The Startup Gold Mine

Narrated by: Stu Gray
Length: 5 hrs and 22 mins
Categories: Business, Management
5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The startup playbook for partnering with big business

Corporations are desperate to overhaul their culture and the perception that they are giant, bureaucratic dinosaurs too slow to react in a rapidly changing business landscape. Many are trying to be more innovative and agile, like a startup. One easy way to achieve this goal is through partnering with or acquiring a startup. Corporate venture capital (CVC) now makes up 25 percent (~$18 billion) of all venture capital dollars in North America.

The Startup Gold Mine reveals how the world’s largest and most prestigious brands make innovation decisions, including new product launches, vendor-startup partnerships, and even billion-dollar acquisitions. The book also details the ways startups can leverage corporate strengths and weaknesses for mutual benefit. Listeners will learn: 

  • Why the “innovator’s dilemma” is leading large companies to seek out partnerships with startups
  • How to close a deal with a large company, from first connection to getting paid
  • Strategies to troubleshoot common land mines that startups encounter when working with large companies
  • Ways to navigate the convoluted corporate landscape without spending a fortune on conferences and consultants.

Author Neil Soni draws on his experience as an entrepreneur and as an external innovator with premier brands like Estée Lauder, MAC, and Smashbox to reveal large companies’ inner workings, as well as how startup founders and employees can use this knowledge to close the biggest deals of their lives.

Charts and interview transcripts available in the audiobook companion PDF download.

Praise for The Startup Gold Mine:

“A really useful guide for startup founders and big company executives alike. Packed with practical steps and common mistakes, this book is one to read attentively and keep handy for future referencing.” (Maria Thomas, former Etsy CEO, SmartThings CMO)

The Startup Gold Mine is THE playbook for getting your startup-corporate deals across the finish line. Every founder needs to read this!” (Justin Mares, founder of Kettle & Fire, coauthor of Traction)

“A productive relationship with the right corporate partner can unlock years of growth for a startup. On the other hand, there are numerous pitfalls along the way that can have you running in circles. The principles in The Startup Gold Mine give founders the proper framework to navigate the startup-corporate intersection to get their deal done.” (Sean Ammirati, partner at Birchmere Ventures, author of The Science of Growth)

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 Neil Soni (P)2018 HarperCollins Leadership

Critic Reviews

“A productive relationship with the right corporate partner can unlock years of growth for a startup. On the other hand, there are numerous pitfalls along the way that can have you running in circles. The principles in The Startup Gold Mine give founders the proper framework to navigate the startup-corporate intersection to get their deal done.” (Sean Ammirati, partner at Birchmere Ventures, author of The Science of Growth)

Giftology will get you in the door. The Startup Gold Mine will help you close the deal. This is a must-read book for anyone selling into large organizations!” (John Ruhlin, author of Giftology, founder and CEO of the Ruhlin Group)

“I’ve been working with startups in rapidly growing and evolving industries for over a decade. The principles Neil outlines in The Startup Gold Mine are spot on and essential reading for any founder looking to grow his or her business.” (Chris Chaney, founder, president, and owner, Infinite Esports & Entertainment)

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Practical and Insightful!

A lot of these startup books can seem fluffy or the same like the rest of them. This is not one of them. Some things that I especially appreciated--
- Practical: Soni walks through the issues step by step, giving you a deep inside look at both the corporate and startup world. Everything from how to handle and think about meeting efficiency to top negotiating tactics to navigating the deal flow. He gets into the details without getting lost in the picture. I listened to the book a couple days ago and have already referred back to it. It's that useful. The kind of book you'll find yourself making notes along the margins or highlighting as well.
- He calls out BS: Simply put. The space is filled with fluff, and Soni calls it out. (The "internal corporate absurdities" chapter was spot on--pointing out the kind of things have had vague notions of and makes them explicit.) Really resonated here. And at the same time he's also nuanced (like when he discusses how to best work with consultants).
- Enjoyable listen: the book flows nicely. Can't take that for granted. Good sense of humor and voice on top of it all.

It's the kind of book that whether you're in a big co., medium co., or just starting up you'll appreciate the inside look.

Loved the listen. Real good narration. Only thing I wished after listening was to have a sequel!

P.S. I bought the book as well. Great in both forms.

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information rich book!!

What I was wanting from this book: an informative guide for start ups looking to work with corporations.

What I received: a humorous, engaging, and information rich book on all the nooks and crannies on the start up/corporation relationship including all the benefits and pitfalls. There were a plethora of insider tips and tricks to making things work better for both sides of the table. Several times I literally laughed out loud especially during the corporate section, as a current corporate drone everything was all too familiar, and made me really realize exactly what frustrated me at work and why I was trying to do my own start up as well.

I really appreciated the book so I did some back reference on the author and found out he has an account on clarity (site you can use to talk to people for individual advice). I'm looking at using that for some extra feedback now.