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on 15 August 2015
I have been involved in startups for over two decades. I am a member of an angel group, an investor in a number of startups and also mentor to numerous entrepreneurs. Ever since getting this book almost the first recommendation I make to entrepreneurs of whatever age and experience is get the book!

However I fear that the book is almost too accessible for its own good! I know a few people I have recommended it to who describe it as a 'coffee-table' book and frankly dismiss it. They seem to believe that without pain, long words, a high price and dense intellectual text there will be no value.

What Bill Aulet has done is filter his vast experience and knowledge to very sharp succinct text. It is only after seeing dozens of businesses fail that one can appreciate the depth of what Bill Aulet has written.

For new entrepreneurs what I recommend is that they use the book almost as a 'workbook' going through each chapter in turn and looking to write a couple of pages on how it can be translated into their own business. One of my big concerns about a lot of startups (especially in Europe and the UK) is that the entrepreneurs do inadequate research and modelling before they launch into the business - typical questions that are not properly answered are:
(1) What is a typical real life customer profile?
(2) What is the end customer willing to pay?
(3) What is the buying cycle and what are the hurdles you need to cross?
(4) Is there sufficient bottom up demand?
(5) Will you make any money even if you sell some product?
(6) How will you get your next 100 customers?

Indeed without answering the above questions you cannot work out how much money you will need for your startup - or frankly if it is worth spending the next several years of your life doing the startup.

Bill Aulet's book will help you answer these and other questions in a structured way. If you are serious about having a successful startup I would recommend using this book to help you develop your business plan. Frankly, if I was fresh faced and doing my own startup I would:
(1) Buy a copy of this book for each startup team member
(2) Have everyone read through it over a weekend
(3) Spend the following week working through the chapters step by step and working out a plan of action - eg how are you going to approach your lead customer; how are you going to get a beachhead etc.
(4) Then spend the following month or two working on the business plan and the workstreams that come from the above
(5) At the end of that you will have a far more robust business plan and increase your chances of success significantly

However the honest truth is that too many 'entrepreneurs' will 'glance' at this book, dismiss it as a coffee table book and only recognise years later that it could have helped them significantly....

... but if even one entrepreneur succeeds in his business due to my recommendation for this book and the action plan I suggest above then I will consider the time taken to write this review as time well spent.

If this book was in a dull cover, with matt paper and was padded out with 10 times the words (even if they added no extra information) and was priced several times more expensive then I suspect some of the entrepreneurs I mentor might take it more seriously. For the rest of the world - just appreciate that Bill Aulet is an MIT Professor - and students pay thousands to attend his course there.
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on 13 March 2017
Highly recommended.
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on 1 September 2013
If you're in business or thinking about a start-up, then Disciplined Entrepreneurship could be the book to inspire you. I have personally applied what is set out in this book, it works! In early 2012 I was honoured to have been selected to attend an Entrepreneur Development Programme in Boston, USA. This programme was run by Bill himself. I was extremely impressed by his lessons and took back with me all I learned and applied it to my own business. This year I was awarded the Ernst & Young Scottish Entrepreneur of the year "Emerging Market" category. The disciplines Bill taught really helped me and my company to grow. Last year my business grew by 342% and profitably. I owe Bill so much, go out and buy this book, it is excellent.

Darren Bunker
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on 18 September 2013
I've seen Bill Aulet speak a number of times and always found his sessions to offer practical guidance on building companies. This book continues the theme. It is short and well written which makes it really accessible as a "cover to cover" read to get the big picture, and each individual section really works as a reference guide. He refers to a number of other books (many of them iconic such as Crossing the Chasm or Inbound Marketing), giving the reader the option to dive in to more detail if they want to.

This book isn't just for people thinking about starting out either. It will be immensely useful to any existing company thinking about building a new product (or entering a new market), and the iterative approach will hold good ideas even for startups that have already made some progress - going back to fill in gaps in knowledge can only make them stronger.

I work with startups every day, and I'll be keeping this book handy - not just to remind myself of the ideas but also to put into the hands of founders (and would-be founders) with strong encouragement to read it for themselves!
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on 21 September 2015
Confused text. He doesn't understand or accept the concept of branding (so ignores it). There is a big hole at the start of the book - a missing chapter entitled: "what is my idea"?
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on 17 March 2016
Bill Aulet has nailed it. This is surely the first book any Entrepreneur should read before embarking on any venture, and then dip back into along the journey. I had the pleasure of being taught by Bill on the Scotland Can Do Scale programme, and his depth of knowledge from his business experiences and from his role as Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship shines through in this book. Bill presents a comprehensive road map for the entrepreneur which while easy to understand is also highly robust. Having read this book, I've gone on to buy numerous copies for friends and contacts. I doubt there is a better practical, "how to" book for the entrepreneur.
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on 14 March 2015
Bill Aulet is a business genius who is passionate about his art. If you want to know why MIT are so successful, it's all in here. Recommended by a mentor of mine, it has changed the way I see business.
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on 9 June 2016
Great step by step guide to start from scratch to create a product fit for market. The order and content of each step can feel relentless as each next step relies on the previous steps to have been completed (usually in full) but you get there in the end. Easy read, well laid out and nice graphics tie it together well.
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on 3 January 2017
One of the best Startup book I have read. Beautifully written and explained. Have used it in my course work and would continue to use it in my professional life. Highly recommend it to anyone looking for entrepreneurship.
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on 14 August 2016
Good book, logical well considered process, plenty of examples.
This was recommended to me by someone who had attended Bill's course at MIT and who now runs his business by these principles.
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