The Founder's Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman
Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup (Kauffman Foundation Series on Innovation and Entrepreneurship)

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Synopsis

Often downplayed in the excitement of starting up a new business venture is one of the most important decisions entrepreneurs will face: should they go it alone, or bring in cofounders, hires, and investors to help build the business? More than just financial rewards are at stake. Friendships and relationships can suffer. Bad decisions at the inception of a promising venture lay the foundations for its eventual ruin. The Founder's Dilemmas is the first book to examine the early decisions by entrepreneurs that can make or break a startup and its team.

Drawing on a decade of research, Noam Wasserman reveals the common pitfalls founders face and how to avoid them. He looks at whether it is a good idea to cofound with friends or relatives, how and when to split the equity within the founding team, and how to recognize when a successful founder-CEO should exit or be fired. Wasserman explains how to anticipate, avoid, or recover from disastrous mistakes that can splinter a founding team, strip founders of control, and leave founders without a financial payoff for their hard work and innovative ideas. He highlights the need at each step to strike a careful balance between controlling the startup and attracting the best resources to grow it, and demonstrates why the easy short-term choice is often the most perilous in the long term.

The Founder's Dilemmas draws on the inside stories of founders like Evan Williams of Twitter and Tim Westergren of Pandora, while mining quantitative data on almost ten thousand founders.

People problems are the leading cause of failure in startups. This book offers solutions.

 

About Noam Wasserman

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Noam Wasserman is an associate professor at Harvard Business School.
 
Published March 25, 2012 by Princeton University Press. 496 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Education & Reference, Computers & Technology. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Founder's Dilemmas

Publishers Weekly

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In this seminal work on the startup phase of the entrepreneurial venture, Harvard Business School professor Wasserman shares his findings from a decade of research on common issues faced by founders.

Feb 20 2012 | Read Full Review of The Founder's Dilemmas: Antic...

New York Journal of Books

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“Do not start a startup without this book.”

Mar 25 2012 | Read Full Review of The Founder's Dilemmas: Antic...

London School of Economics

Often downplayed in the excitement of starting up a new business venture is one of the most important decisions entrepreneurs will face: should they go it alone, or bring in cofounders, hires, and investors to help build the business?

Aug 12 2012 | Read Full Review of The Founder's Dilemmas: Antic...

SGEntrepreneurs.

Beyond the Founding Team: This is the part which both the growth of the start-up and gaps in the founding team’s abilities or resources will require them to add non-co-founders and people who might be able to scale their company, which brings a few dilemmas on hiring, dealing with investors and f...

May 11 2012 | Read Full Review of The Founder's Dilemmas: Antic...

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