I have been busy with a personal startup – My wife and I had our second daughter on August 6th. I am just excited and delighted about this new startup in my life. Coming back to business, I had written earlier that I will be teaching a Class in Reykjavik University with the title “How to Start a Startup”, yes exactly the same title and syllabus as the one taught by Sam Altman of YC at Stanford. I think the sequencing of the lecture that Sam had put together is perfect and I really believe this is an important class for everyone. I am glad Reykjavik University gave me an opportunity to teach this class. There are 3 books that are required reading for the class, they are:

  1. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
  2. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
  3. Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job

SOPP_cof_webI have written extensively about the first two books, and also done book reviews on them. I realized I had not done one for the 3rd book by Sean Wise and Brad Feld. I have read the book and I really like the categorical approach to evaluate ideas and also how to move from that into product, teams and execution.

Brad Feld does not need any introduction if you have been following this blog. Brad knows a thing or two about Startups, he has only invested in 100s, yes you saw it right, hundreds of startups. He is a venture investor, author and an entrepreneur himself. I was really happy to see Brad write this book because a number of the books Brad has written are for those who are already in the trenches, i.e advice and knowledge for entrepreneurs and startup founders who are already on their journey to build their company. There was no book that could talk about the start, more or less think about why anyone should go through this crazy rollercoaster of a ride called Startup or Entrepreneurship. This book does exactly that. I think it warrants to be a required reading for the How to Start a Startup class.

sean_wiseHere is a brief introduction to Dr. Sean Wise, the other author of the book Startup Opportunities:

Sean Wise (BA, LLB, MBA, PhD) specializes in helping emerging and high growth potential organizations jump on the trajectory and turn a profit. His intense, entertaining and direct approach has earned him a loyal following of disciples who swear by his lessons and best practices for business success. With 10 years of venture capital and more than 15 years of entrepreneurial services to his credit, Wise has helped found six business ventures of his own to date, the first at age 16. When seeking the best in business, CBC recruited him as online host and industry advisor for their hit show, Dragons’ Den.

Wise is also a popular writer.  First with his Globe and Mail column and book of the same name: Wise Words: Lessons in Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital. Then with his next book, How to be a Business Superhero, in which Wise took audiences on a guided tour through the world of superheroes, directly relating them to essential business strategies we all need to master in order to succeed in today’s workplace. Wise’s latest book, HOT OR NOT: how to know if your business idea will fail or fly! was released in 2012 selling 30,000 copies in 90 days.

A professor of entrepreneurship at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, Wise majored in engineering and economics at Carleton University and earned a law degree and MBA from the University of Ottawa. In 2012, he received his PhD from the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow.

Both super stars in their own right. I am delighted to say that Dr. Sean Wise will join via Skype for the First lecture on August 19th in Reykjavik University. The last time I checked there were 55 students who were registered for the class, I am told that is a big class. I have actually requested Reykjavik University to allow anyone who wants to sit in on the class even though they may not be a student at RU. We will also be recording the class and we will make it available through the Startup Iceland website, so for those who cannot attend, can watch the lecture at your convenience.

Here is Dr. Sean Wise talking at TEDx: