An essential guide to building supportive entrepreneurial communities"Startup communities" are popping up everywhere, from cities like Boulder to Boston and even in countries such as Iceland. These types of entrepreneurial ecosystems are driving innovation and small business energy. "Startup Communities" documents the buzz, strategy, long-term perspective, and dynamics of building communities of entrepreneurs who can feed off of each other's talent, creativity, and support.
Based on more than twenty years of Boulder-based entrepreneur turned-venture capitalist Brad Feld's experience in the field?as well as contributions from other innovative startup communities?this reliable resource skillfully explores what it takes to create an entrepreneurial community in any city, at any time. Along the way, it offers valuable insights into increasing the breadth and depth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem by multiplying connections among entrepreneurs and mentors, improving access to entrepreneurial education, and much more.Details the four critical principles needed to form a sustainable startup communityPerfect for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists seeking fresh ideas and new opportunitiesWritten by Brad Feld, a thought-leader in this field who has been an early-stage investor and successful entrepreneur for more than twenty years
Engaging and informative, this practical guide not only shows you how startup communities work, but it also shows you how to make them work anywhere in the world.
Brad has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur since 1987. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures. Brad is also a co-founder of Techstars.
Brad is a writer and speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship. He’s written a number of books as part of the Startup Revolution series and writes the blogs Feld Thoughts and Venture Deals.
Brad holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Brad is also an art collector and long-distance runner. He has completed 25 marathons as part of his mission to finish a marathon in each of the 50 states.
Fantastic book. I really appreciated the real world examples Mr. Feld provided as well as how he engaged the greater global startup community to augment the book with stories, insights, and experiences.
There are two concepts that will definitely stick with me for years to come. The first, and my personal favorite, is that you must, "Give before you get." This statement's power is in its simplicity. I believe it is how I've tried to live my professional (and personal) life and seeing it spelled out so simply in print helped solidify the point for me even more. One can not simply be a consumer of the community. You must also contribute to truly obtain value. For me, it made me think of other life lessons that seem to come from a similar mentality; "The Golden Rule", "you have to pay your dues", "nothing worth anything is free", "you get what you pay for", etc.
The second concept is that you must play the long game. Feld talks about having a 20 year plan that basically resets every day to a new 20 year plan. It seems to me that our society is geared for nothing but the short-term; the "get in and get out" mentality. His emphasis on the long term plan is a refreshing change and something that I hope people pay attention to going forward.
I still have lots of personal bookmarks to go back in and review. This may not be a once a year read but it is definitely a book worth reviewing every couple of years. If you are interested in business, startups, and entrepreneurship, I believe it is definitely worth a read.
I enjoyed this book - it was an easy, quick read. The author gave a lot of great insight into the Boulder startup community and gave some very actionable examples that one can take in their own community. I like this book most because it was very applicable to building any type of community, not just a startup community.
This book could be subtitled: "Welcome to the Boulder Startup Community!" I recommend it to anyone interested in Startup Communities, but also anyone interested in learning more about Boulder itself. It was fun to read about people I know personally, and companies I've worked for and to learn more about the state of the startup community in Boulder. Feld does a really good job of painting the "What is Working" and to some extent "Why it's working" in Boulder. The book doesn't really have specifics on "How to make it work for your city", which to some extent echoes the mindset of "Tell them to just go build it" mentioned in the book. So, after reading the book, I think the reader is left feeling pumped about what their community COULD look like, and really only a few specific things to start doing. I'd liked to have seen a few specific calls to action that a person could do to kickstart their community. I understand it's not necessarily a formula that can just be "do x, y, z and it will just work", but having just a few specific actions to take would be helpful. Things like:
- find other entrepreneurs in the area (any existing meetups, or known startups to approach?) - start meeting/communicating/helping each other - reach out to and visit other startup communties - see where it goes from there after understanding your communities specific needs
On the other hand, if you have to call these out, then perhaps the community needs someone else to be leading the effort :)
Update: just read it for a 2nd time. This book is the Bible for this specific subject. I love Brad Feld. He's the opposite of a jackass. I want him to be my best friend.
5.5-star useful content more than makes up for some of the nits you can pick (some topics are far more useful than others, advice is overwhelmingly skewed in the perspective of white male technologists, many ideas just aren’t feasible for communities without the natural attraction of an area like Boulder).
