How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs

Guy Raz. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-0-358-21676-6
NPR host Raz bundles insights from over 200 entrepreneurs into a breezy if not fully convincing compendium of advice. Drawing on interviews with successful businesspeople conducted for his podcast (from which this book gets its name), Raz distills lessons for aspiring founders, including tips on how to nurture an idea and win funding, and dispels some myths. For instance, despite the widespread fascination with lone-wolf geniuses, Raz finds that partnerships are the rule, not the exception, as demonstrated by such success stories as luggage company Away, the beauty product company Carol’s Daughter, or Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Unfortunately, apparent contradictions abound. Among them, Raz finds that Shopify’s founder defied advice by resisting Silicon Valley’s allure and instead building his e-commerce platform from offices in Ottawa; however, Stitch Fix’s founder did the opposite, moving from Boston to California to be near the engineers that could help her improve the company’s technology. Perhaps acknowledging the futility of understanding what precisely separates a successful business from the vast majority of failure, Raz titles the final chapter “What You Do with Your Luck.” Those with an entrepreneurial bent will be entertained by the shoptalk, but those hoping for concrete advice may have to look elsewhere. Agent: Byrd Leavell, United Talent. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 05/05/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-0-358-21678-0
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