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About Noam Wasserman
"THE FOUNDER'S DILEMMAS" -- #1 AMAZON BESTSELLER IN NEW BUSINESS ENTERPRISES, #1 IN MANAGEMENT, #1 IN BUSINESS SYSTEMS & PLANNING, #2 IN POPULAR ECONOMICS
Dr. Noam Wasserman is bestselling author of The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup (2012, Princeton Univ. Press) and Life Is a Startup: What Founders Can Teach Us about Making Choices and Managing Change (2018, Stanford Univ. Press). He was a professor at Harvard Business School for 13 years and is now founding director of the Founder Central initiative at the University of Southern California and the Lemann Chair in Entrepreneurship.
Noam created HBS's most popular entrepreneurship elective, "Founder's Dilemmas," for which he won HBS's Faculty Teaching award and USC's Golden Apple teaching award. He also won the Academy of Management's Impact on Practice award and its Innovation in Entrepreneurship Pedagogy award.
He was a Principal at a firm where he founded and led the Groupware Practice, and worked as a venture capitalist. Noam received a PhD and MBA from Harvard University, a BSE (Penn Engineering), and a BS (Wharton).
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A guide to the early decisions that can make or break startup ventures
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 first book to examine the early decisions by entrepreneurs that can make or break a startup and its team.
Drawing on a decade of research, Noam Wasserman reveals the common pitfalls founders face and how to avoid them. He looks at whether it is a good idea to cofound with friends or relatives, how and when to split the equity within the founding team, and how to recognize when a successful founder-CEO should exit or be fired. Wasserman explains how to anticipate, avoid, or recover from disastrous mistakes that can splinter a founding team, strip founders of control, and leave founders without a financial payoff for their hard work and innovative ideas. He highlights the need at each step to strike a careful balance between controlling the startup and attracting the best resources to grow it, and demonstrates why the easy short-term choice is often the most perilous in the long term.
The Founder's Dilemmas draws on the inside stories of founders like Evan Williams of Twitter and Tim Westergren of Pandora, while mining quantitative data on almost ten thousand founders.
People problems are the leading cause of failure in startups. This book offers solutions.
After two decades of research on founders, a best-selling book on the subject, and experience teaching and mentoring thousands of students in this field, Noam Wasserman is a prominent authority on startups. Hearing from countless readers and students that his insights helped them with important life decisions, beyond the incubator and boardroom, Wasserman brings us a new book that applies to everyday life his research on the methods of successful startup founders.
Like entrepreneurs, we all deal with uncertainty, tough decision-making, and necessary problem-solving. Whether we freelance or work for large organizations, whether we're married or single, have kids or not, we must be able to think on our feet, assess risks and opportunities, and recruit others to help us navigate them. This book offers important advice for envisioning change in our lives—from contemplating the next step in a relationship to making a radical career move—and managing changes to which we've already committed. We can learn to recognize our own well-worn patterns and keep our tendencies and habits in check, recruit a personal taskforce—our own board of directors—to advise us, and plan ahead for growth. With his extensive database of entrepreneurship case studies—from Pandora to Twitter to Nike—complemented with data on 20,000 founders, Wasserman is able to go deeply into the entrepreneurial mindset and show us how startups provide specific lessons for crafting our most successful lives.