Reads like a series of blog posts on a variety of really interesting topics. Super useful list of ideas, doesn’t spend too much time on each subject. Winner of the “A 200-Page Jam-Packed Page Turner That a Worse Writer/Publisher Would Have Dragged Out to 400 Pages” Award.
This is a good practical book which identifies the key elements of a successful startup community and describes how to build one.
The keys: - lead by entrepreneurs who are passionate about the success of startups in their community and are prepared to work at it for the long term - open and inclusive attitude (everyone helps everyone else because what goes around comes around) - have lots of events (meetups, hackathons, seminars, competitions, cocktail parties, etc.) - have a strong and supportive university and large local tech business - have effective VCs, angels and accelerators - government support
Also, startups do better when they're in a dense ecosystem because their suppliers get better (economies of scale), talent is attracted to the area, and companies and entrepreneurs learn from each other.
This book was a roller coaster of like and dislike. I found some of what he had to say regarding start up communities to be interesting and insightful but found a lot of it to be bragging, name dropping and condescending. I don't disagree that he is an experienced professional but definitely not all knowing. I often felt like he was painting a picture of the government as being the enemy to entrepreneurs rather than a resource. I completely agree that bureaucracy can get in the way and that the process is made more complicated the larger the infrastructure is but it does not mean that the two cannot have a symbiotic relationship. I work for a much smaller Form of local government and I see how it can act as a support system with launch programs, networking and policy review.
As I said, interesting points, lots of experience but I wouldn't describe it as a recipe book for success.
I got this book from my professor for free last year. I recently moved to south Florida and I want to help the community grow as I grow. I though this would be a good book to help me. Today there is a trend to take 10 pages of valuable content and make it 200 page book. Unfortunately this book is following that trend.
I liked the reading about startup communities. I'm eager to put into practice some of ideas presented in the book in the technology hub where I work to integrate even more the startup community. A lot of events and activities that we see out there today emerged from the startup community around Boulder, CO. The most part of the book refers to the experience learned from this region.
The main ideas presented in the book was about the leaders and the feeders. The author reinforces that the entrepreneurs are the community leaders. Everything else are supporters and he call it as feeders. They are government, universities, investors, mentors, service providers and large companies. The book talks about the role of each.
As well as companies, where you have supported departments that aim the core business; those supported startup community entities need to let the entrepreneurs lead the ecosystem. Very interesting reading, I recommend as a must-read for everyone interested in get more engaged in a startup community.
I really enjoyed reading the book. Brad offers 20 years of insight from his very own experience at Boulder, Colorado. He does a great job describing the difference between “feeders” and “leaders” in the startup ecosystem. It also provides a lot of actionable examples and strategies that many can use.
I strongly recommend this book to others who are thinking about building or getting involved in a startup community. Personally, I recently launched an early-stage accelerator name "Manos Accelerator" in Silicon Valley and this book served as great resource and a playbook for me as I started my journey of creating a startup community in downtown San Jose. Nice job Brad!!!
As a participant in the the Boulder startup community, I read this mostly for the background into the Boulder tech scene and the history for how it developed. It was a quick, easy read - mostly not aimed at me (somebody who isn't interested in being a leader in a startup community), but I found the background on Boulder engaging and pertinent to my own life. Because of the personal connection I can't quite say how interesting other people might find this book, but I definitely enjoyed it.
Given the specificity of this book (encouraging the formation and growth of venture-funded type startups) I thought it would go deeper. The chapter on the differences between government and entrepreneurship (the difference between hierarchy / institutional thinking and network thinking) was good, but most of the chapters were written by the authors friends to describe their respective roles in the Boulder startup community. Very surface-level introduction.
This book is a must-read for those who care about startup communities, absolutely boring for anyone else. It's a collection of practical cases and interviews to startup community organizers and event creators, creating a set of best practices for how to start and foster this kind of environment. Here and there it also betrays a strong US-style mindset. In short, take it as a self-help book or a practical manual.
This book is awesome! Brad writes very well. It is an easy and clear reading. If you love startups and want to learn ways to engage your community, this is a must read.
The arguments in the book are not so scientific, but this do not diminish the value.
There are many testimonials of entrepreneurs in this book. Brad makes sure to put the twitter username of this guys, so it is also a great opportunity to reach some great people and start making connections.
