Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review: Startup Communities, By Brad Feld

The Premise:
Entrepreneurial expert, Brad Feld, promises to unlock the secrets for “building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in your city”.

The Good:
Mr. Feld spells out why some cities, like Boulder, CO, succeed in creating a vibrant startup community and others do not. He gives easy to follow guidance on how to access whom the true players and influencers are and which parties are more supporters or even obstacles. He provides real-world examples and case studies throughout to support his point of view and isn’t shy about giving some rather blunt, yet pragmatic advice for anyone looking to embrace a startup culture in their community.

The Bad:
There’s too much name-dropping. This book could have been half as long and twice as practical if he stopped mentioning his buddies and their ventures. One gets the sense that Mr. Feld is almost trying to sell Boulder versus Silicon Valley at times. This may not have been intentional, but it is distracting. A more straight-forward “how to” may have been a better approach, in my opinion.

The Verdict:
Skim it and share it. There are definitely useful nuggets throughout the book for anyone interested in starting their own business or fostering a larger entrepreneurial culture in their community.