Before You Start Up (Book Review) by Pankaj Goyal

Book Name: Before You Start Up

Author’s Name: Pankaj Goyal

Publisher: Fingerprint Publishing

Rating: 3.9/5

Book Blurb: Are you a: “Wannabe” entrepreneur in school or college with big dreams in your eyes?
“Friday-night-after-drinks” aspiring entrepreneur in your 20s/30s?
“Ready-to-go” soon-to-be entrepreneur?
“Already-on-the-train” entrepreneur?
Loved ones of any of the above (wife/husband, boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, parents)?
An aspiring VC/angel investor who has never built a business?
This book has been especially written for you.

If you’ve played sports, you already know how you prepare is as important as how you play. Starting up a business is no different—it needs preparation.This preparation is about understanding your “why”; about generating and testing business ideas; about building your founding team; about talking to your family; about taking care of your career and your finances. It is about getting mentally prepared to get started.
This book will help you ask the right questions. It will guide you, steer you towards finding your answers.
You are ambitious. You are a go-getter. You are destined to win. This book will help get you what you deserve.

Review: The author shares a personal account along with important lessons about why it’s so difficult to launch a start-up and why there is such a high failure rate. Only a few start-up’s actually manage to scale up and develop into a full-fledged company- the rest fizzle out in a year or so. Much of it is due to lack of preparation and the author repeatedly emphasizes on why preparation is such a big part of any start-up.

“Despite being so important, preparation is often overlooked and ignored. Aspiring entrepreneurs either have no clue about the phase or do not know how to prepare.”

The book is well structured and right from the possible limitations and problems such as product inception, legal, competition etc. are all listed and discussed in detail. Business ideas and the reason behind launching a new start-up are also discussed. The book is a sort of handy guide for students and potential entrepreneurs.

It deals in detail with the cash crunch issue that almost all founders face and the recruitment aspect is also given space. While fresh graduates prefer the comfort of a well-established company, Pankaj Goyal lists out various ways in which young talent can be recruited in a start-up.

The colloquial language and easy to understand examples are the hallmark of this book. It is written in simple language and will appeal to even casual readers.

“While Thiel has compared choosing a co-founder to getting married, I love comparing the founding team to a couple deciding to have a child without getting married…”

The author also dwells on monetary issues and how not to quit your present job without fully understanding all the risks associated with a start-up. Almost all aspects including the learning curve and difficulties encountered while launching a start-up have been discussed in detail. It makes for an interesting read and the book is loaded with important life lessons.

The downside in this book is that it’s too general and the author could have also focussed on a couple of start-ups or provided insights and numbers from his own start-up experience. That would have made the book more insightful but nevertheless, a good effort and well-researched book.

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