Catalogue


The founder's dilemmas : anticipating and avoiding the pitfalls that can sink a startup /
Noam Wasserman.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2012.
description
ix, 480 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0691149135 (hardcover), 9780691149134 (hardcover)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2012.
isbn
0691149135 (hardcover)
9780691149134 (hardcover)
contents note
Introduction -- Career dilemmas -- The solo-versus-team dilemma -- Relationship dilemmas : flocking together and playing with fire -- Role dilemmas : positions and decision making -- Reward dilemmas : equity splits and cash compensation -- The three Rs system : alignment and equilibrium -- Hiring dilemmas : the right hires at the right time -- Investor dilemmas : adding value, adding risks -- Failure, success, and founder-CEO succession -- Wealth-versus-control dilemmas.
catalogue key
8784723
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"This book provides the rare combination of practical advice and scholarly research. It gets to the heart of the people issues that can bedevil every, and I do mean every, startup. Issues such as founder motivations, equity splits, and equity control can make or break a company. I guarantee that the price of this book is approximately one-thousandth of what you'll pay lawyers to clean up your mess if you don't read it."--Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment and former chief evangelist of Apple " The Founder's Dilemmas is required reading for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and the professionals who work with them. Few entrepreneurs appreciate the far-reaching implications of decisions they need to make at the beginning of a startup venture. Most founders make these critical decisions based on their gut instincts; backed up by data from ten thousand companies, Noam Wasserman shows that the most common choices made at the outset of a new venture are often the wrong ones. This book also shines a light on the difficult conversations that entrepreneurs need to have with their colleagues and with their investors, and makes plainspoken, commonsense recommendations that facilitate this dialogue."--Pascal Levensohn, founding partner of Levensohn Venture Partners and member of the board of directors of the National Venture Capital Association (2007--2011) " The Founder's Dilemmas fills an important gap in the entrepreneurship literature by providing an in-depth treatment of the people problems that confront all new business founders. Wasserman argues that people problems are responsible for a significant portion of startup failures, and that entrepreneurs tend to underestimate their potentially dangerous long-term effects. In this pathbreaking book, he grounds the analysis of these problems in both richly textured case examples and rigorously developed concepts and theories."--Ari Ginsberg, New York University "This book offers a rich understanding of the central personal dilemmas that entrepreneurs uniquely face. These dilemmas are tied to particular choices for entrepreneurs that can have subtle and unexpected ramifications. I don't know of any other book that comes close to examining these specific and important issues."--Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, coauthor of Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos
Flap Copy
"This book provides the rare combination of practical advice and scholarly research. It gets to the heart of the people issues that can bedevil every, and I do mean every, startup. Issues such as founder motivations, equity splits, and equity control can make or break a company. I guarantee that the price of this book is approximately one-thousandth of what you''ll pay lawyers to clean up your mess if you don''t read it."--Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment and former chief evangelist of Apple " The Founder''s Dilemmas is required reading for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and the professionals who work with them. Few entrepreneurs appreciate the far-reaching implications of decisions they need to make at the beginning of a startup venture. Most founders make these critical decisions based on their gut instincts; backed up by data covering ten thousand founders, Noam Wasserman shows that the most common choices made at the outset of a new venture are often the wrong ones. This book also shines a light on the difficult conversations that entrepreneurs need to have with their colleagues and with their investors, and makes plainspoken, commonsense recommendations that facilitate this dialogue."--Pascal Levensohn, founding partner of Levensohn Venture Partners and member of the board of directors of the National Venture Capital Association (2007--2011) " The Founder''s Dilemmas will change the way we think about the internal dynamics that can make or break startup companies. Drawing on substantial research and considerable insight into practice, Wasserman uncovers the inner lives of startups, exploring the personal and professional conflicts that founders encounter on their entrepreneurial journeys. His book will appeal to academics and practitioners alike."