David Cohen and Brad Feld have edited and annotated a collection of short essays about entrepreneurship into a new book titled Do More Faster. The essays are written by TechStars entrepreneurs and mentors and aimed at first-time entrepreneurs. It’s a solid collection of advice and wisdom. Is there be a better mantra for entrepreneurs than “do more faster”?
I wrote a short piece on why it’s important to have a bias toward action. There are also essays by folks like Dick Costolo (CEO, Twitter), Fred Wilson (VC), Tim Ferriss (author), Matt Mullenweg (WordPress), and others. The book is organized into seven themes: Idea and Vision, People, Execution, Product, Fundraising, Legal and Structure, and Work and Life Balance.
I have a special relationship with TechStars. In 2007 I lived in Boulder for a few months and (lightly) helped David Cohen get TechStars off the ground. I fondly recall us driving over to the University of Denver to pitch the program to students. David told me it would be great if local college students applied. We did a local TV interview together in the back of a dusty stationary store in Boulder. Of course, over the past four years it’s become something much, much bigger. TechStars is now one of the most prestigious start-up accelerator programs in the United States. It attracts high potential entrepreneurs from all over the world because of its distinctive emphasis on mentorship. Entrepreneurs apply to one of four cities (Boulder, Seattle, Boston, New York) and, if they are accepted, enjoy access to top-notch mentors and a great platform on which to raise money after leaving the program. They also have the opportunity to compete in the annual Ben Casnocha International World Championship TechStars Table Tennis Tournament (see trophy pic), inspired in part by the epic ping-pong matches David and I played at my condo in Boulder in early ’07.
Seeing TechStars come so far these past four years is a testament to David and Brad’s (and everyone else’s) extraordinary vision and hard work. The remarkable success rate of entrepreneurs who have gone through the program is a testament to the power of mentorship and community.
Congratulations to David and Brad for publishing this terrific collection of advice and insights. I’m looking forward to helping them celebrate at the Book Launch Party in Palo Alto on October 12th. If you’re in the Bay Area, come join us.
5 comments on “Book Review: Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Start-Up”
Thanks Ben. You made a great contribution early on, helping set strategy for promoting TechStars and helping me think through how to make it the best that it could be. You also kept me sane by whipping me in ping pong in a few epic best of 5 series (that always seemed to come down to game 5). I’ll never forget that first “for keeps” match when you emphatically ripped off your tearaway warmups and started bouncing back and forth like Roger Federer ready to return my (underwhelming) serve.
Of course, your essay in the book is one of the best written and most important ones. Having a bias toward action has affected my own thinking over the years. I often find myself in a position of having too little information and naturally, wanting to wait. By doing, even on incomplete information, I’ve been able to get the missing data and often have found out that my gut was trustworthy. I think others will really enjoy this essay in Do More Faster. Thanks again for contributing it and for everything you’ve done as a mentor for TechStars companies over the years.
Ben Casnocha International World Championship TechStars Table Tennis Tournament… haha that’s awesome. I got a good laugh out of that concise name.
Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll be sure to check out the book.
Is it time for you to try your hand at an entrepreneurial venture?
Dang, I went to the info session earlier in the day rather than Gordy B. Oh well, I’ll see you again at my next SF apartment party … ha!
There are very deep and beautiful layers hidden in between the lines of this book. Although it’s obviously about leading a productive life and becoming a successful entrepreneurs, I enjoyed reading it more for the attention Brad and David gave to the following topics:
– the importance of life and work balance in leading a meaningful life
– the pivotal role of relationships in enjoying the benefits of entrepreneurial life
– the immensely important significance of working on things you can be passionate about.
Definitely worth reading!