October 9, 2014

Book Short: Way, Way Beyond Books

Book Short:  Way, Way Beyond Books The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, by Brad Stone, was a great read.  Amazon is a fascinating, and phenomenally successful company, and Jeff is a legendary technology leader.  The Everything Store is a company and personal biography and totally delivers. Forget about the fact that Amazon is now almost $100B in revenues and still growing like mad.  I find it even more amazing that a single company could be the largest ecommerce site on the planet while successfully pioneering both cloud computing services and e-readers.  The stories of all these things are in the book. As a CEO, I enjoyed reading more of the vignettes behind the things that Amazon is reputationally known for in the tech world – doors as desks, their unique meeting formats, the toughness of the culture, the extensive risk taking of growth over profits, and what works and does not work about Bezos’ authoritative and domineering style.  And it’s always great to be reminded that even the biggest and best companies had to cheat death 10 times over before “arriving.” This is good fun and learning for anyone in the business world.  It reminded me […]


September 2, 2014

Startup CEO: The Online Course Part II

Startup CEO: The Online Course Part II Startup CEO the online course offered by the Kauffman Fellows Academy is back this fall starting September 15!  As many of you know, the course is based on my book Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Your Business. When the course first ran earlier this year, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Hundreds of students from six continents signed up, all eager to learn as much as they could about entrepreneurship and how to develop their startups.  The students worked together in teams to develop their startup ideas on the unique online educational platform […]


July 31, 2014

Book Short: Best Book Ever

Book Short:  Best Book Ever The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz, is the best business book I’ve ever read.  Or at least the best book on management and leadership that I’ve ever read.  Period. It’s certainly the best CEO book on the market.  It’s about 1000 times better than my book although my book is intended to be different in several ways.  I suppose they’re complementary, but if you only had time left on this planet for one book, read Ben’s first. I’m not even going to get into specifics on it, other than that Ben does […]


July 1, 2014

Book Short: Culture is King

Book Short:  Culture is King Joy, Inc.:  How We Built a Workplace People Love, by Richard Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Innovations, was a really good read. Like Remote  which I reviewed a few weeks ago, Joy, Inc. is ostensibly a book about one thing — culture — but is also full of good general advice for CEOs and senior managers. Also like Remote, the book was written by the founder and CEO of a relatively small firm that is predominately software engineers, so there are some limitations to its specific lessons unless you adapt them to your own environment. Unlike […]


June 5, 2014

Book short: Life Isn’t Just a Wiki

Book short:  Life Isn’t Just a Wiki One of the best things I can say about Remote: Office Not Required,  by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, is that it was short.  That sounds a little harsh – part of what I mean is that business books are usually WAY TOO LONG to make their point, and this one was blessedly short.  But the book was also a little bit of an angry rant against bad management wrapped inside some otherwise good points about remote management. The book was a particularly interesting read juxtaposed against Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last which […]


May 8, 2014

Book Short: Like Reading a Good Speech

Book Short:  Like Reading a Good Speech Leaders Eat Last, by Simon Sinek, is a self-described “polemic” that reads like some of the author’s famous TED talks and other speeches in that it’s punchy, full of interesting stories, has some attempted basis in scientific fact like Gladwell, and wanders around a bit.  That said, I enjoyed the book, and it hit on a number of themes in which I am a big believer – and it extended and shaped my view on a couple of them. Sinek’s central concept in the book is the Circle of Safety, which is his […]


March 26, 2014

Book Short: Internet Fiction

Book Short:  Internet Fiction It’s been a long time since I read Tom Evslin’s Hackoff.com, which Tom called a “blook” since he released it serially as a blog, then when it was all done, as a bound book.  Mariquita and I read it together and loved every minute of it.  One post I wrote about it at the time was entitled Like Fingernails on a Chalkboard. The essence of that post was “I liked it, but the truth of the parts of the Internet bubble that I lived through were painful to read,” applies to two “new” works of Internet […]


January 8, 2014

Book Short: Faster Than The Blink of an Eye

Book Short: Faster Than The Blink of an Eye Michael Lewis is one of those authors for whom my general point of view is “read whatever he writes.” Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt  was no exception.  It’s a book about the high-frequency trading business, how a difference in microseconds can make a difference, and how the complexity of trading has led to enough confusion that virtually no one on Wall Street actually understands how it works any more. I am a capitalist through and through, and I never begrudge Wall Street for making money, even though I do have moments where […]


January 7, 2014

Startup CEO: The Online Course

As most of you know by now, I wrote a book that was published last fall called Startup CEO:  A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business.  I’m excited to announce that, starting on January 20th, the book has now been turned into Kauffman Fellows Academy (KFA) online course called Startup CEO.  Similarly, Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson’s highly successful Venture Deals is also going to launch as Venture Deals KFA online course on February 24th. Both will be offered initially on the NovoEd platform. The parties involved in getting it off the ground (besides me) were the team at Kauffman Fellows Academy and NovoEd.  Clint Korver, a serial entrepreneur and Stanford adjunct professor, […]


November 26, 2013

Book Short: Triumph over Adversity

Book Short:  Triumph over Adversity In truth, Malcolm Gladwell’s most recent book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, was a bit of a disappointment.  I thought his first three books, Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, were fantastic, and I routinely refer to them in business.  David and Goliath isn’t bad, it’s just a little light and hangs together a lot less than Gladwell’s other books. I just read a scathing review of it in The New Republic, which I won’t bother linking to, mostly because the reviewer was on a total rant about Gladwell in […]


November 14, 2013

Startup CEO “Bibliography”

Startup CEO “Bibliography” A couple people who read Startup CEO:  A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business asked me if I would publish a list of all the other business books I refer to over the course of the book.  Here it is — I guess in some respects an all-time favorite list for me of business books. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steven Gary Blank Running Lean by Ash Maurya The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development: A Cheat Sheet to the Four Steps to the Epiphany by Brant Cooper and […]