--Thomas Hellmann, University of British Columbia "The research that Noam Wasserman has assembled here can help entrepreneurial companies who want to prepare well for their future. The Founder''s Dilemmas is a must-read for anyone thinking about starting a business."--Timothy C. Draper, founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson "Looking at the real-life founder issues of many accomplished entrepreneurs, Noam Wasserman draws insights that are both universal and timeless. If you''re thinking of starting a new venture, do your homework and read this first."--Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO and cofounder of Yelp "Noam Wasserman takes you through every major issue in a startup and shows you how to handle it in a prescriptive, logical way. The Founder''s Dilemmas is for everyone thinking about starting a serious company, with their eye on a big prize, and for the people who invest in those companies."--Paul Maeder, chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, founder and general partner of Highland Capital Partners "If you''re starting a new company, you probably already know that a crazy variety of land mines await you. What if you had a map that showed exactly where they are and how to avoid them? Wasserman''s recommendations are backed up by rigorous research--a rare thing in books about entrepreneurship--and his stories and anecdotes serve as accessible illustrations of situations faced by thousands of companies. Having seen these dilemmas derail countless startups, I wish every entrepreneur and prospective founder would read this book."--Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup "Every entrepreneur faces trade-offs when founding and growing their company. As we discovered at YouTube, those early decisions have far-reaching impacts and lead to unforeseen pitfalls down the road. Noam Wasserman uses vivid anecdotes and deep research to expertly outline the key early choices that define a startup, making The Founder''s Dilemmas an invaluable alternative to real-world trial and error."--Chad Hurley, founder-CEO of YouTube " The Founder''s Dilemmas fills an important gap in the entrepreneurship literature by providing an in-depth treatment of the people problems that confront all new business founders. Wasserman argues that people problems are responsible for a significant portion of startup failures, and that entrepreneurs tend to underestimate their potentially dangerous long-term effects. In this pathbreaking book, he grounds the analysis of these problems in both richly textured case examples and rigorously developed concepts and theories."--Ari Ginsberg, director of the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at New York University''s Stern School of Business "This book offers a rich understanding of the central personal dilemmas that entrepreneurs uniquely face. These dilemmas are tied to particular choices for entrepreneurs that can have subtle and unexpected ramifications. I don''t know of any other book that comes close to examining these specific and important issues."--Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, Stanford University, coauthor of Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos
Flap Copy
"This book provides the rare combination of practical advice and scholarly research. It gets to the heart of the people issues that can bedevil every, and I do mean every, startup. Issues such as founder motivations, equity splits, and equity control can make or break a company. I guarantee that the price of this book is approximately one-thousandth of what youll pay lawyers to clean up your mess if you dont read it."-- Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment and former chief evangelist of Apple " The Founders Dilemmas is required reading for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and the professionals who work with them. Few entrepreneurs appreciate the far-reaching implications of decisions they need to make at the beginning of a startup venture. Most founders make these critical decisions based on their gut instincts; backed up by data covering ten thousand founders, Noam Wasserman shows that the most common choices made at the outset of a new venture are often the wrong ones. This book also shines a light on the difficult conversations that entrepreneurs need to have with their colleagues and with their investors, and makes plainspoken, commonsense recommendations that facilitate this dialogue."-- Pascal Levensohn, founding partner of Levensohn Venture Partners and member of the board of directors of the National Venture Capital Association (2007--2011) " The Founders Dilemmas will change the way we think about the internal dynamics that can make or break startup companies. Drawing on substantial research and considerable insight into practice, Wasserman uncovers the inner lives of startups, exploring the personal and professional conflicts that founders encounter on their entrepreneurial journeys. His book will appeal to academics and practitioners alike."-- Thomas Hellmann, University of British Columbia "The research that Noam Wasserman has assembled here can help entrepreneurial companies who want to prepare well for their future. The Founders Dilemmas is a must-read for anyone thinking about starting a business."