Book Review: The Start Up Diaries
While most of the books we see on entrepreneurship profile entrepreneurs and paint a great picture of the outcome, 'The Start Up Diaries' takes you through a different journey and in a very different way which the reader would not have imagined before picking up the book.With so many books profiling entrepreneurs and their journeys have been published, this somehow seems to become a genre by itself.
The book takes you through of a journey of six entrepreneurs along with their co founders in a way which you would have never expected. The book stand out from the crowd in two remarkable ways:
1) Instead of profiling their stories in first/second person interview or narrative format, the book tells the story as a story (novel format), which not only makes the book more entertaining but also lets the reader be the protagonist and feel the adrenaline rush while reading about the odds and knots faced by the entrepreneurs.
2) Another reason why the book is different is that it also features the a story of a venture where things are not rosy and is on the brink shutting down despite witnessing enormous highs (we will let you guess which story is that).
The six stories in the book are of EKO, ONE97, REDBUS, YO! CHINA, THE LOOT and COLOSCEUM MEDIA. There are numerous instances in the book where you see entrepreneurs make mistakes which might look naive at the outset but provide great insights about things which go into building a business, like someone who faced music as they merged personal and company expenses, entrepreneurs taken for a ride by big clients etc.
In the story of EKO the founders plans to start again he pens down everything he learnt from his previous venture including the mistakes so as to be aware and not fall into the same pool again. It sounds very remarkable that a chance encounter with the former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam can inspire someone to take the thorny path of entrepreneurship.
While each story in the book provides a lot of learnings, one must not discount the entertainment factor as well. The one I liked the most was of Vijay Shekhar Sharma of ONE97, whose indomitable will and sheer passion and hard work and ability to think on the foot leads him to success.
And again the reader cannot help but read the story of Phanindra Sama (redBus) who brings out the role of mentors in building the most recognised brand in Indian success story, and repeatedly emphasizes on the same.
In a nutshell, the book is very fast paced and after reading the book it is really difficult to believe that it is written by first-time authors, kudos to Gagan and Neeti for the amazing work. I would strongly suggest you to read the book for a dose of inspiration and motivation and also a walkthrough of future if you are planning to startup.