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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but the info is already out there in the public domain
I already have How They Started: How 30 good ideas became great businesses and so was intrigued to see what this book had to offer. For me, this was the better book as it focuses more on the IT market than general business.

It's split into sections depending on the company. I have already read A LOT about how a number of these companies started so there's not...
Published on 11 Aug. 2012 by AM

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Now All I Need Is An Idea...."
Written in an easy and engaging style, this is a potentially dry read. Possibly one of the flaws is that this focuses and defines itself by digital domains : you may as well define the medium as the message. More important is that all of these happened in the technological field in the past ten years, and to be frank - as we have seen with Facebook flotation and Twitter...
Published on 21 Aug. 2012 by Mr. M. A. Reed


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but the info is already out there in the public domain, 11 Aug. 2012
By 
AM (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How They Started Digital (Paperback)
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I already have How They Started: How 30 good ideas became great businesses and so was intrigued to see what this book had to offer. For me, this was the better book as it focuses more on the IT market than general business.

It's split into sections depending on the company. I have already read A LOT about how a number of these companies started so there's not a lot that's new for me but if you have an interest in how the companies in this book got going without having to trawl through the internet then this is the book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Now All I Need Is An Idea....", 21 Aug. 2012
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How They Started Digital (Paperback)
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Written in an easy and engaging style, this is a potentially dry read. Possibly one of the flaws is that this focuses and defines itself by digital domains : you may as well define the medium as the message. More important is that all of these happened in the technological field in the past ten years, and to be frank - as we have seen with Facebook flotation and Twitter awareness - that often big tech stories have little in the way of cash or a long term business vision beyond achieving and maintaining what is a cool idea. This book explains how those ideas explore and extend beyond an original idea and fund and develop the business into a sucess. The key thing that success in the digital market requires, more than anything else, is a damn good idea and no book can teach you that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More of a history book than a 'how to', 23 April 2013
By 
RJP the Book Boy "Book boy" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How They Started Digital (Paperback)
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How they started Digital

This book details how some of the big digital companies started and developed. The book is divided into six sections:
Entertainment,
Social Media,
Leisure and Content,
Retail,
Finance and comparison sites,
Technology.

Some of the big names are here, Twitter, Wonga, Groupon and Ebay to name a few. Each business description starts with a summary of who started it, when, their ages and backgrounds and business type.

This is really a history of each business rather than how to emulate them but it makes excellent reading. While it does not tell the reader how to do it the business description may help in forming your own business plan. It is plain to see that each company has not always had it their way and the ups and down are documented. What comes across very well from the general idea is the commitment of the entrepreneurs in these companies.

The book is an interesting read and ideal for students researching this as a topic or just anyone with a curiosity ' where did they come from '?

It would be nice to have a companion book which details all the hardware companies which have made the likes of Ebay possible, I expect a search of Amazon will find a book like this ( I have just searched and there is - good old Amazon !)
For me the book was very interesting and an enjoyable read but I am still searching for my big idea which has eluded me for the past 50 years :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly interesting, 11 Oct. 2012
By 
James B. Spink "Jim" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How They Started Digital (Paperback)
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How They Started Digital is part of a short series of "How They Started" books, and gives a brief history of 25 digital - mainly Internet based - companies. Notable by their absence are Facebook and Amazon, and there are a couple included here that I hadn't even heard of. However, many of todays well known brands are featured kicking off with Spotify in Entertainment, going on through chapters on Social Media, Leisure & Content, Retail, Finance & Comparison and finishing up with Google under Technology.

You could find much of the information included here on sites such as Wikipedia (Wikipedia is included here - page 122!) but this presentation is surprisingly readable, and I found it hard to put down once I had started looking through it. I'm not quite sure who this book is aimed at - there is very little guidance here for the budding entrepreneur - but the generally curious will be rewarded, although the detail included is pretty general and not many trade secrets are shared.

This is an interesting book rather than a guide to making your fortune - if you've got a good idea it's down to you to make it a success! However, for its portrayal of just how much the world has changed over the last few years, and of the now major players that were unheard of until fairly recently, this book is well worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting, inspiring and informative read, 14 May 2013
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The Truth "How it is" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How They Started Digital (Paperback)
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How They Started: Digital is part of a series of books "How They Started" books, telling amazing tales of how people had a small idea and turned it into something big.