Great insight on how to build and foster startup culture in a community in a long-term approach. Highly recommended to people who are in love with entrepreneurship and their cities! The long quotes from 3rd parties were unnecessary and hard to read on eReaders. Some points like "governments are feeders..." were repeated more than 5 times throughout the book. Seriously, keep it short. I would have loved to see an example case study in eastern nations.
Sách viết đơn giản & dễ đọc, thể hiện góc nhìn nhanh về Khởi Nghiệp: sự gắn kết của hệ sinh thái khởi nghiệp, phân loại & vai trò của các nhân tố trong doanh nghiệp khởi nghiệp, mindset nên trang bị, v.v...
When in April 2019 I arrived to my home country Algeria to help build entrepreneurial and tech ecosystems in the country, this wonderful book was my "cookbook" on how to proceed.
Startup Communities documents the buzz, strategy, long-term perspective, and dynamics of building communities of entrepreneurs who can feed off of each other's talent, creativity, and support and thereby energize entire cities and industries.
The book offers valuable insights into increasing the breadth and depth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem by multiplying connections among entrepreneurs and mentors, improving access to entrepreneurial education, creating events and activities that activate all the participants in the startup community, and much more.
As the global economy continues to struggle, entrepreneurs and startup companies are leading the way in creating new innovations, new products and services, and new jobs. They are rejuvenating the economies of many cities around the world as they create the basis for the next wave of economic growth, according to author Brad Feld, himself an entrepreneur, investor and mentor.
“Startups are transforming our society. Over the past 100 years, we've gone from an industrial era, where a hierarchical structure dominated business and society, to a post information era where the network is rapidly disrupting the hierarchy and transforming the way we work and live,” according to Brad Feld.
Feld categorizes the literature on startup communities into various clusters: - External/agglomeration economies (eg. Paul Krugman, Michael Porter: scale impacts); - Network effects (increase in qualitative value of networks); - Horizontal networks (eg. AnnaLee Saxenian: porous organisational boundaries); and - Creative class (eg. Richard Florida: geographical clusters of creative communities).
The small town of Boulder has become a hotbed of startup activity, and Feld provides a useful deep-dive into the rise of this activity (eg. in domains like storage technology, pharmaceuticals, natural food). He has defined the ‘Boulder Thesis’ for startup communities in a series of books.
There are four key components of a framework for entrepreneur ecosystems in a city or region, according to Feld: 1. Entrepreneurs must lead the startup community. 2. The leaders must have a long-term commitment to the startup community. 3. The startup community must be inclusive of anyone who wants to participate in it. 4. The startup community must have continual activities that engage the entire entrepreneurial stack.
"Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City" is a "must read" for anyone wanting to build a startup community.
Great book, and I'd no doubt recommend it to anyone who is interested in becoming a part of a "startup community" as an entrepreneur, investor, or mentor.
At the heart of the book is the premise that the community should be decentralized yet bound together by self-interest, buffered by a "Give First" mentality. Fully agree, and I tend to think of it analogously like the Houston tunnels; an impressive achievement in decentralized cooperation, where each building has found it to be in its self-interest to connect with the others.
There are two areas that I would apply a slight critique to; first, is Feld's discussion of the participants in the community. Given the relatively "organic" approach he advocates, he does take a relatively strong opinion on the community structure here, that the community should be lead by entrepreneurs. I don't disagree with that assessment per se, but I think it's hard to bucket participants into any particular category; investors can also be entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs might also be investors. Unlike a natural ecosystem in which you predators and your vegetation and your prey each hold distinct roles that don't change over time, I'm not sure a similar ecosystem model is quite as clean for a startup community. In particular, less developed communities will often have single people in multiple roles (angel investor who is starting a company and perhaps functions as a mentor to others).
The second area is similar in that I found myself asking as I was reading if I had been breaking any of the unwritten rules of the ecosystem; I don't think Feld intended that, but from the reader's perspective, the organic ecosystem can feel a bit rules heavy.
I think the key element though is less about following those unwritten rules that Feld spells out, and more about simply being a do-er; but a do-er that follows Ries' Lean Startup mantra of doing constructively—constantly trying new things, testing the hypothesis, admitting to failure readily, and trying something new.
It seems the startup community benefits most from a set of do-ers who are willing to roll-up their sleeves and contribute without waiting for someone to tell them what to do, or acting solely to derive a direct marginal benefit.
