The Best Haiku With “Start-Up”

I’ve always loved haiku. And with my new interest in all things Japan, my interest in haiku has risen correspondingly. (Female sources also whisper from the shadows that poetry helps a man get in touch with his soft side?)

The best haiku experiment I’ve done was for my birthday last year, when I asked dozens of adult friends what they regret not doing when they were younger. Many answered, per my request, in haiku form.

Last week venture capitalist Brad Feld asked his readers to submit their best haikus with the word “start-up” in it. We’re happy to announce the winner, Scott Yates, who will receive an autographed copy of my book My Start-Up Life in the mail:

startups, like parents,
get heaps of good, bad advice.
which bits to ignore?

There were several other good entries which you can read in the comments to Brad’s post. One last-second entry made me chuckle:

Jack Bauer start-up
damnit damnit damnit damn
it damnit damnit

In other book news, here are some reviews that have been trickling in from early readers (who I don’t know personally):

“Ben holds nothing back in his account, describing all the successes and failures, good decisions and mistakes that he experienced along the way. For anyone interested in the entrepreneurial process, this account will prove very revealing.”
David Wilson

“What’s…jaw opening is the level of wisdom and self-awareness he displays. A simply written yet remarkably direct, honest, and, yes, a bit heart-wrenching account about a lost teenagerhood.”
– Barbara Jacobs, American Library Association

“When it comes right down to it, this book should help everyone realize that if you want to get somewhere, you have to continuously battle through sticky situations with an undying desire to learn, willingness to teach yourself, eagerness to find new information, an egoless disposition that makes it easy to ask for help when you need it, and on a very basic level, how to continue putting one foot in front of the other. On a lighter note…this story will not only give you inspiration, but will make you spit coffee if you are not careful. For such a young writer, you wouldn’t expect the entertainment level of the book to be so high. But it is.”
In Bubble Wrap, Business Book Reviews from

“Even if you’re not an entrepreneur, this book offers lots of great anecdotes and ideas that will help you do any job better or improve your career path…. He has a crisp, clear writing style that wastes little time on platitudes and navel-gazing and focuses more on sharing his lessons learned and vision.”
Chip Griffen

“If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, this book will give you the kick in the ass you need to start doing something about it.”
Ryan Healey

5 comments on “The Best Haiku With “Start-Up”
  • Congratulations for the success of your book, Ben! Any plans of selling it in Eastern Europe – Romania in specific? I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now and it’s a bit frustrating to not be able to check out your book as well.

  • Congratulations on your book, Ben.

    I too am also very interested in Japan. I visted there about five years ago to the the World Cup. I was amazed to see how advanced their style of living was.
    Interesting contest by the way.

  • Congratulations on your book! I’ll be reading it this week.

    Although I didn’t win the haiku contest, I’ll bring my copy of the book with me to Boulder when I visit in June. With any luck, I’ll get to meet you and impose on you to autograph the book.

  • If female sources believe that poetry helps a man get in touch with his soft side, they should shout it from the rooftops.

    I don’t believe a well-integrated human personality has a “hard’ side and a “soft” side that co-exist in opposition to each other.

    In my opinion, thinking like that just perpetuates useless stereotypes.

    I think a person should respond to situations in ‘hard’ ways or ‘soft’ ways, as the occasion demands, regardless of gender, just as in a balanced martial art.

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