The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup

Noam Wasserman, Author
Noam Wasserman. Princeton Univ, $35 (488p) ISBN 978-0-691-14913-4
Reviewed on: 02/20/2012
Release date: 03/01/2012
Open Ebook - 496 pages - 978-1-4008-4193-6
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-691-15830-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-4915-3132-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4915-3108-2
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In this seminal work on the startup phase of the entrepreneurial venture, Harvard Business School professor Wasserman shares his findings from a decade of research on common issues faced by founders. The author not only addresses the traditional issues of entrepreneurship such as startup capital, equity agreements, and compensation, but also delves into human capital issues, tackling meaty topics, such as founder motivation, early influences, and the pros and cons of starting a business with a family member, significant other, or friends (as well as the probability of success under various scenarios). With a research-driven approach and scholarly tone, this hefty text escapes the tediousness that characterizes some academic works through the use of anecdotes about real-life founders, each very different, whose stories are woven through the chapters. Also peppered throughout are observations of such well-known entrepreneurs as Apple’s Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and Microsoft’s Paul Allen. Sure to be required reading in business school curricula, this illuminating and captivating read will also appeal to aspiring entrepreneurs or founders who want to make better decisions in existing ventures. (Apr.)
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