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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 7 May 2010
An enjoyable and interesting read profiling a wide variety of businesses. Many insights are given into just how these businesses got started and survived in hard economic times. Just goes to show that it is possible for an idea to be turned into a successful business no matter what the circumstances.
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on 12 November 2010
What a book, we are in a recession and as a mother of two who is a director of a design company it is truely inspirational to read a book about survivial!! I couldn't but this book down. It is full of some heart warming stories from established companies that we all know and love such as penguin through to newly formed internet companies e.g. netmums. A must read for anyone trying to get through the recessiion or someone who need a pick me up at any time in their career.
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on 13 July 2010
The 'How They Started' series has evidently provided much inspiration value to many aspiring entrepreneurs, demonstrating in down-to-earth detail how some great companies got off the ground. This third title in the series is clearly quite appropriate given the current economic climate, and actually offers hope rather than the typical doom and gloom. Indeed the book discusses some of the psychological attributes necessary for success, the possibility of raising capital even in hard times, and ways to raise awareness of your brand. It enables you to track the progress of other companies and to follow in their footsteps.

The book is very well structured, with separate sections for different industries, individual case studies of businesses within those areas, and effective sub-headings to help the reader. Moreover there are many useful quotations, facts, dates and images to enrich the reading experience. The areas addressed are as diverse as entertainment, internet, food and retail amongst others, whilst the particular companies include Wikipedia, Moonpig, Mumsnet and Penguin. Produced by the quality publisher Crimson, number three of the 'How They Started' series is well worth a place on any entrepreneur's book shelf.

One reservation should be made, though. As the subject areas within the book are so varied, they will inevitably not all appeal to everyone. It therefore becomes quite easy to 'get lost' when reading in cover-to-cover fashion, so readers may prefer to dip in and out of the book, exploring the specific sections which capture their interest.

On balance, the book is thus ideal as a reference guide to real life business startups.
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From the giants of modern day commercial life with the likes of The Walt Disney Corporation, IBM and Microsoft through the corporate size spectrum to Jane Asher Cakes, and Go Sustainable with annual turnovers of under £1 million, this book provides a snapshot of how they each started, and by whom, progression towards becoming established businesses, their highs and lows, and where they are today (2010). Certainly it affords the budding entrepreneur with a palette of successful business experiences which might well be useful, and for others it is interesting to read a potted biographic of some of our household name global businesses, and if interested enough to learn more about an individual company, search out in-depth reading material.

I agree with an earlier reviewer that "How They Started" because of the nature of it's varied, and unconnected subject matters, is best perused section by section over a period.
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on 11 April 2013
Perhaps I was expecting too much! But I have to admit this was a bit disappointing treatment for a very interesting topic. The authors cover broad range of startup from IBM to some of the new ones. The problem is that none of it goes into any depth so missing important details for a reader who wants to learn something from other's expereince. So if you want a quick overview it is good - but not going to help to get those finer details if that is what you are looking for.
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on 15 April 2010
Great to see a title that inspires businesses who might be put off by the dire economic climate - it's a glimpse into some remarkable stories and case studies that make you realise it's not necessarily all doom and gloom!
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on 2 November 2014
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