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The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  60,530 ratings  ·  2,029 reviews
In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau shows you how to lead of life of adventure, meaning and purpose – and earn a good living.
Still in his early thirties, Chris is on the verge of completing a tour of every country on earth – he’s already visited more than 175 nations – and yet he’s never held a “real job” or earned a regular paycheck.  Rather, he has a special genius
Hardcover, 268 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Crown Business
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Adam Arsenault Dude, you gotta get on and do the work. I think Guillebeau clearly states that this book more than anything is a collection of inspiring stories of th…moreDude, you gotta get on and do the work. I think Guillebeau clearly states that this book more than anything is a collection of inspiring stories of those who were successful in their startup endeavors. I felt a lot of gratitude in these pages, these are all self-made men and women who rose from humble beginnings(less)
Maddie I had a hard time reading this book in high school--but now that I'm in college and am ready to be thinking about my realistic business ideas, it was …moreI had a hard time reading this book in high school--but now that I'm in college and am ready to be thinking about my realistic business ideas, it was much easier to read. I set little goals, like reading one section per day, and highlighted information that pertained to my experience. This made it a much more fun read! :)(less)

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Matthew Trinetti
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Thirteen Take-Aways from $100 Startup

1. When brainstorming business ideas, use the principle of Convergence.
"Convergence represents the intersection between something you especially like to do or are good at doing (preferably both) and what other people are also interested in."

2. Building a business structured around your desired lifestyle is possible.
Although it may seem like a pipe dream to most people working in corporate jobs, Chris shows this is possible. He identifies 1,500 individuals lik
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to love this book. For being an inspirational title, I think it did already. It's gotten me to scheme about my grand plan to set myself free someday from working for others and start devising a business plan. However, I don't actually think reading it got me any closer to doing it.

The examples shared were lovely, but they're just quick snippets of what the person's business is. Telling me that John Doe quit his corporate job and now helps business people schedule vacations and pl
Mel Bradley
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
I am a big fan and follower of Chris Guillebeau, so my expectations for this book were a bit... high. It was a very quick read, but don't expect any big revelations or insider secrets here. This is a great glimpse into what is possible with a small investment, for people who have absolutely no experience in being an entrepreneur or online business owner. For everyone else, you'll find yourself rolling your eyes in quite a few places knowing that MOST of the story has been left out.

One of the mo
Dave Bolton
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
In the genre of "books that are actually long blog posts", this book really is the latest in "lean startup" type works, stripped back as far as it could go. Will anyone else in the lifestyle design/lean startup area be able to rip more meat from the bones of these ideas, leaving just a ten bullet point list?

Also, the case studies were not very useful -- very lightweight anecdotes.

It's not completely without value, but I don't personally know anyone I could recommend it for.
Jim Razinha
Jul 02, 2012 rated it liked it
First: my wife bought this, read it and liked it. She wanted me to read it. So I did. I found 15% substance, 83% anecdote (examples, case studies, choose your definition), and 2% vapor. Needs more "how" to be really useful, and Guillebeau shortchanged the "how" he did write, though there were a couple of good resources found on his website...

Another thing irritated me: quotes obviously taken from some unsourced site like Any discerning reader would immediately see that Karl Mar
Beth Lequeuvre
Jan 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
"The basics of starting a business are very simple;you don't need an MBA (keep the $60,000 tuition), venture capital or even a detailed plan. You just need a product or service, a group of people willing to pay for it, and a way to get paid. This can be broken down as follows:

1. Product or service: what you sell
2. People willing to pay for it: your customers
3. A way to get paid: how you'll exchange a product or service for money"

Seriously? First off it's bad enough that you thought any one who w
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I think it' a good read. The $100 Startup shows up what's possible - but Guillebeau doens't really go further than that. The book can motivate you, but if you really want to know how to approach launching a startup, "Lean Startup" by Eric Ries (for the theory) and "Running Lean" by Ash Maurya (for applying the principle) are obligatory.
It didn't leave a lasting impression, but it's a good read nonetheless so i go with four stars.
Dorothy R
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
From my Amazon Review:

"The $100 Startup" is a book that primarily focuses on moving past the barriers that we and others place in front of our desires. These barriers (not enough money, knowledge, experience, demand, etc.)make it easy for us to not go into business. Not going into business allows us not to fail. However, this self-protective instinct automatically allows us not to succeed either. The book encourages a quick, no-holds barred start-up, because the leap is what is often the most d
Shog Al Maskery
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's the kind of business book you want to read and learn from as much as you can, but at the same time take your time to apply all you have learnt. I definitely recommend it to everyone who wants to start up their business! ...more
Farnoosh Brock
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business-spirit
There's always a more perfect time in your life that you wish you had read the books that cross your path. This is how I fel about The $100 Startup - I wish I had read it - or rather, I wish Chris had written it - about 5 years ago when I was still stumbling around, lost and confused and disillusioned with Corporate America, and beyond discouraged about doing anything I could love.

The Corporate America culture is brilliant at shunning any ideas of creativity and innovation and certainly not enc
Jul 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
A great review for those starting a business or in the midst of next-level expansion.

"Focusing on these 2 questions will eliminate the need for outside consultants:
--- Is the business making money now ?
--- If not, what can we do to fix this now ?"

"There are only 3 things you need to start a business, and there’s no need to complicate this list :
--- Product or service
--- People willing to pay for your product or service
--- A way for them to pay you"

"Find something people want, an
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Phil by: Michael Hanna
This was recommended to me by Michael Hanna, a former media colleague who now owns and runs The Mattress Lot in Portland. His story opens the book.

The $100 Startup is a very interesting and eye-opening read: many of the people featured just got going with something rather than giving it a great deal of advanced study.

The book would have benefited by going deeper into each story -- I wanted more about exactly HOW some of them got started, what obstacles they met along the way, and how they overc
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
“Catch a man a fish, and you can sell it to him. Teach a man to fish and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity” - Karl Marx.
Turn your knowledge into something valuable (products or services...) and sell it.
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
When I first picked this book up, I thought it would be about how to start a small business on little or no money. That was not the case, and in fact, I wasn't sure I would even finish the entire book. But it turned out to be much more.

The $100 Start Up is really an inspiring guide to stepping out on your own, doing what you love, without fear, (your own, or)of what others might say. (You know who I'm talking about, the nay-sayers).

Throughout the book, the author interviews various entrepreneurs
Apr 10, 2012 rated it liked it
disclosure: i won a copy of the book from Chris Guillebeau's website/blog: Art of Non-Conformity of which I am a regular follower.

i was in the midst of my final days at work when i received the $100 Startup in the mail. i had quit my job because i was ready to 'take the bull by the horns,' so to speak and go freelance. this wasn't just about a job change, but a life change - i decided it was time for me to live my life the way i want, i wanted to "create a new future" as part of the book's subti
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
very inspiring, well structured, simply great book.
This book is written in the entrepreneurial spirit of trying to make a buck. That's the point of the whole book (about startup companies that people have created out of hobbies or necessities, turning their interest into profit)... but it makes for a little bit less-than-helpful reading. This is not an MBA crash course. It's more like an amalgamation of anecdotes about people who have managed to do this (including the author, through his, er, independent book sales). There's no magic formula her ...more
Like a lot of people, I have dreams of being my own boss. I have a side hustle(maybe hustle is a bit over blown), and it has gotten me through some tight times. But I've never made the leap from my full time career to making my side job my main source of income. So maybe I was looking for that push from this book.
While I got some information, I didn't get the impetus I was looking for. A lot of anecdotes that were inspirational but short on nuts and bolts. People go from A to C, but I'm looking
Sagar Honnungar
The author emphasizes two main aspects: freedom and value, i.e building a $100 startup is a way of gaining personal freedom by providing something of value to the society.
The book has many examples and practical tips on building and growing a small business. Might seem a bit out-dated without a lot of attention to internet businesses. Nothing truly transformational for me in the book but a decent read.
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone considering starting a business
Recommended to Mel by: Chris Guillebeau
Shelves: reviewed
I would love to write a bunch of beautifully scripted words about this book, but it just would neither truly reflect this book nor do it justice. So, I will just make this as concise and straightforward as the book is.

