Brad Stone, author of The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley are Changing the World

March 20, 2017

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Brad Stone is the author, most recently, of The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley are Changing the World, published by Little, Brown & Co. in January 2017.

In 2013, he published The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. The book, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, was translated into 26 languages and won the 2013 Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.

Brad is senior executive editor for technology at Bloomberg News, where he oversees a team of 50 reporters and editors that cover high-tech companies, startups and internet trends around the world. Over the last few years, as a writer for Bloomberg Businessweek, he’s authored over two dozen cover stories on companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook and the Chinese internet juggernauts Didi, Tencent and Baidu. When he’s not attempting to deconstruct the high-tech firms charting our future, he has written about beleaguered domestic airlines, weaponized drone warplanes, the retail giant Costo, and traced the deceptions of an international con-artist and alleged murderer. Brad joined Businessweek from the New York Times, where he had been a reporter since 2006.

Brad also co-hosts a weekly Bloomberg podcast, Decrypted, and contributes to a morning email newsletter on technology, Fully Charged.

He is the author of one previous work of non-fiction, Gearheads: the Turbulent Rise of Robotic Sports. The book was a BookSense 76 pick and the San Francisco Chronicle selected it as one of the best books of 2003. It covers the emergence of what was then the new breed of robot hobbyists and hardware hackers.

Brad graduated from Columbia University in 1993 and is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Interview with Shortcuts to Success author Derek Morin

February 16, 2016
Ross Rojek interviews author Derek Morin


The step-by-step easy does it and funny path to launch a business, be successful, and happy. All at the same time. Really.


You'll learn:
  • The exact steps to success you need to follow to start and grow your business
  • How to do that following an easy, step-by-step method based on the analogy of keyword shortcuts (Ctrl-A to Z)
  • A lean and illustrated approach of an MBA degree!
  • The secrets, keys, and laws of success and happiness in business and life!
  • Much, much more
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Evan Baehr & Evan Loomis

January 26, 2016
Ross Rojek of Startup BookBuzz interviews Evan Baehr and Evan Loomis, the authors of Get Backed.


Get Backed isn’t just about startup fundraising. It’s a handbook for anyone who has an idea and needs to build relationships to get it off the ground.

Over the last 3 years, entrepreneurs Evan Loomis and Evan Baehr have raised $45 million for their own ventures, including the second largest round on the fundraising platform AngelList. InGet Backed, they show you exactly what they and dozens of others did to raise money—even the mistakes they made—while sharing the secrets of the world’s best storytellers, fundraisers, and startup accelerators. They’ll also teach you how to use “the friendship loop”, a step-by-step process that can be used to initiate and build relationships with anyone, from investors to potential cofounders. And, most of all, they’ll help you create a pitch deck, building on the real-life examples of 15 ventures that have raised over $150 million.

What’s in the book?

  • The original pitch decks and fundraising strategies of 15 ventures that raised over $150 million
  • Email scripts that will get you a meeting with angel investors, venture capitalists, and potential board members
  • Pitching exercises developed by startup talent beds like Stanford University’s d.school and Techstars
  • A breakdown of the 10 essential pitch deck slides, how to create them, and what questions you should answer with each
  • An overview of the 5 main funding sources for startups, the pros and cons of each, and who the big players are
  • A crash-course in visual and presentation design that will make any deck beautiful
  • • Templates for 4 stories every entrepreneur should know how to tell
  • • The story of one entrepreneur who showed up in Silicon Valley with no network and six months later had investments from Fred Anderson, Bono, and Peter Thiel

Get Backed will show you exactly what it takes to get funded and will give you the tools to make any idea a reality.

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Paul Downs

December 1, 2015

Paul Downs started making custom furniture in 1986, shortly after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in engineering. Downs has only one line on his résumé but he has a wide variety of skills gained in twenty-four years of running his business. His clients range from individuals and small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, all branches of the military, and foreign governments. Downs lives with his wife and three sons outside of Philadelphia.


When columnist Paul Downs was approached by The New York Times to write for their “You’re the Boss” blog, he had been running his custom furniture business for twenty-four years strong. or mostly strong. Now, in his first book, Downs paints an honest portrait of a real business, with a real boss, a real set of employees, and the real challenges they face.

