guide for Startups
Chapter 52. MBA Mondays: Best Hiring Practices
Chapter 53. How to Design a Successful Interview Process for Hiring Top Talent
Chapter 54. Snake-Oil Startup Recruiting
Chapter 55. Recruiting and Culture (MBA Mondays Guest Post)
Chapter 56. Firing
Chapter 57. MBA Mondays: Asking an Employee to Leave the Company
Chapter 58. The Board of Directors—Selecting, Electing, and Evolving

Part X: Startup Failure
Chapter 59. What Goes Wrong
Chapter 60. Why Startups Die

Part XI: Exiting by Selling Your Company
Chapter 61. The Economic Logic Behind Tech and Talent Acquisitions
Chapter 62. Knowing Where the Exits Are

Part XII: The Startup Mindset and Coping with Startup Pressures
Chapter 63. What It’s Like to Be the CEO: Revelations and Reflections
Chapter 64. How We Fight—Cofounders in Love and War
Chapter 65. Vision Versus Hallucination—Founders and Pivots
Chapter 66. 50 Startup Lessons Learned in 12 Months
Chapter 67. Advice I Wish I Could Have Given Myself Five Years Ago
Chapter 68. The Only Two Questions Founders Need to Answer
Chapter 69. Once You Take Money, the Clock Starts Ticking
Chapter 70. The Series A Crunch Survivor’s Guide

Part XIII: Management and Career Advice
Chapter 71. Selling or Funding a Startup? Tips on Surviving Technical Due Diligence
Chapter 72. Playbook for Incoming MBAs to Start a Company out of School
Chapter 73. Manage Your Tech Career
Chapter 74. Hey Entrepreneur—Please Get an MBA
Chapter 75. Why I Left Consulting and Joined a Startup

Book Details

  • Paperback: 452 pages
  • Publisher: O’Reilly Media (April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449367879
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449367879
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