A friend referred me to Chris Guillebeau’s new book called the $100 Startup. He thought I woudl enjoy it. I am “really” not creating a startup but I do always have a few projects on the side so I thought I would check it out. Initially I was a little skeptical by the title but was impressed with the reviewers who made comments about the book on his site:
“The money you have is enough. Chris makes it crystal clear: there are no excuses left. START. Start now, not later. Hurry.” - Seth Godin
“In this valuable guide Chris Guillebeau shows that transforming an idea into a successful business can be easier than you think … You are in charge of which ideas deserve your time, and this book can help you wake up every morning eager to progress to the next step.” -Tony Hsieh
I started reading and quickly figured out that this would be a book I enjoyed purely because of the case studies that are included. Over the course of writing the book Chris interviewed some 1,500 small businesses that met the criteria he included for submisstion. Interviews were conducted via Skype, email and in person and they were not limited to the United States. Another impressive point. Chris writes the book around 50 of the cases ( I would love to see another version with an addtional 50 going forward).
Lots of business books offer you advice but I think this one is a little different. Chris says this is “finding the intersection between your “expertise” — even if you don’t consider it such — and what other people will pay for.” which is different from others I have read.
Also this is not a “life-style” book that sells you on the promises of you can work from anywhere in the world. A few of the cases the entrepenuers did do that but that is more of the exception.
Several of the cases in the book hit a chord with me. For example the CFO who ran a specialized travel related site on the side and did not give up his primary job.
If you are interested in starting a business or interested in learning how to take your existing skills and combine them in a new way to make something new I would highly recommend this book. You can watch the book trailer here: