Will Roney

Book Review – Startup Weekend by Marc Nager, Clint Nelsen & Franck Nouyrigat

In Non-Fiction Writing on January 22, 2012 at 12:21

Startup Weekend: How to Take a Company from Concept to Creation in 54 Hours

There are many, many books in the marketplace about starting a business. There are books on how to raise captial, how to make sure that your idea is viable and how to fill in all of the forms you need to incorporate a company so that it has legal footing. Yet, the idea floated by this latest book is an interesting one. How do you take a concept and grind through all the fundamentals issues with that concept, and end up with a business that works – over a period of little more than a weekend.
Startup Weekend – How to take a company from concept to creation in 54 hours” is such a book, and itself has an interesting genesis. This is not a prescriptive book that gives you all the steps that you need to start a business. What there is, is a book telling you that if you have a set of people with a can-do proactive attitude, the progress that you can make in creating a business is rapid.

Reading this book, it seems as though it is in places an advert for practical ‘Startup Weekends’ rather than a serious business book, and this can distract from those that expect it. Nevertheless, if you can filter out those bits of the book that relate to events, and focus on what the participants are trying to achieve there is good value to be had.

The ‘Startup Weekend’ concept has only been tried a few times, with participants attending to achieve the goal of setting up a viable business. It is noticeable that it is proud of this fact, and this is to the books credit. However, this book is weighed down by the lack of objective goals that the reader can take away and practice. Some, such as “The Magic of 60 Seconds” provide the reader with an effective way to pitch ideas to a potential investor. It would have been better to pepper the book with more nuggets such as this.

Overall I found this book to be not what I expected. I would like to see a further issue that would slightly change focus into a prescriptive checklist over a similar time period. I am not sure how that would work, considering that some of the processes are external and can be (relatively) slow to conclude – such as company formation and all of the legal documents that need to be signed. It would be interesting if it was physically possible to put all the aspects described in “Startup Weekend” to the test, and to see if it was possible to do all that this book says in 54 hours.

In the meantime, this book is a powerful and valuable lesson in what can be achieved if you put the right people in the same room, with the intent of achieving a single goal. Startup business may never be the same again.

Have you enjoyed this review? If you have, click through and buy the book HERE!

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