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Budding entrepreneurs face a challenging road. The path isn’t made any easier by all the clichés they hear about how to make a startup succeed—from platitudes and conventional wisdom to downright contradictions.
This witty and wise guide to the dilemmas of entrepreneurship debunks widespread misconceptions about how the world of startups works and offers hard-earned advice for every step of the journey. Instead of startup myths—legends spun from a fantasy version of Silicon Valley—Rizwan Virk provides startup models—frameworks that help make thoughtful decisions about starting, growing, managing, and selling a business. Rather than dispensing simplistic rules, he mentors readers in the development of a mental toolkit for approaching challenges based on how startup markets evolve in real life.
In snappy prose with savvy pop culture and real-world examples, Virk recasts entrepreneurship as a grand adventure. He points out the pitfalls that appear along the way and offers insights into how to avoid them, sharing the secrets of founding a startup, raising money, hiring and firing, when to enter a market and when to exit, and how to value a company.
Virk combines lessons learned the hard way during his twenty-five years of founding, investing in, and advising startups with reflections from well-known venture capitalists and experts. His candid advice makes Startup Myths and Models an ideal companion for readers from those just embarking on the startup life to those looking for their next adventure.
Rizwan Virk is a successful entrepreneur, video game pioneer, venture capitalist, and founder of the startup accelerator Play Labs @ MIT. A graduate of MIT and Stanford, he is also the author of Zen Entrepreneurship (2013), Treasure Hunt: Follow Your Inner Clues to Find True Success (2017), and The Simulation Hypothesis: An MIT Computer Scientist Shows Why AI, Quantum Physics, and Eastern Mystics All Agree We Are in a Video Game (2019).
"In this lively read, Riz Virk scrutinizes popular Startup Myths and provides crystal clear Startup Models to guide entrepreneurs on their journey. Fortify yourself on this book’s rich experience and insights before you set out. "
Randy Komisar, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, author of The Monk and the Riddle and Straight Talk for Startups
"Riz Virk was one of my inspirations to be an entrepreneur. My advice to would-be entrepreneurs is to read Riz's book Startup Myths and Models, because it contains wisdom drawn from his twenty-five years of startup battles, and it's just a whole lot easier to read his book! "
Rajeev Surati, cofounder of Flash Communications (sold to Microsoft) and Photo.net
"In Startup Myths, Riz Virk debunks common misconceptions about life in StartUpLand. Both funny and wise, this book is a worthwhile read for any entrepreneur. "
Jeffrey Bussgang, Harvard Business School Professor, General Partner at Flybridge Capital Partners, and author of Mastering the VC Game
"I’ve founded five companies, made angel investments in over 100, and served on numerous startup boards—I wish I had a book like this before I started! Packed with hard-earned wisdom, Riz Virk does a great job of debunking myths and over-simple rules of thumb in the startup universe. "
Michael Dornbrook, COO of Harmonix (makers of Guitar Hero), Member of Common Angels, and VP Marketing at InfoCom (makers of Zork)
"Startup Myths and Models is one of the best textbooks for founders who are going through accelerators, (and, of course for those that aren't). Riz Virk reveals secrets about starting, funding, growing, and selling your startup all while doing what's most important - staying sane and healthy. This is one of my go-to recommendations for any founder beginning or currently on the startup journey. "
Pat Riley, CEO of GAN (Global Accelerator Network)
"When launching a new business, there's no one I'd rather have at my side than Riz Virk as a cofounder or adviser. Having Riz's book, Startup Myths and Models, is the next best thing. Equip yourself to win the battles that you'll encounter in your startup adventure by reading and digesting the lessons in this book. 100% results, no fluff! "
Mitchell Liu, cofounder of SLIVER.tv, Theta Labs, Gameview and Tapjoy
"Riz Virk has been a founder, advisor and investor in startups for twenty-five years; Startup Myths and Models condenses those years of experience into a set of coherent lessons about the real challenges entrepreneurs face and how to overcome them. If you are going on the entrepreneur's journey, this book is a great companion for every stage of the adventure! "
Brad Feld, cofounder of Foundry Group and author of #GiveFirst
"Whether you're a curious student or a serial entrepreneur, Startup Myths and Models is on my recommended reading list for any startup founder. Riz's use of the Hero's Journey will help you understand how answering the call to the startup adventure will forever change you for the better! "
Tim Miano, associate director, Harvard Innovation Labs, and cofounder/CEO, SP@CE
"Startup Myths and Models cuts through all the startup noise, bringing real world experience to every entrepreneur in a super easy to access and reference book. "
Will Herman, coauthor of The Startup Playbook, angel investor, founder of 5 startups (2 IPOs)