I haven't read any of the other books, but if this is How They Started: Digital is anything to go by they'll be pretty good.

I liked this book. Some reviewers have complained that all the information contained in it's pages is already out there on the net - well that could be said about more or less any book if you ask me, and personally, I don't want to trawl the net for the information.

In a nutshell, How They Started: Digital gives us a rundown of 25 successful internet companies. Most you'll have heard of, others you may not have, but there each companies gets a complete breakdown.

We're told about the history of the founders, the genesis of ideas, the hurdles and trials they came up against and how they overcame them. We're told how they came up with names, negotiated deals and how they brought their ideas to life in the digital realm.

I found it very interesting and inspiring to read about these start-ups and the people behind them. I'm no internet or computer whiz, but that didn't matter. I found it a simple and informative read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How they started digital, 23 Aug. 2012
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I got this book not really sure what to expect, but I am glad I have read it. The book gives a review of roughly 15 well known companies and how they started (suprisngly) online. It tells of some interesting tales of luck, great and exciting decisions that company executives have made in their quest to be successful. The book is written in relatively simple business jargon which makes it easy and informative to all the readers. With the hope of starting my own business one day, it gave a great insight and useful knowledge that I will definitely take note from.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well? How DID They Get Started?, 6 Jan. 2013
By 
T. Walker (Bedfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How They Started Digital (Paperback)
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There are twenty-five companies described in this book, from Twitter to Ebay, from Groupon to Wikipedia.
Each is broken down into an introduction to the people who had the original idea, then the development of the idea and the company, finishing with where they are now. It's not very detailed, but if you want to check up on the company it's a pretty good place to start. It's chapters mean you can pick and choose the businesses you are interested in without having to wade through a lot of other stuff.
Recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Very Interesting, 23 Jan. 2013
By 
John Richard "camban99" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How They Started Digital (Paperback)
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The stories behind some of the biggest names on the internet, absorbing narratives of the individuals involved and how they started. Compulsive reading for their customers and for those who wish to emulate them. Many of the original ideas behind these success stories seem so elusive and impractical that most of us would never have pursued these goals, how wrong we are! A great read, as compelling as any novel and not at all 'techie' just the stories of some amazing people and their determination to succeed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting for the lay person; informative for the entrepreneur, 26 Jan. 2014
By 
Dr. K. E. Patrick (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How They Started Digital (Paperback)
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At first, I thought the book seemed to be a profile of one on-line gaming company after another and nearly lost interest, but then the author had the foresight to start mixing the products more, ranging from digital film to photo storage to high-end fashion and even to the behemoth that's Google.

Some were relatively recent companies like Groupon, and others were older and were survivors from the dot-com boom and bust of the late 1990s.

However, behind all these famous internet names are people, and in a few short pages for each entry, I got an insight into the background of the founders, their early days when things didn't always go smoothly, the intricacies of securing financing, and all the different choices when it came to monetizing their brain-child.

I think my favourite part was seeing the businesses unfold after lots of late nights in spare bedrooms or garages. Hardly any of them had an easy ride, and as the author says at one point, it may be that some of these business will "fall away as quickly as they have grown".

The parting shot about each company is a grey box called "Where are they now?", a summary of what they're doing within a couple of years ago. Already out of date, sure, but the t's and i's feel crossed and dotted when you get to the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Does exactly what it says, 14 Mar. 2013
This review is from: How They Started Digital (Paperback)
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Focused yet comprehensive profiles of some of the major digital success stories of the past 10 years. I really enjoyed the book. The level of detail, anecdote and insight was just right - if only The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups had been this concise!

It was great hearing that the founders of some of these businesses had by and large explored blind alleys, made plenty of mistakes and often landed up with their end product by serendipity. For instance, it was great reading how Twitter was originally put together just to keep tabs on what everyone in an ultimately doomed start-up was doing. And as an entrepreneur, it was also good to hear just how many now-successful businesses coped with some of the standard rejection lines we all get used to - what is it? Why would people want this? Where's the money?

The book also has a few UK examples, like moneysupermarket.com and mumsnet, which is intriguing as you sometimes get the impression that only Silicon Valley software engineers can get good ideas off the ground!

Lots of this information may be available publicly. But it won't be as well written, researched, sourced and edited as here.
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How They Started Digital
How They Started Digital by David Lester (Paperback - 6 July 2012)
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