July 27, 2020

New book from Brad Feld: The Startup Community Way

My long-time friend and former Board member Brad Feld has become a prolific writer on the startup world over the years and is the person (other than me) most responsible for me getting into that scene as well. Startup CEO is part of his Startup Revolution series, which followed me writing an essay for Do More Faster, and then writing a series of sidebars call “The Entrepreneur’s Perspective” in Venture Deals.

All Brad’s books are listed here. If you’re in the startup universe, I’d encourage you to read all of them. I’m excited to dive into his newest book, The Startup Community Way, which comes out this week from our same publisher, John Wiley & Sons. I’ve gotten part of the way through an early copy, and I love it already.

The approach Brad and his co-author Ian Hathaway take is to evolve their Boulder Thesis from the original Startup Communities book. They dive into the topic and examine it from the perspective of a complex system, which of course anything as fragmented as an ecosystem of public, private, and academic organizations is.

The book — and the whole topic, quite frankly — remind me of a great management book I read several years ago by General Stanley McChrystal called Team of Teams. Organizations have gotten more complex and have had to adapt their structures, and the most successful ones are the ones that have shifted from hierarchical structures to node-based structures, or teams of teams, where individual, agile teams operate with loose points of connection to other teams that focus on dependencies and outcomes.

In the same way, startup communities and the broader ecosystems that touch them have changed and adapted, and the successful ones have learned how to stay loosely connected to other startup communities, prioritize collaboration, and remain focused on inclusion and entrepreneurial leadership.