Before You Quit Your Day Job: Read Startup From the Ground Up

It’s been a long time since we’ve reviewed a book on becoming a small business owner or entrepreneur.  So, when I received Startup From the Ground Up from a publicist, I thought it was time to give it a read and see what the most current advice is about getting out on your own.

About the Author

Cynthia Kocialski (@ckocialski) has been involved in 25 startups and writes the Start-Up Entrepreneurs’ Blog.  All of the startups she’s been involved in have been acquired for nearly $20 billion. She’s also had a variety of executive  positions in technical companies and served as a consultant.  So she’s been on just about every side of the entrepreneur’s journey.

Kocialski wrote her own foreword and in it describes the book as being about making the entrepreneurial dream a reality.  It will show you how to go from an idea to a launch.  I think the benefit this book promises to today’s entrepreneur is the ability to learn from another’s experience and hopefully not make the same mistakes.

Startup From the Ground Up Is Ideal for Tech Startups That Need Investors

When I read the author’s background and the first few chapters of this book, I could see that it was really targeted to people who have a tech product and may be interested in getting investors.

This book covers a lot of topics very quickly and with broad brush strokes.  It’s the book you would run out and get right after you and your tech buddies finished hashing out a plan for taking over the world with the next revolutionary tech product.  Before you quit your day job, take the time to quickly go through this book, and when you find yourself flinching at any of the chapters, bookmark that one for further review.

There are quite a few chapters dedicated to marketing and sales topics.  Each chapter is written from the perspective of a technical person, covering what they think might be important and what’s actually important from the customer’s or investor’s perspective.

How to Read This Book

I’m not sure if the book I received from the publicist was a review copy or a final copy.  I’m mentioning this because I have to admit I was a bit overwhelmed when I looked at the table of contents.  It looked like there were more than 30 chapters.

I thought they might be in sections because there were three or four chapters in a row that seemed to be on a similar topic, but I couldn’t tell what the sections were until I started reading.   So I’m going to give you the sections here because they aren’t easy to spot in the table of contents without going through the book:

  • Introduction
  • Product and Business Concept
  • Product
  • Customer Understanding
  • Market Opportunity
  • The Team
  • Product Development
  • Some Marketing Implementation Issues
  • Understanding Sales
  • Funding
  • Business Model and Planning

This is a book you would probably want to read from cover to cover the first time around.  This book is a terrific litmus test to see if going into “startup mode” really what you want to do.

If you’ve gone through this book and are still fired up about your idea, go back to the sections that made you wince and get some professional advice as to how to handle that.

Startup From the Ground Up Will Give Budding Entrepreneurs the Lingo and a Road Map

Another benefit of Startup From the Ground Up is that it gives aspiring entrepreneurs the framework and phrases that they will need to use to get help in areas where they feel less comfortable.

Startup From the Ground Up is a realistic, real-life book about taking your idea out of your head and into the marketplace.  If you’ve been sitting in a cubicle mulling over the next “Google-sized” idea, then this book is a great first step.

Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."