The $100 Startup
July 8, 2012 4 Comments
Business interests me and big business,should I be the founder or promoter, I suspect would interest me more.However I understand the need to start as a solopreneur or to start a micro-business, if for no other reason than that my risk capital might be small or that I might not be sure enough of my skills to pull the venture off or that I might wish to test a business model or its component systems or that I need to limit the risks of launching an untried product or service.This sort of inclination naturally draws me to bootstrapping.I guess at heart I am a Dhandho Investor (http://wealthymatters.com/2011/03/06/the-dhandho-investor/).I find venture fund driven start-ups wasteful of capital and think they unnecessarily increase the chances of a business failing by trying to do to much too soon, before systems and products are fully tested.My personal take is that venture funds are the product of a society with not many good investment opportunities and a lot of excess financial capital hoping to turn some returns any which way.
While I am no fan of venture fund backed startups ,I like the fact that such startups are scalable.I dislike businesses which are self-employment ventures.These businesses call for more exhausting work hours than many corporate jobs and offer none of the benefits like a predictable income or freedom from worrying about overheads.I’m also not much of a fan of selling good businesses.An IPO to unlock the value of one’s company is one thing, but if f I have been lucky enough to build a business that has taken off,I have done all the hard work ,so why sell now,especially when I can do less work and enjoy the profits?Personally I’d like to build businesses that can be handed down ,carefully tended and enjoyed by generations of my family.
Initially I was planning on passing by’The $100 Startup’.It looked like a book for the unemployed or unhappily employed to find self-employment.However all the decibal promotion got me to take a second look.This id hardly my favourite book but I can safely say that reading it was not a total loss.
The author,Chris Guillebeau’s position is that you don’t need an MBA, a business plan, or even employees to start a business—all you need is a product or service that springs from what you love to do, people willing to pay for it, and a way to get paid. While researching the book, the author studied 1,500 people who had built businesses with a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less). Fifty of the most intriguing cases are presented in ‘The $100 Startup’, including the exact amounts of each person’s initial investment, what they did in the first weeks and months to generate cash, some of the key mistakes they made along the way, and the crucial insights that made the business stick.
Here are some useful takeaways I got from the book:-
1. passion + skill + usefulness = success
2. Where to find opportunities?
-new technology or opportunity
-spin-off or side projects
3.Some businesses are easier to start.You don’t have to be an expert before you start!
4.Prefer action over planning Don’t wait for perfection. Start and learn along the way
- 1-page business plan
5.Make your first sale ASAP. It is a great confidence builder.