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Straight Talk for Startups: 100 Insider Rules for Beating the Odds—From Mastering the Fundamentals to Selecting Investors, Fundraising, Managing Boards, and Achieving Liquidity

by Randy Komisar

Published by HarperBusiness


Veteran venture capitalist Randy Komisar and finance executive Jantoon Reigersman share no-nonsense, counterintuitive guidelines to help anyone build a successful startup. Over the course of their careers, Randy Komisar and Jantoon Reigersman continue to see startups crash and burn because they forget the timeless lessons of entrepreneurship.

But, as Komisar and Reigersman show, you can beat the odds if you quickly learn what insiders know about what it takes to build a healthy foundation for a thriving venture. In Straight Talk for Startups they walk budding entrepreneurs through 100 essential rules—from pitching your idea to selecting investors to managing your board to deciding how and when to achieve liquidity. Culled from their own decades of experience, as well as the experiences of their many successful colleagues and friends, the rules are organized under broad topics, from "Mastering the Fundamentals" and "Selecting the Right Investors," to "The Ideal Fundraise," "Building and Managing Effective Boards," and "Achieving Liquidity."

Vital rules you’ll find in Straight Talk for Startups include:

  • The best ideas originate from founders who are users
  • Create two business plans: an execution plan and an aspirational plan
  • Net income is an option, but cash flow is a fact
  • Don’t accept money from strangers
  • Personal wealth doesn’t equal good investing
  • Small boards are better than big ones
  • Add independent board members for expertise and objectivity
  • Too many unanimous board decisions are a sign of trouble
  • Choose an acquirer, don’t wait to be chosen
  • Learn the rules by heart so you know when to break them

Filled with helpful real-life examples and specific, actionable advice, Straight Talk for Startups is the ideal handbook for anyone running, working for, or thinking about creating a startup, or just curious about what makes high-potential ventures tick.


pub date: 2018-06-05 | Hardcover | 9780062869067