The Founder's Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman

The Founder's Dilemmas

Often downplayed in the excitement of starting up a new business venture is one of the most important decisions entrepreneurs will face: should they go it alone, or bring in cofounders, hires, and investors to help build the business? More than just financial rewards are at stake. Friendships and relationships can suffer. Bad decisions at the inception of a promising venture lay the foundations for its eventual ruin. The Founder's Dilemmas is the...


Details The Founder's Dilemmas

TitleThe Founder's Dilemmas
ISBN9780691149134
Author
Release DateMar 25th, 2012
PublisherPrinceton University Press
LanguageEnglish
GenreBusiness, Entrepreneurship, Nonfiction, Buisness, Leadership
Rating

Reviews The Founder's Dilemmas

  • Brad Feld
    2012-05-06
    The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman is another book that belongs on every entrepreneur’s bookshelf. It’s excellent.I met Noam for the first time last week when I was at HBS. I was on a panel of VCs (me, Mike Maples Jr., Kate Mitchell, and David Frankel) talking to a room full of HBS alumni who are VCs. Noam and I had exchanged several emails over the past few months and he sent me a review copy of the book but it got lost in my infinit...
  • Carlos
    2012-09-10
    My expectation for The Founder's Dilemmas was pretty high as a result of having just read several of Professor Wasserman's publications, including "Stewards, Agents, and the Founder Discount: Executive Compensation in New Ventures."The book explores key decisions faced by startup founders throughout the life of a company ... from pre-founding, funding options, initial team and transitional hires, salary negotiations, board management, to exit. I ...
  • Herve
    2013-12-12
    The Founder’s Dilemmas – The Answer is “It depends!”The Founder’s Dilemmas is at the same time a fascinating and frustrating book. Fascinating because it’s providing very seldom seen (and mostly unknown) data about founders and high-tech start-ups. Frustrating because it is also seldom providing answers to the dilemmas founders may face. It took me the full reading of the book to finally understand that the answer Wasserman provides i...
  • Atila Iamarino
    2017-05-21
    Um ótimo apanhado do que startups passam nos primeiros anos. O autor trabalha em cima de um banco de dados de milhares de empreendedores e empresas entrevistados ao longo de anos, para chegar em um cenário bem explicado ao longo do livro. Quem cria uma empresa precisa se decidir desde o começo o que quer priorizar: controle ou lucro. Quanto mais priorizar continuar dono da empresa e ter controle sobre decisões, menos ela tende a valer a longo...
  • Shannon
    2012-03-23
    If you are thinking about founding a business, or you are a founder of a business, I highly recommend checking if your library has this book. From Harvard Business School, Wasserman has studied the social and economic dilemmas and decisions of start-up founders for 10+ years, and in this book he gives us exquisite data on the results. Wasserman focuses on tech start-ups and businesses in the life sciences, but this book applies to all business fo...
  • Tigran Mamikonian
    2015-02-10
    Quite instructive book about different stages of startup development with plenty of examples and statistical data.The central theme of the book is so called RICH or KING dilemma. Which refers to two basic types of founders - motivated to get profit (RICH), or motivated to control and creation (KING).Of course there is a middle point to which author refers as "Ideal entrepreneur".The book is longer than it could be, however I'd recommend it for re...
  • Athan Tolis
    2016-11-09
    “The Founder’s Dilemmas” comes recommended by relevant authors Brad Feld, Eric Ries and my former classmate Jeff Bussgang, all of whom really know what they are talking about.It’s rigged up as a parallel structure between serious statistical research and anecdotal stories that are meant to guide you, the entrepreneur, in the early decisions that stand to influence the future success of your business.So you get told “Evan next decided he...
  • Oleksandr Golovatyi
    2017-10-06
    One of the best book for startup makers and persons who want to start working with startups. A lot of great examples are described in this book. For example, Twitter, FeedBurner, Odeo, Blogger and other successful startups histories. I read this book twice: in English and in Russian. (in English)-------------------------Одна из лучших книг для начинающих ИТ предпринимателей и тех, кто хоче...
  • Vadim Sviridovich
    2017-05-27
    В книге ученого из Гарварда представлены результаты научных исследований американских высоко-технологичных и биомедицинских стартапов. Подробно рассматриваются вопросы мотивации учредителей, анализа имеющихся и необходимых для создания ком...
  • Maisha Hoye
    2017-03-13
    I thought I would relate better to the stories but my dilemmas didn't really apply.
  • Cole Simmons
    2016-07-28
    Coming in to starting my own company, I figured there had to be right answers. A right way to do things. And if you did things just in that manner, your chances of success would be significantly higher.Boy was I wrong, and this book is what highlighted it. Compiled from the author's extensive research and data set of thousands of startups since the start of the millennium, he is able to draw conclusions about the dilemmas founders face, the possi...
  • Mihai Cozma
    2017-02-17
    Interesting but overrated. It is very specific to only a few startup types, it stretches statistics too much at times and, while its main idea is great and worth remembering, it could have been explained just as well in half the page number or even less.
  • Josh Steimle
    2012-06-25
    This is a great addition to data-driven literature that can truly help entrepreneurs. It covers basics every entrepreneur should be aware of, like the perils of setting things up the wrong way at the beginning. But rather than just being the pontifications of someone who has been there done that, it's real data, showing the probabilities of things working out well or poorly depending on choices made during the founding process. Along with Founder...
  • Pavel
    2012-07-29
    Very good book, easy to read given the topic. Mostly based on research, and where not, is clearly stated.The book covers a lot of grounds for startups from co-fouding, to hiring first people, getting investors, and selling the company. The book goes over the decisions founders will face and how they affect long term value or control of the company.I would not recommend an eBook. There were a lot of footnotes and end of book notes, some of which I...
