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3.9 out of 5 stars20
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 9 March 2010
this is fascinating to read how famous companies set up their business, what their strategies were, how they got to where they are now. Particularly enjoyed reading about Hotel du Vin, innocent drinks and Cobra!
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on 14 May 2015
I loved this book, as I like reading about other people's journeys to success.
I liked the dyson story, it just goes to show, if you're determined you'll get there.
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on 5 April 2014
If you like your business info in punchy, bite-size chunks, then this is for you. A few pages on each story and all really interesting stuff.
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on 8 September 2009
A write up about how several business started up.

For me, it lacked sufficient detail and information about the businesses concerned. That was most likely my failing, rather than the author's. I should have done my research a little better.
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on 30 August 2008
I think another reviewer here said that this looked like a cut and paste job. That pretty much sums it up. Appears to be little or no original research. The analysis of the secret of their success, whether in the approach they took, their innate character or their ideas seems very superficial.

Clearly some of the individuals profiled had no time for the author or just had absolutely nothing insightful to say. A real pity, because it would have been great to have found inspiration, hope and ideas from great entrepreneurs.
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amazing book on how people had an idea, and started a business from that idea. highly recommend.
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on 18 February 2009
How They Started by David Lester - an excellent book; inspiring; well written and worth reading.
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on 28 December 2015
Excellent gift and positive feedback received
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VINE VOICEon 1 May 2008
How they started How 30 good ideas became great businesses BY David Lester

I devour business books but this one looks like a cut an paste job. It is trying to appeal to a large audience but it is set out like a reference book.

A good business book should mix facts with anecdotes and personal stories. It claims that their criteria for choosing was they were started by individuals, they are successful and they are a household name. Perhaps I hadn't been paying attention but they were a few I had not heard of . Out of 30 there were nineteen I had really heard of.

The good ones have been well covered elsewhere such as Dyson, Friends Reunited and Moneysupermarket .com.

People who think about starting businesses but ever get round to it cite two reasons ! I need a good idea 2 someone will steal my good idea. Perhaps there are no new ideas just variations on a theme. Even modern phenomena like Bebo never claimed to be the first just one of the more successful. Very rarely if ever does someone come up with a world beating new idea. even Dyson was just developing a better vacuum cleaner.

Another reviewer has commented on the section on what we can learn from these businesses as a group? that is 1 The X Factor 2 Minimal personal reward financially 4 Do what it says on the tin 5 Keep it simple 6 Work hard than you might think possible 7 Kept trying and believing 8 Who needs money? 8 Ambition 9 So what?

Can I make a plea for business book writers and journalist to stop telling us that X ! Quit the rat race" to start his own business. It is rubbish and boring.

Maybe a book for people who do not read the business pages but there are better books out there on ideas and how to start your own business. Business appears to have become the new Rock and Roll but on The Apprentice we see it is a lot harder than you think. Perfectly bright intelligent hard working people do not seem to be able to get it right.

They are uplifting stories but like the apprentices you should try just a basic business to start with to see if you have the staying power. The vast majority of the population will not make it in business because they are not hard working enough, do not have enough ambition and have an inability to work consistently every day.

A reasonable enough book but it did not inspire me to read it from cover to cover. I dipped into the ones that I liked.
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on 14 December 2008
This book provides very little detail about the businesses it talks about.

If you are looking for an inspirational read and more detailed insight into how businesses are started you will find it more valuable to buy books on those on the Dragons Den and specific business people like Richard Branson.

This book was very disappointing.
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