-- Timothy C. Draper, founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson "Looking at the real-life founder issues of many accomplished entrepreneurs, Noam Wasserman draws insights that are both universal and timeless. If youre thinking of starting a new venture, do your homework and read this first."-- Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO and cofounder of Yelp "Noam Wasserman takes you through every major issue in a startup and shows you how to handle it in a prescriptive, logical way. The Founders Dilemmas is for everyone thinking about starting a serious company, with their eye on a big prize, and for the people who invest in those companies."-- Paul Maeder, chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, founder and general partner of Highland Capital Partners "If you''re starting a new company, you probably already know that a crazy variety of land mines await you. What if you had a map that showed exactly where they are and how to avoid them? Wassermans recommendations are backed up by rigorous research--a rare thing in books about entrepreneurship--and his stories and anecdotes serve as accessible illustrations of situations faced by thousands of companies. Having seen these dilemmas derail countless startups, I wish every entrepreneur and prospective founder would read this book."-- Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup "Every entrepreneur faces trade-offs when founding and growing their company. As we discovered at YouTube, those early decisions have far-reaching impacts and lead to unforeseen pitfalls down the road. Noam Wasserman uses vivid anecdotes and deep research to expertly outline the key early choices that define a startup, making The Founders Dilemmas an invaluable alternative to real-world trial and error."-- Chad Hurley, founder-CEO of YouTube "[A] wonderful book. . . . It''s a must read before you have even one more discussion with anyone about starting a company with them."-- Melinda Thomas, Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the City of New York " The Founders Dilemmas fills an important gap in the entrepreneurship literature by providing an in-depth treatment of the people problems that confront all new business founders. Wasserman argues that people problems are responsible for a significant portion of startup failures, and that entrepreneurs tend to underestimate their potentially dangerous long-term effects. In this pathbreaking book, he grounds the analysis of these problems in both richly textured case examples and rigorously developed concepts and theories."-- Ari Ginsberg, director of the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at New York Universitys Stern School of Business "This book offers a rich understanding of the central personal dilemmas that entrepreneurs uniquely face. These dilemmas are tied to particular choices for entrepreneurs that can have subtle and unexpected ramifications. I dont know of any other book that comes close to examining these specific and important issues."-- Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, Stanford University, coauthor of Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2012-02-20:
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. The author not only addresses the traditional issues of entrepreneurship such as startup capital, equity agreements, and compensation, but also delves into human capital issues, tackling meaty topics, such as founder motivation, early influences, and the pros and cons of starting a business with a family member, significant other, or friends (as well as the probability of success under various scenarios). With a research-driven approach and scholarly tone, this hefty text escapes the tediousness that characterizes some academic works through the use of anecdotes about real-life founders, each very different, whose stories are woven through the chapters. Also peppered throughout are observations of such well-known entrepreneurs as Apple's Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and Microsoft's Paul Allen. Sure to be required reading in business school curricula, this illuminating and captivating read will also appeal to aspiring entrepreneurs or founders who want to make better decisions in existing ventures. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Appeared in Choice on 2012-08-01:
The Founder's Dilemma has virtually nothing in common with Clayton Christensen's famous The Innovator's Dilemma (1997), despite the common titling and a Harvard connection. Wasserman (Harvard Business School) presents a series of entrepreneurship vignettes and case studies, drawn from a massive 10,000-founder survey he created. Due to the size of this business start-up survey, several of the stories, including accounts from founders of Blogger, Sittercity, and SmarTix, should prove fresh to readers. Much of the advice in the book governs key decisions founders have to make (e.g., about raising money) and factors that can cause decisions to turn out well or badly. While much of the advice has been documented elsewhere (such as in Jeffrey Bussgang's Mastering the VC Game, CH, Sep'10, 48-0368), this work includes valuable, unique content. For example, Wasserman's case study of Lew Cirne and Wily Technology provides an eye-opening account of involuntary succession planning, which would be of real value to founders seeking potential equity investors. Similarly, Wasserman's examination of the trade-offs between wealth and control identifies issues founders ought to discuss with potential investors. Most business founders seeking investors could benefit from reading this work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Practitioners and entrepreneurial studies collections, upper-division undergraduate and up. J. J. Janney University of Dayton
