Book review by Carina Gonzalez
If you are interested in the world of computer startups this book is a must-read. However, if you are an entrepreneur in other fields, you can pass this book by, save for a few nuggets of wisdom.
“Startup Myths and Models” presents the lifecycle of the startup market in six stages, which are each one section within the book. Each section begins with a literary quote or two; this is followed by lots of advice and punctuated by the personal experiences and geeky references of the author. As a fellow geek, I found these asides highly amusing and useful to the understanding of the content.
The author speaks directly to burgeoning engineers who want to turn garage dreams into Silicon Valley realities. Plenty of information is provided on raising funds and how to pitch to venture capitalists.
The greatest takeaway for me was Virk’s advice on internal relationships within your company and the concept of cultural fit. He discusses how you can hire the most experienced person available and your company may still fall apart due to infighting.
However, Virk also cautions against working with friends for the opposite reason; friends don’t automatically make good business partners. Much of Virk’s advice oscillates in this way, encouraging moderation over any extremes. This can make following his advice difficult as every scenario has another story just a few pages later that completely counters the early advice.
Several sections also close with a paragraph entitled “the real secret” which sparks hope in the reader that we will finally gain some concrete insight from Virk, but the “secret” usually comes down to circumstantial decision making.
If your focus is more small business versus billion-dollar empire, these books may be of more use:
In conclusion, one can choose to skip whole sections of this book and just mark the words of the Greek poet, Hesiod, “moderation in all things.”