Home Weekend Reading: The Intelligent Entrepreneur, by Bill Murphy Jr.

Weekend Reading: The Intelligent Entrepreneur, by Bill Murphy Jr.

The goal here at ReadWriteStart over the last year or so has been to provide a place where first-time entrepreneurs and early-stage startups can find curated advice, tips and information to help them launch successful ventures. This is the nature of the entrepreneurial community; to help others that want to follow in your footsteps.

Some might say that the path to success for each prospering startup has been different, but author Bill Murphy Jr. believes there is a science to it all. In his book, The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How Three Harvard Business School Graduates Learned the 10 Rules of Successful Entrepreneurship, Murphy provides an entrepreneurial roadmap that could increase the odds of success for any startup.

Murphy introduces us to Marla Malcolm, Chris Michel and Marc Cendella – all members of the 1998 HBS graduating class, and all successful entrepreneurs with thriving companies. Through in depth interviews with these entrepreneurs – and several people close to them – Murphy has deduced 10 rules that he feels helped them rise above the competition. The #1 rule? Commitment.

“During my early conversations with Marla, Chris and Marc I was struck over and over by a simple truth: these three very different people had all made an unequivocal, pedal-to-the-metal choice to throw everything they had into realize their dreams of building successful companies,” says Murphy.

“As I began thinking about what else they had in common […] I had no trouble indentifying the first step that any intelligent entrepreneur must take: you’ve got to make the commitment,” he adds.

Some of the other important rules Murphy discovered include “find a problem, then solve it,” “manage risk” and “think big, think new, think again.” These aren’t radical observations, to say the least – any startup knows that ideas solve problems and risks need to be managed – but the stories from which they emerge offer an interesting read for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Every odd numbered chapter follows the stories of Marla, Chris and Marc, and each even numbered chapter provides the lesson and rule from this part of the story. The book set up to read very much like a scientific case study; there’s even an index in the back for finding references and key discussion topics.

For those looking to take a glimpse into the stories of three successful entrepreneurs, Murphy’s The Intelligent Entrepreneur could be a great place to start.

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