Appeared in Library Journal on 2012-05-15:
Many unsuccessful business ventures blame external factors when assessing their own failure. Wasserman (business administration, Harvard Business Sch.) takes a decidedly different approach, investigating the lesser-known, internal pitfalls that can derail new businesses. Beginning with the premise that most failed fledgling businesses succumbed to "friendly fire or self-inflicted wounds," Wasserman expertly takes readers through the most common dilemmas that dog startups and demonstrates ways to encourage success and longevity. Topics discussed include the tricky dynamics of teams, interpersonal relationships, job roles, hiring, investors, and the personalities of founders themselves. Woven throughout the lessons are relevant stories about individuals who faced startup challenges and how those challenges were resolved. Wasserman examines the practices of the founders of Blogger and Twitter and other well-known business people. VERDICT Ten years of extensive research combined with winning case studies make this a trustworthy source not only for the potential startup owner but also for the classroom.-Poppy Johnson-Renvall, Central New Mexico Community Coll., Albuquerque (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Wassermans book is on track to take as lofty a position in the entrepreneurial literature as HBS's Clayton Christensen's The Innovators Dilemma did in the field of technological change."-- Peter Cohan, Forbes
Wasserman's book is on track to take as lofty a position in the entrepreneurial literature as HBS's Clayton Christensen's The Innovator's Dilemma did in the field of technological change. -- Peter Cohan, Forbes
Winner of the 2013 Silver Medal Book Award in Entrepreneurship, Axiom Business
Wasserman's book is on track to take as lofty a position in the entrepreneurial literature as HBS's Clayton Christensen's The Innovator's Dilemma did in the field of technological change.
"Wasserman presents a series of entrepreneurship vignettes and case studies, drawn from a massive 10,000-founder survey he created. Due to the size of this business start-up survey, several of the stories, including accounts from founders of Blogger, Sittercity, and SmarTix, should prove fresh to readers. Much of the advice in the book governs key decisions founders have to make and factors that can cause decisions to turn out well or badly. . . . [T]his work includes valuable, unique content."-- Choice
Wasserman presents a series of entrepreneurship vignettes and case studies, drawn from a massive 10,000-founder survey he created. Due to the size of this business start-up survey, several of the stories, including accounts from founders of Blogger, Sittercity, and SmarTix, should prove fresh to readers. Much of the advice in the book governs key decisions founders have to make and factors that can cause decisions to turn out well or badly. . . . [T]his work includes valuable, unique content.
"Wasserman illustrates his findings with real world examples that translate into immediately applicable advice. But rather than creating a prescriptive list of commandments that would be impossible to follow, he adopts a more holistic approach. Encouraging entrepreneurs to study how others have handled similar challenges in the past, his insights highlight the common ground found in seemingly unique situations."-- ForeWord
Wasserman illustrates his findings with real world examples that translate into immediately applicable advice. But rather than creating a prescriptive list of commandments that would be impossible to follow, he adopts a more holistic approach. Encouraging entrepreneurs to study how others have handled similar challenges in the past, his insights highlight the common ground found in seemingly unique situations. -- "ForeWord
Wasserman illustrates his findings with real world examples that translate into immediately applicable advice. But rather than creating a prescriptive list of commandments that would be impossible to follow, he adopts a more holistic approach. Encouraging entrepreneurs to study how others have handled similar challenges in the past, his insights highlight the common ground found in seemingly unique situations.
This is a serious book for a serious endeavor: creating a company from scratch that can be a world-beater and life-changer. . . . Wasserman's book is a towering guide to making these decisions thoughtfully and purposefully. Every founder should read it--and take the time to digest its rich data and lessons.
