Review: “The Startup Checklist” by David Rose

Starting a business is a daunting undertaking. So many things to consider:

  • What business model do I choose?
  • How do I know if it will work?
  • Who should join me in it?
  • How do I get it capitalized?

All of those questions—and many more—arise even before you launch. Fortunately, there’s a book for that.

The Startup Checklist

The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business (2016, Wiley) captures the essentials of starting a new business from one of the foremost authorities on startups. Author David Rose is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor, founding or funding over 90 startups. Forbes describes him as “New York’s Archangel” and he packs 320 pages of advice for entrepreneurs into his latest book.

In The Startup Checklist, he presents 25 highly practical steps sequentially, in the order you might need to think about them, starting with selecting an business model for your idea and ending with selling your company. That’s pretty much soup-to-nuts, cradle-to-grave coverage.

Yet, it won’t overwhelm you because Rose captures just the essentials, explaining with each step why it is important and pointing you to other resources where you can go deeper. After 20 years of starting my own companies and advising others on theirs, I’ve found few that lay out the start-up trajectory as well as Rose has in this book. This book also alerted me to some helpful resources I had missed. For me, that alone was well worth the price of the book. If you’re starting a business, or just thinking about it, it will be worth it to you too.

Now, a word of caution. This book is written, as the subtitle suggests, for those desiring a scalable, high-growth business. For many of us, that translates into tech company (though it doesn’t necessarily need to). And, that may not exactly describe the startup you are thinking about launching, or perhaps in the midst of already. Nevertheless, there’s still tremendous value, even for less ambitious undertakings. You’ll easily be able to detect what applies and perhaps his advice to more scalable businesses may help you rethink certain aspects of your business plan.

If your bold idea is ready to blossom into a business, you’ll want to pick up a copy of this book. It’s like having a mini-roadmap from someone who’s been down that road often enough to tell you where and when to step.

Comment below: Are you thinking about a start-up or engaged in one? What resources have been helpful to you?

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