The is clearly a sales pitch for HBR. And much in the fashion of Harvard, the protest that this book is valuable because of the reams of research cited before writing this dry study of a topic that requires spirit and enthusiasm. Like most things Harvard, the spirit has been drained out and we are left with a meaningless study of dry numbers and points that any high school student would gloss over as obvious and fundamental.
This is a must-read for any aspiring Entrepreneur. The lessons are based not on academics, but on real-life examples. This is not theory on how to start a business. It's how these people got from their humble beginnings to owning (and selling) multi-million dollar businesses. Business schools will teach you the mechanics of it, but they can't teach the character, drive, and resolve that this book will. Pay special attention to the lessons on sales. Very key. The round-table discussion at the end was also very insightful as you hear from the characters in the book in their own voices.
An audio book loving Aucklander.
Totally enjoyed this one and has caused me to get motivated to move to the next stage in my business plan...loved getting to know Chris, Marla's and Mark's stories and how they got to where they are today. Especially enjoyed the roundtable discussion with Chris, Marla and Mark at the end of the book, was good to hear their real voices as you feel like you know them by the end of this book. Great stuff...would love another book of this type, with different stories in it Bill!
I found this book to be a refreshing look at approaching entrepreneurship today. It is well worth your time. The approach taken by using autobiographical -like chapters mixed with more anlytical -like chapters, all centered around 10 key principles, I found to be quite enjoyable. The content of the 10 rules themselves are equally useful, although some seem bred from common sense (and do not take an HBS degree to realize). I don't think there is too much of a focus on HBS personally; I think it is used more as a common reference point for how entrepreneurship can be learned and not as a statement that HBS is where one must go to become an entrepreneur or learn such skills. It happens to be the place that helped foster these 10 rules for these entrepreneurs - but it could have just as easily been another school or even a peer group or simply lessons of life that might get one to the same discoveries. The end analysis for me is that I feel I got quite a lot of good information out of the book and it was also presented in an enjoyable way with interesting stories.
Almost ALL HBS infomercial, and a lot of personal stories that have nothing to do with becoming an entrepreneur or HBS, strange and very boring. You will be SICK of hearing “HBS, HBS, HBS,” quickly. But you will listen to the whole thing thinking he will get to the entrepreneur part, but he never really does. The author’s unhealthy infatuation is with HBS, not with being an entrepreneur.
A truly “Intelligent Entrepreneur” will take this warning to heart and not buy this book.
I enjoyed the Intelligent Entrepreneur and it provided many valuable insights on what it takes to start and run your own business. The hundreds of references to Harvard Business School were mildly annoying and many people who read this won't be in the same position or network that the main players in the book had. If you are interested in going to a high profile business school and working with venture capitalists then this is a must read/listen.
This book was not sincere--it seemed to be a Harvard Business School commercial--I couldn't get into the book because chapters 1-6 were an obsequious, one-sided dialogue about HBS--and how HBS is responsible for the success of not only the 3 entrepreneurs who were the main focus, but also, countless others. That may be true but why not offer a balanced approach. For instance follow one from HBS, one from Babson, and one without formal education. I felt tricked--I believe HBS hired this journalist to write a book that put their program for entrepreneurship in a good light--allowing them to compete with the other more established schools in this area.
The journalist admits to being a failed entrepreneur so is he really qualified to write this book, and do university entrepreneur programs actually create the best entrepreneurs. I thought I'd get awesome insight and ideas for my small business--instead I got a commercial and wasted one of my Audible credits.