David S. Rose’s book is written for the “startup” you have in mind when you think about startups. It’s the business that grows fast, moves fast and is looking to get bought out (by a Google or Facebook) or “go public”. Many books have been written on “the startup”, but few of those books focus on the “skeleton” of a startup. What essential items do you need to have to transform that awesome business idea into an Uber, Product Hunt or Facebook?
The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business is the guide to answering that question.
What is The Startup Checklist About?
The Startup Checklist is literally 25 specific steps that entrepreneurs can follow to turn their business idea into a profitable startup and beyond. This concept is similar to many of the other startup advice books out there, but there is a slight and important difference. Instead of providing broad advice for a wannabe startup founder, the author provides very specific advice on how to make it in the startup world.
This approach is based on Lean philosophy, which focuses on prioritizing high-value work and decreasing waste. Since this is the case, readers won’t find chapter after chapter discussing how to craft the perfect business plan. Instead, readers get the basics in a chapter and are then released into the wild to try it out. Author David S. Rose goes on a whirlwind tour in each chapter, covering everything from how to set up your startup for stock options to startup funding options and accepting payments from your future customers .
This focus on the framework of a profitable startup is the predominant focus of the book. These overarching issues include selecting the right talent, establishing the appropriate legal structure and money management. Problems in these areas, the ones they have the most control over, are the primary reasons startups often fail. In focusing attention back on these fundamentals, the book hopes to help startup owners plan and develop the framework for a business that will reach unheard of heights.
Rose, known as the “father of angel investing,” is a serial entrepreneur and author who has been involved, as an investor or owner, in over 100 companies. He is also the founder and CEO of Gust, an investing platform, and an investing consortium known as the New York Angels.
What Was Best About The Startup Checklist?
The best part of The Startup Checklist is its continued focus on the essentials. This seems to be a focus driven by the author’s own experiences as an investor and serial entrepreneur. Instead of getting tangled up in the “small things” (like how many Tweets to create) or getting overburdened by elaborately crafted business plans, the book focuses on the three key resources a startup has the most control over. Those three resources are talent, product, and money management.
Essentially, the book uses the author’s experience to focus on what positions a startup to scale quickly.
What Could Have Been Done Differently
The Startup Checklist is probably not the first book you want to pick up if you have not been in business before or lack a well-developed business idea. The book hits the ground running from the first page and throws out a flurry of checklist items that require knowledge of finance and business concepts. To provide an example, the book provides suggestions on competitive research but doesn’t go into detail on the specifics of doing that research.
Why Read The Startup Checklist?
If you are a wannabe or experienced startup business owner who is tired of the same old “fluff” in other startup advice books (either advice that is either too broad or too detailed), The Startup Checklist offers a good balance. Using the experienced guidance of a serial entrepreneur and investor, the book walks readers through every step of their startup to get in a position to scale quickly.
The book also features a stronger focus on the financial side of startup — getting funding, equity, stock, etc. — than many other books in its category, which is extremely helpful when trying to launch a profitable startup.
Overall, The Startup Checklist is a specific and focused guide for the entrepreneur who wants a step-by-step guide to potential success.