Review: The $100 Startup

This review is coming way late than even as per my expectations, as I finished all the pages but last 40 and for those 40 odd pages it took me a long time due to some or the other work coming up.

So the book this week was “The $100 Startup – Reinvent the way you make a living, do what you love, and create a new future” by Chris Guillebeau.

In short the book is great for an ordinary person who is thinking of starting his own business or has thought of doing it in the past, the book gives good enough reasons to start and start right now.

As the title suggests the book is about starting up your own business, being an entrepreneur and the author insists whatever you need to get started, you probably already have. He elaborates that in today’s world it doesn’t take a lot of money to start your own business. You need to have a good idea which provides value to the client and off you go.

The first $1.26 is the toughest but after that things fall into place and after a while things happen in an auto-pilot mode. The book takes you through different phases of business and different scenarios, how to handle failure, how to do product launches, etc.

Some of the stories in the book are real good and you can relate to them. I do not have a personal favorite but the story in the end (appendix I think) regarding a tuk-tuk driver in Cambodia who applies innovative methods like advertising on his vehicle, giving clients his cell number to reach anytime, etc. was the best one for me as it really showcased that business doesn’t mean technology and gizmos and business sense is not restricted to learned, high degree holders with access to internet and the capital. Sometimes your constraints can act as catalyst towards innovation.

The one thing that I thought missing was more stories from around the world. The book relates most of the stories from United States and in US the business scenario is completely different, people have access to good infrastructure, internet is considered to be a right rather than a privilege. This is totally different from rest of the world where people have to struggle with Infrastructure, lack of market access, uneducated customers, shortage of capital, slow or no internet at all and many other basic issues.

Although the author did mention a couple of stories from around the world but overall I felt the book catered more towards US audience. Nevertheless I do agree some principles are universal and they can be applied anywhere across the world.

I liked the fact most that so many stories, so many lessons, so many experiences that the author had to share were done in a beautiful manner. Everything key points, stories, learning, etc are arranged in an excellent, user friendly manner. The book is written in such a lucid manner that anyone and everyone will enjoy it and after putting down the book or at some point during the book, would think  I about starting his own business.

But as I said in my earlier article (last week) not everyone has what it takes to be an entrepreneur and moreover not everyone needs to become an entrepreneur. But still you can take some good things from this book.

I liked Chris Guillebeau’s work and would look forward to his future works.


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