Fresh out of college in 1986, Downs opened his first  business, a small company that builds custom furniture. In 1987, he hired his first employee. That’s when things got complicated. As his enterprise began to grow, he had to learn about management, cash flow, taxes, and so much more. But despite any obstacles, Downs always remained keenly aware that every small business, no matter the product it makes or the service it provides, starts with people. He writes with tremendous insight about hiring employees, providing motivation to get the best out of them, and the difficult decisions he’s made to let some of them go. Downs also looks outward, to his dealings with vendors and to providing each client with exemplary customer service from first sales pitch to final delivery. With honesty and conviction, he tells the true story behind building and sustaining a successful company in an ever-evolving economy, often airing his own failures and shortcomings to reveal the difficulties that arise from being a boss and a businessperson. Countless employees have told the story of their experience with managers—Boss Life tells the other side of that story.
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The Misfit Economy - Interview with authors Alexa Clay and Kyra Maya Phillips

June 24, 2015

What do pirates, computer hackers and inner city gangs have in common with Silicon Valley? Innovation. Across the globe, diverse innovators operating in the black and gray economies are developing solutions to a myriad of challenges. Far from being "deviant entrepreneurs" that pose threats to our social and economic stability, these innovators display remarkable ingenuity, pioneering original methods and best practices that we can learn from and apply in our own worlds. The Misfit Economy seeks to unveil and leverage this new well-spring of ingenuity. Join us in exploring the dark side of innovation.


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Screw the Valley - Interview with author Timothy Sprinkle

May 27, 2015
The most exciting high-tech startups are escaping the expensive and inbred environment of Silicon Valley. Welcome to the future.

Entrepreneurs know they must embrace innovation to excel—starting with where they locate their new venture. Fortunately, budding companies seeking fertile ground have more options today than ever before. Screw the Valley calls on today’s entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners to forget California and explore other options across the country—cities that offer more room to breathe, easier access to funding and talented workers, fewer heads to butt, and less money down the drain.

Timothy Sprinkle visits seven areas that offer a superior landscape for tech startups:
  • Detroit
  • New York City
  • Las Vegas
  • Austin
  • Kansas City
  • Raleigh-Durham
  • Boulder
Sprinkle gives readers a window into the startup potential in each city, detailing which industries are thriving where, and highlighting the unique appeal and character of each location.

Bright ideas are not geographically limited, and innovation is happening every day in cities all over the country. It’s time to think outside the box when it comes to startup location. It’s time to say Screw the Valley.
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Art of the Start 2.0 - Interview with author Guy Kawasaki

May 7, 2015
Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur, small-business owner, intrapreneur, or not-for-profit leader, there's no shortage of advice on topics such as innovating, recruiting, fund raising, and branding. In fact, there are so many books, articles, websites, blogs, webinars, and conferences that many startups get paralyzed, or they focus on the wrong priorities and go broke before they succeed. 
The Art of the Start 2.0 solves that problem by distilling Guy Kawasaki's decades of experience as one of the most hardworking and irreverent strategists in the business world. Guy has totally overhauled this iconic, essential guide for anyone starting anything.  It’s 64 percent longer than version 1.0 and features his latest insights and practical advice about social media, crowdfunding, cloud computing, and many other topics.
 
Guy understands the seismic changes in business over the last decade: Once-invulnerable market leaders are struggling. Many of the basics of getting established have become easier, cheaper, and more democratic. Business plans are no longer necessary. Social media has replaced PR and advertising as the key method of promotion. Crowdfunding is now a viable alternative to investors. The cloud makes basic infrastructure affordable for almost any new venture.
 
The Art of the Start 2.0 will show you how to effectively deploy all these new tools.  And it will help you master the fundamental challenges that have not changed: building a strong team, creating an awesome product or service, and facing down your competition.
 
As Guy likes to say, “Entrepreneur is a state of mind, not a job title.” His book will help you make your crazy ideas stick, through an adventure that's more art than science – the art of the start.
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Moonshot!: Game-Changing Strategies to Build Billion-Dollar Businesses - Interview with author John Sculley

April 7, 2015

“The future belongs to those who see the possibilities before they become obvious… This is the most exciting time ever to be part of the business world.”

