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5.0 out of 5 stars An insider guide to Magic, or, the world of silicon valley start-ups, 8 Oct 2012
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This is a very good book, an insightful narrative of the one of the most successful business accelerators in the Silicon Valley, Y-Combinator. I have come across the stories of the some of the companies they hosted, indeed I use dropbox and read about Airbnb, but this presents a perspective I least expected, a statistically balanced model of investment to mitigate the risks of start-ups, but, at the same time, to take the upside of the creative energy. I liked the style of presentation, a running narrative with interesting asides on founders' backgrounds, business models and ideas that may or may not have been accepted. Being in a similar stage of life - I am working to set up my second company at the current time - I could connect with many of the challenges the founders faced, though I am in a different sector with different challenges (in Education, where Minimum Viable Product, as in technology businesses, may create several ethical and commercial problems). I am also fascinated to note how Y-Combinator may back a good founding team even when they don't like the idea, another thing only possible in technology businesses, I suppose. Overall, a great book, a must have for entrepreneurs, mentors and educators, and a great addition to my collection alongside Eric Ries' The Lean Startup, Steven Gary Blank's The Start-up Owners Manual and Jessica Livingstone's Founders At Work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars quick and awesome read, 19 Sep 2014
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A great look into the Brahmins of Silicon Valley. There is probably no other brand with such ache if you want to hatch a startup. This book gets you to be a fly on the wall and get a glimpse at that world. But - it almost feels like it would be so much better if this was a blog typed out each week. The stories could be deeper and that would be great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 4 Dec 2013
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Regardless of what kind of business you're in, this book will make you want to code. And I've never wanted to code.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!, 4 Nov 2012
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The Launch Pad is an incredibly well written and easy to read account of last summer's Y Combinator batch and the characters within it, and also profiles many of the thought leaders of today's tech startup world.

While of interest as a business book giving insight into the phenomenon of startup incubators, there's also a novelistic aspect, Stross really enables you to get to know his subjects as the narrative progresses.

This is a must read for anyone interested in startups.
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The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups
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