A book written for entrepreneurs by an entrepreneur, “The $100 Startup” is a step by step guide to people who are passionate to start their own micro business. Gathering experiences of many people around the globe and majority of the story from US based micro businesses. Chris Guillebeau worked hard to collect all the information by personally visiting, mailing, and interviewing individual entrepreneurs. This book compiles around 50 micro business entrepreneurs’ stories that gives you information about every business individuals take on their business. Mattress shop, Coffee shop, Map printing, Consulting business are few examples from the book.
This book is written to people who are aspiring to start a business. If you are passionate to start your business and got frustrated with your 9 to 5 job, you are the right fit for this book. I would also recommend this book to college libraries since this book has captured the entire venture life cycle. As rightly pointed out in this book, you don’t require MBA to start a business but you will certainly need this book to get the right ideas.
FREEDOM and VALUE are the two themes which serve as anchors for the entire book. Freedom is what we’re all looking for, and value is the way to achieve it. Book starts with story of Michael who lost his job in a fine evening which led to find a mattress shop that gives you an idea of how entrepreneurs emerge into this world. They don’t have great ideas, education, support, money to start a business only they had passion in them to start their own venture.
The book is segregated into three parts; in the first part the author have precisely thrown lights on customer requirements, and how to match the customer requirements with your passion. One point that impresses anyone is, “Not all the passion will turn out to be a great business, and it has to merge with the customer needs”. After clarifying about the passion, the book gives you valuable points to generate ideas and also sieving the ideas that will fit for business. In the first part the author has gave out excellent points regarding changes in the demographics and what really customer wants. While you finish the first part you will clearly have an idea of generating ideas, office requirements, understanding customer and customer needs and the best is you will understand yourself.
In the second part the author briefly explained about generating a business plan, offering your product, launching your product, promoting your product and ways to raise funds for your business. The stories embedded to these topics make any person to understand the business concepts easily. That will also lead to implement those kinds of ideas in their business venture.
In the last part, the author speaks about pricing your product, expanding and sustaining the business in the real world.
In general, the book was written with care to develop more entrepreneurs. Many suggestions given in the book is derived out of experience. Right from starting a blog to getting paid through Paypal.com are experiences of Chris Guillebeau. The stories given in this book creates impact in the minds of the people who read the book. Many of the entrepreneurs’ examples given in the book are accidental entrepreneurs like Michael. Few points are highlighted with asterisk and it was discussed in the bottom of the same page which creates interest in the readers mind. Since there are many stories author has taken pains to give the right reference in between the chapters. Incase if you are reading about Michael again in chapter 12, the author will ask you to refer about Michael in Chapter 1. This explained the pros and cons in starting, developing and expanding a business. Hence you will get more clarity on what need to be done so that your business will shine. The stories given here will help many academicians for taking class. At the end of the book, author has given positioning statements of fifty companies (quite informative), followed by a thank you note. The book was meticulously written with utmost care in order to deliver great ideas to cater the need of many aspiring people to start their own venture. It’s a must read for MBA students and professors.
Kudos to Chris Guillebeau for bringing out a wonderful book.