  • Luke Kanies
    2012-04-10
    This is probably a great book for someone thinking of starting a company, but useless for someone who has. And even then, it should have had a lot more information. It presented problems, but very few useful tools for solving them.
  • Popoy Mindalano
    2018-03-06
    Everyone who intends to start a business undergoes a lot of confusions that sometimes hinders the progress of the intended start-up. These are called the Founder’s Dillemas and if you have already experienced it then this is the best book for you in order to deal with the inhibition proceeding and developing further.This book provides us with a guide on how to best found a start-up. If you are confused whether to start solo or as a team, just f...
  • Calvin Yuan
    2018-05-11
    If you are really thinking of starting a business, this book is a gold mine. As many other reviewers have said, Wasserman mostly talks about the dilemmas that many founders face and the respective outcomes of each choice under those circumstances. He does not offer any conclusive solutions to many of the issues being raised. This is mainly due to there isn't such a panacea to all of these difficulties. Nevertheless, Wasserman's research is sound ...
  • Lee Pei Yit
    2017-09-12
    If you are looking for a comprehensive guide to being a founder, this book is NOT it. The author removes the day-to-day decision making and industry-specific decisions in favor of more general, long term but high impact decisions that tend to be neglected. This makes the book sound bland, since the drama and epicness of being a founder are surgically removed, but I would recommend any serious founder-to-be to take a good look at this book prior t...
  • Vasiliy Sikorskiy
    2018-05-14
    На мой взгляд, это заметки Капитана очевидности. Выводы наподобие: исследовав большой массив данных я обнаружил, что большее число учредителей в стартапе влечет сложность в коммуникациях внутри команды, но больше связей и возможностей для привл...
  • Ahmed Shahrour
    2017-11-04
    Absolutely deserved the 5 star rating. This book delves into three chapters where it begins with Founding Team Dilemmas (should you found alone, equity splits, etc.) and ends with Hires and Investors (Which hires to get onboard and which investor would best suit your goals). This is a perfect solution to the trial and error you'd have to go through to figure this information out. In addition, the author references so many research articles it's u...
  • Filothea
    2017-09-08
    A book which answers very well some questions entrepreneurs may have at the beginning of their journey. It is great to read it then to better understand the consequences of some early decisions on the later stages of a business. I liked the examples backing up suggested resolutions - even though I felt they were very repetitive throughout. For a book talking about beginners' pitfalls however, I felt it ignored one of the most basic advice anyone ...
  • Eric
    2017-06-24
    An interesting book to induce thinking about founding a company.The quantitative analysis is interesting and quite to the point. It becomes tedious to read after some point, but the book is short enough to complete before getting to dull with quant talks.I appreciate and recommend reading the conclusion as an excellent summary of the whole book. The conclusion also scopes the book very well (North America, high-tech and life science domains), wit...
  • Les Trachtman
    2017-12-30
    Noam is the expert when it comes to founders and what makes them successful (or not). He is a pioneer in identifying the dilemmas that founders encounter and his writing is a "how to" for anyone considering founding or who has already founded a business. I've never met a founder who couldn't benefit from this book. Everything he has written is backed by extensive research. The facts speak for themselves.
  • Scott Wozniak
    2017-05-24
    This is a good book for founders of tech or life science companies who are planning to use investor funding. Yes, that's pretty specific. And if that's not you, probably not worth your time. But if it is you there is a wealth of case studies and principles to help you decide how to allocate equity, defining your role as a founder, etc. Ultimately, he focuses on the tension between being king (having control over the company) and being rich (makin...
  • Tracy S
    2017-11-16
    I think this would be a good book for someone who is considering starting a company. It will force you to think about a lot of issues that will inevitably come up. However, I did most things "right" during start-up (according to the book), but some of the issues I've encountered in the actual running of the business were not really addressed here. It was also very geared towards tech start-ups, so much of the information was irrelevant to my situ...
  • Sinan Hanay
    2018-07-21
    Good but unnecessarily stretchedThe good:+must read for newbie entrepreneurs + good insights from real companiesThe bad:-unnecessarily long, and keeps repeating.-boring, because it repeats itself. It should have focused on the stories of the companies.- keeps digressing all the time with not so interesting academic numbers. Please give the bottomline, this is not an academic paper.
  • Muthu Arumugam
    2017-08-27
    It’s a must read for anyone working on startups where they are either founders or close to founders circle. It gives some facts about different issues you can anticipate so that either you resolve or anticipate. There is no right or wrong. It gets you to the node of resolving before it happens than to catch you with surprises. Don’t n Ed to read all sections but your relevant sections. Author talked a lot about 2-3 startups across the book. S...
  • Shawn
    2017-09-03
    Very good book. Quite academic in structure and content so be sure to concentrate well on each concept to gain maximum value -- parsing each sentence carefully and grasping the implications in multiple contexts may take time / digestion, especially for those not themselves serial entrepreneurs or academics in the field.
  • Igor
    2018-04-11
    Extremely useful book for anyone that has already become or just going to become a founder. I also liked the scientific scrupulous and unbiased style of the author. The book definitely raised a lot of thoughts about my future and current dilemmas, and provides useful insights on the life of a startup.
  • Snorre Garmann
    2017-06-02
    This was a very relevant book, on a relevant subject, and the author surely did proper research. So I am sad to say that I found it a struggle to get through. I don't think there is a single page in this book I didn't have to read twice.