Throughout history, there are some events that stand out as so groundbreaking that they completely change life as we know it. The Apollo moon landing of 1969 was one of those events—the invention of the Apple personal computer was another. The time is ripe for a new breed of innovative entrepreneurs to build businesses across industries that will bring in billions of dollars—while changing people’s lives for the better. In this book, John Sculley will show you how to do it.

Former CEO of both PepsiCo and Apple, John Sculley lays out a roadmap for building a truly transformative business. Beginning with a can’t-fail concept and inspired by smart data, Moonshot! reveals the core concepts for a twenty-first century business. Producer-in-Control models are a thing of the past, but the Customer-in-Control future is bright for those that know how to use it. With technology at your back, now might be the best time in history to start a business—but the future belongs to those who see the possibilities before they become obvious. Moonshot! will teach you to have the upper hand in any business.

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At 2:00, John discusses what a “moonshot” is to tech businesses. At 4:46, John discusses the impact Uber has had on just San Francisco, how new companies will not take the market share away from an existing infrastructure or take away friction from existing businesses. At the 10:02 mark, Ross and John talk about Facebook and how they bought 6 of the 10 most used apps on the market and how Facebook needed to re-invent themselves. At the 11:43 mark, John discusses his “formula” for moonshots and how they need to have a noble cause. At 18:05, John talks about being an adaptive innovator.  At 22:15: John explains how to create a transformational billion-dollar business.

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The Creator’s Code Author Amy Wilkinson Interview

March 6, 2015
Each of us has the capacity to spot opportunities, invent products, and build businesses—even $100 million businesses.

How do some people turn ideas into enterprises that endure? Why do some people succeed when so many others fail? The Creator’s Code unlocks the six essential skills that turn small notions into big companies. This landmark book is based on 200 interviews with today’s leading entrepreneurs including the founders of LinkedIn, Chipotle, eBay, Under Armour, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, Spanx, Airbnb, PayPal, Jetblue, Gilt Groupe, Theranos, and Dropbox.

Over the course of five years, Amy Wilkinson conducted rigorous interviews and analyzed research across many different fields. From the creators of the companies ranging from Yelp to Chobani to Zipcar, she found that entrepreneurial success works in much the same way. Creators are not born with an innate ability to conceive and build $100 million enterprises. They work at it. They all share fundamental skills that can be learned, practiced, and passed on.

The Creator’s Code reveals six skills that make creators of all kinds of endeavors breakthrough. These skills aren’t rare gifts or slim chance talents. Entrepreneurship, Wilkinson demonstrates, is accessible to everyone. The book’s insights provide core guidance for success in the new world of work
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The Business Romantic - Author Tim Leberecht Interview

February 6, 2015

A 20 minute interview with author Tim Leberecht about his new book The Business Romantic.


 In this smart, playful, and provocative book, one of today’s most original business thinkers argues that we underestimate the importance of romance in our lives and that we can find it in and through business—by designing products, services, and experiences that connect us with something greater than ourselves.
Against the backdrop of eroding trust in capitalism, pervasive technology, big data, and the desire to quantify all of our behaviors, The Business Romantic makes a compelling case that we must meld the pursuit of success and achievement with romance if we want to create an economy that serves our entire selves.
A rising star in data analytics who is in love with the intrinsic beauty of spreadsheets; the mastermind behind a brand built on absence; an Argentinian couple who revolutionize shoelaces; the founder of a foodie-oriented start-up that creates intimate conversation spaces; a performance artist who offers fake corporate seminars for real professionals—these are some of the innovators readers will meet in this witty, deeply personal, and rousing ramble through the world of Business Romanticism.
The Business Romantic not only provides surprising insights into the emotional and social aspects of business but also presents “Rules of Enchantment” that will help both individuals and organizations construct more meaningful experiences for themselves and others.
The Business Romantic offers a radically different view of the good life and outlines how to better meet one’s own desires as well as those of customers, employees, and society. It encourages readers to expect more from companies, to give more of themselves, and to fall back in love with their work and their lives.  
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