This is a serious book for a serious endeavor: creating a company from scratch that can be a world-beater and life-changer. . . . Wasserman's book is a towering guide to making these decisions thoughtfully and purposefully. Every founder should read it--and take the time to digest its rich data and lessons. -- Jeff Bussgang, Seeing Both Sides
"This is a serious book for a serious endeavor: creating a company from scratch that can be a world-beater and life-changer. . . . Wasserman's book is a towering guide to making these decisions thoughtfully and purposefully. Every founder should read it--and take the time to digest its rich data and lessons."-- Jeff Bussgang, Seeing Both Sides blog
"This book, upon release, becomes the single-most indispensible guide for founders of startups. Comingling research, straight talk, and a human voice--so often lacking in books with an academic bent-- Dilemmas totally rocks as a business school required read and a founder's gripping, absolute must-read. Turning the last page, anyone with an entrepreneurial femur in their body will be fully armed with a battery of knowledge that can make or break a passionate first or even fifteenth venture. Do not start a startup without this book."-- Ted Sturtz, New York Journal of Books
Ten years of extensive research combined with winning case studies make this a trustworthy source not only for the potential startup owner but also for the classroom.
"Ten years of extensive research combined with winning case studies make this a trustworthy source not only for the potential startup owner but also for the classroom."-- Library Journal
Ten years of extensive research combined with winning case studies make this a trustworthy source not only for the potential startup owner but also for the classroom. -- Library Journal
[T]he definitive book on the topic. . . . If you are a founder or thinking about becoming one, you should read this book.
"[T]he definitive book on the topic. . . . If you are a founder or thinking about becoming one, you should read this book."-- Dharmesh Shah, OnStartups.com
[T]he definitive book on the topic. . . . If you are a founder or thinking about becoming one, you should read this book. -- Dharmesh Shah, OnStartups.com
The Founder's Dilemmas can't prevent entrepreneurs from repeating the mistakes of their predecessors; we all know how well human beings learn from history. But it's a worthwhile, prudent read for anyone considering or engaging in entrepreneurship. In pointing out the patterns, the common quandaries and routes, The Founder's Dilemmas can eliminate one headache along the path of business-building.
" The Founder's Dilemmas can't prevent entrepreneurs from repeating the mistakes of their predecessors; we all know how well human beings learn from history. But it's a worthwhile, prudent read for anyone considering or engaging in entrepreneurship. In pointing out the patterns, the common quandaries and routes, The Founder's Dilemmas can eliminate one headache along the path of business-building."-- Tamara Micner, LSE Politics and Policy blog
There are plenty of books, lots with stories, anecdotes, and suggestions, but none that are particularly systematic about going through all of the issues. Noam's book is the first I've read--and he totally nails it.
"There are plenty of books, lots with stories, anecdotes, and suggestions, but none that are particularly systematic about going through all of the issues. Noams book is the first Ive read--and he totally nails it."-- Brad Feld, Feld Thoughts
This book, upon release, becomes the single-most indispensible guide for founders of startups. Comingling research, straight talk, and a human voice--so often lacking in books with an academic bent-- Dilemmas totally rocks as a business school required read and a founder's gripping, absolute must-read. Turning the last page, anyone with an entrepreneurial femur in their body will be fully armed with a battery of knowledge that can make or break a passionate first or even fifteenth venture. Do not start a startup without this book.
"[S]obering. . . . Professor Wasserman provides a great deal of data and stories about high-potential technology and life-sciences startups. His book offers much more information than most entrepreneurs can handle at once, but it is probably essential for them to know."-- Harvey Schachter, Globe & Mail
[S]obering. . . . Professor Wasserman provides a great deal of data and stories about high-potential technology and life-sciences startups. His book offers much more information than most entrepreneurs can handle at once, but it is probably essential for them to know.
