Jun 04, 11
Read in June, 2011
Kessler is a smart and successful guy on a personal level, with quite the career history.
However, this is just classic biz-reading crap. Fraught with hindsight bias and citations of other popular business books.
Although his rules may be useful in a venture financing sense, his examples are almost always of Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter. Thanks captain hindsight, anybody can read any one of 10,000 reasons "why" google is successful, and then attempt to extrapolate elsewhere.
His first and most important rule is scalability, which myself and Nassim Taleb would certainly agree with and the rest of them aren't half bad. Especially when he goes on his biased (he was educated as an Electrical Engineer) rant on who's useful to our society. There's certainly a right wing, Ayn Rand philosophy feel to his views, and those of his friends, who all seem to think that entrepreneurs and free markets make our world a better place. Bud, come on, where are you stealing those initial ideas from? Any theoretical or even experimental scientist could lump you and your chums in with the slackers who feed off their work, that they get paid next to nothing for, and you make billions off of 10 years down the road, and have the next big biz writer attribute your success to your "creativity" or your "innovativeness".
It wasn't a bad book, but my main issue with it is that he doesn't even follow his own rules. Sure, sell out all you want when you already have a popular blog and publishing history along with followers, but come on man, practice what you preach. I'm sure Kessler is fantastic seed investor, and I'd love to be in his spot one day, but his own style of "free radical", he is not.