I’ve spent a ton of time laboring through free video seminars of big names of people who live amazing lives, work from anywhere they wish to travel with that now so predictable “hook” to compel you to buy into their brand of “school” or “association” or “academy” etc. that cost tho
Dorai Thodla
Dec 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I picked it up almost a year ago, read about half of it and forgot all about it. Recently, I had to make a couple of train trips and had plenty of time to read. So went back and finished it. It is not certainly one of those books that you can do in one sitting (see some of the other comments).

I like the book since I mingle and work with lots of entrepreneurs. I think it is a must read for every entrepreneur. More than the stories, the patterns of entrepreneurship are interesting.

1. How people
Rosie Nguyễn
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Phew, finished this book finally after so much time. Just because I didn't concentrate to read it.

I followed Chris Guillebeau's blog a long time ago. Although I found some of his posts interesting, I was not totally impressed so I didn't care 100$ Startup when it was published.

The book came to me together with a set of another 3 books from an older friend, who recommended me to read startup books. And it was amazing. I found a lot of great tips to make my upcoming second book a best seller, hehe
David Zheng
Dec 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
One of the worst books I've ever read...

It's concept is scattered, "Start now! Don't wait - but first see chapter 11 for more info".

It talks a lot about business hype but really doesn't give any meat and potatoes to how a business can actually succeed. The information given in this book is a rally for anyone that has a dream of owning their own business but frequently gives extremely misleading insight into how it's really done.

As a business owner of a brick and mortar business, an online sal
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a world where side hustles are so prevalent, this book is definitely timely and informative. I could see some of the information provided in the book becoming outdated over time, so I would caution against that. This was a great business building book to start off the year with! Listening to the audiobook was great because I could easily take notes while listening, including my own ideas that were sparked by the book. The advice for starting out was extremely useful and propelling for my own ...more
Martin Smrz
Jun 13, 2016 rated it did not like it
Could not get myself to finish this book as it is just a compilation of ideas about starting your own small business that lacks originality. I guess if you are in your teenage or early 20ties years this collection might be interesting. Over 30 and already with some business experience and the book is a waste of time.
Dan Cameron
Sep 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
If you thought this book was going to help you understand how to start a small business, you were mistaken. It is just a random collection of stories about people who started their own businesses. No meat or substance is included. I guess his name should have told me what to expect. Chris Guillebeau should be pronounced as Christ, this is for the Gullible.
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I wrote a huge review but then Goodreads ate it. Wanna start a business? Get this book. Don't want to start a business? Get this book. The only reason I didn't give the book 5 stars was because by the end I was feeling guilty for not having started a business by now. Read this immediately. ...more
Aug 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
A collection of gobsmackingly obvious items. If this book is helpful to you, you should not be doing a startup. Do retail clerking or something.
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book was good overall. It has a lot of good and applicable ideas that would work for someone who never had a business but wants to try one.

What I didn't like were the stories of those businesses because they were too long and I lost interest in most of them.
Kate Singh
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Skimmed the book. Not my cup of tea but is inspiring for those who want to start a different career or business path.
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Chris Guillebeau is the New York Times bestselling author of The $100 Startup and other books. During a lifetime of self-employment, he visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday. Every summer in Portland, Oregon he hosts the World Domination Summit, a gathering of creative, remarkable people. Chris also hosts Side Hustle School, a popular podcast that is downloaded ...more

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