Highly recommended for those who plan to embark or are already living the entrepreneurial lifestyle, it can serve as a guide to very tough situations for founders to evaluate the best possible way out. -- Bernard Leong, SGEntrepreneurs
Harvard Business School professor Noam Wasserman is one of the writers and teachers who best captures the high stakes decisions that entrepreneurs face every day. -- Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe
Highly recommended for those who plan to embark or are already living the entrepreneurial lifestyle, it can serve as a guide to very tough situations for founders to evaluate the best possible way out.
"Highly recommended for those who plan to embark or are already living the entrepreneurial lifestyle, it can serve as a guide to very tough situations for founders to evaluate the best possible way out."-- Bernard Leong, SGEntrepreneurs
[A] wonderful book. . . . It's a must read before you have even one more discussion with anyone about starting a company with them. -- Melinda Thomas, Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the City of New York
Harvard Business School professor Noam Wasserman is one of the writers and teachers who best captures the high stakes decisions that entrepreneurs face every day.
"Harvard Business School professor Noam Wasserman is one of the writers and teachers who best captures the high stakes decisions that entrepreneurs face every day."-- Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe
[A] uniquely valuable resource for any entrepreneur.
"[A] uniquely valuable resource for any entrepreneur."-- Terrence Murray, Financialist
[A] wonderful book. . . . It's a must read before you have even one more discussion with anyone about starting a company with them.
[A] wonderful book. . . . It's a must read before you have even one more discussion with anyone about starting a company with them. -- inda Thomas, Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the City of New York
"[A] seminal work. . . . Sure to be required reading in business school curricula, this illuminating and captivating read will also appeal to aspiring entrepreneurs or founders who want to make better decisions in existing ventures."-- Publishers Weekly
[A] seminal work. . . . Sure to be required reading in business school curricula, this illuminating and captivating read will also appeal to aspiring entrepreneurs or founders who want to make better decisions in existing ventures. -- Publishers Weekly
[A] must-read for anyone thinking of creating a startup, who is currently involved with one or who is an investor/advisor in the startup ecosystem.
"[A] must-read for anyone thinking of creating a startup, who is currently involved with one or who is an investor/advisor in the startup ecosystem."-- Dilip James, Business Standard (India)
[A] seminal work. . . . Sure to be required reading in business school curricula, this illuminating and captivating read will also appeal to aspiring entrepreneurs or founders who want to make better decisions in existing ventures.
[A] first-aid manual to help resuscitate ailing start-ups.
"[A] first-aid manual to help resuscitate ailing start-ups."-- Jessica Bruder, journalist, author, and adjunct professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, You're the Boss blog, New York Times
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, February 2012
Library Journal, May 2012
Choice, August 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
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.
Main Description
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.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Drawing on a decade of research, Wasserman reveals the common pitfalls founders face and how to avoid them. He looks at whether it is a good idea to co-found with friends and 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.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. vii
Introduction and Pre-foundingp. 1
Introductionp. 3
Career Dilemmasp. 27
Founding Team Dilemmasp. 69
The Solo-versus-Team Dilemmap. 73
Relationship Dilemmas: Flocking Together and Playing with Firep. 89
Role Dilemmas: Positions and Decision Makingp. 117
Reward Dilemmas: Equity Splits and Cash Compensationp. 145
The Three Rs System: Alignment and Equilibriump. 186
Beyond the Founding Team: Hires and Investorsp. 205
Hiring Dilemmas: The Right Hires at the Right Timep. 209
Investor Dilemmas: Adding Value, Adding Risksp. 249
Failure, Success, and Founder-CEO Successionp. 297
Conclusionp. 329
Wealth-versus-Control Dilemmasp. 331
Acknowledgmentsp. 387
Quantitative Datap. 391
Summary of Startups and Peoplep. 403
Notesp. 425
Bibliographyp. 451
Indexp. 467
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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