First off – it’s absurdly hard to find a business book that’s not too fluffy on anecdotes of one-off successes or simply full of really common-sensical repackaged tips.
Thankfully – the $100 Startup was neither.
The book revolves around the idea that starting a business doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Unlike a lot of other business books that attempt to show you how to navigate expenses or complexity – Chris Guillebeau argues that you can really just cut them out.
All you need for a business to run is a customer and a way to give that customer what they want. That’s it.
Just start and build from there.
He mixes in a lot of interesting anecdotes, charts, and diagrams, along with fairly original tips (especially on what to do when your business is getting bigger).
The one downside is that I thought his tips and strategies leaned a bit much to the information business side (which is what he does), while his anecdotes were all drawn from physical world businesses.
He also engaged in a bit more dream-selling than I liked – mainly because I have found running a business really hard, especially a startup, and even if you love what you do.
But those are mere personal asides.
It was a well-written book (expected, given how awesome his blog is), and well-worth the read.
My own personal takeaways were that you have got to test your product offer before building it, love and seek out customer feedback, don’t be cheap – but don’t be extravagant or wasteful, and repeatedly start projects.
Hmm. Not much more to the review than that.
So if you are looking for a practical business book that’s not some kind of “The Click- whatever insta-millionaire entrepreneur’s dream Guide” – the $100 Startup is a good place to start and a very worthwhile read.