Quyển sách này là kinh nghiệm thực tế của tác giả Brad Feld về việc xây dựng cộng đồng khởi nghiệp ở thành phố Boulder, thuộc bang Colorado, nước Mỹ. Bên cạnh việc đề cập đến nguyên tắc xây dựng một cộng đồng khởi nghiệp năng động, những tính cách cần có của người lãnh đạo cộng đồng, hay vai trò của từng thành viên trong cộng đồng khởi nghiệp; Brad Feld còn cung cấp cho người đọc những vấn đề kinh điển mà một cộng đồng khởi nghiệp thường hay gặp phải, cùng với đó là những ví dụ minh họa thực thế và sát sườn với nội dung quyển sách.
Trong đó, bản thân tôi cảm thấy tâm đắc nhất về phần nói về quyền năng cũng như là sức mạnh của cộng đồng khởi nghiệp ở chương 11 của quyển sách. Ở chương này, Brad Feld chia sẻ về những niềm tin, cách giao tiếp và ứng xử được tạo dựng lên ở cộng đồng khởi nghiệp tại Boulder như triết lý “cho đi trước khi nhận lại”; văn hóa cởi mở, sẵn sàng chia sẻ kiến thức và kinh nghiệm; tinh thần chào đón sự đa dạng; hay thái độ chấp nhận sự thất bại. Tất cả tạo nên sức mạnh cho một cộng đồng khởi nghiệp năng động, sáng tạo, luôn sẵn sàng giúp đỡ những người xung quanh.
Tuy nhiên, quyển sách vẫn còn một số điểm khiến tôi không thật sự thích. Điển hình như việc Brad Feld có góc nhìn không mấy thiện cảm với chính phủ, có cảm giác như ông đang xem bộ máy chính quyền Nhà nước như một đối thủ, một sự cản trở đối hoạt động phát triển cộng đồn khởi nghiệp. Đồng ý rằng sự quan liêu, hệ thống cấp bậc, hay những quy định, luật lệ có thể làm chậm trễ hoặc cản trợ sự phát triển của cộng đồng khởi nghiệp. Tuy nhiên, không có nghĩa là sẽ không có mối quan hệ cộng sinh, cả hai cùng phát triển giữa chính phủ và cộng đồng khởi nghiệp.
Nhìn chung, “Cộng Đồng Khởi Nghiệp” của Brad Feld là một quyển sách gần gũi, dễ đọc, và thực tế. Nó cung cấp cho người đọc cái nhìn tổng quan về cộng đồng khởi nghiệp, các nguyên tắc để xây dựng cộng đồng khởi nghiệp, và lối tư duy tích cực. Có thể nói, đây là một quyển sách nhất định phải đọc đối với những người quan tâm đến hoạt động khởi nghiệp nói chung và những cá nhân, tổ chức đóng vai trò quan trọng trong việc phát triển cộng đồng khởi nghiệp nói riêng.
Hmm, I wanted to love this book, but even if the author tried hard to give honest, detailed answers to all imaginable questions regarding the startup community, I still believe he has missed the ones (questions) that I find most tricky.
OK, but first things first: the book is not about theory, but actual experience. Mainly what was (is being) done in a local community, in Boulder. Which is a big pro - Boulder sounds like a credible example, a "middle of nowhere" that anyone can map onto her/his own place. The book is full of various ideas, activities, actual examples of what has been done and what has worked. It also dispels important myths - those very common and some far less popular as well.
OK, but what are the important questions I've found missing here? Well, maybe it's cultural (so - not existent in US), but I believe that one of the biggest obstacles is setting the actual foundation for the community - successfully reaching out to potentially interested people and convincing them to actually invest some time to network, share experiences and ... well, socialize.
Maybe I'm biased by the 1.5 years of the pandemic, but from my perspective, at this moment people are so focused on what they do, their business idea, their next release, etc. that they don't even see the need to gather up. The capital is much easier to acquire, you don't need that many connections to actually get the funding - which doesn't help (when it comes to networking). Additionally, I have the feeling that in startup hubs I know (contrary to Boulder) when people are aware that the community is inexperienced, they have far less incentive to meet and share experience - it may be an issue of ego/hubris.
OK, does it make the book bad? Not really. It probably just proves that the community also needs to be mature enough so the ecosystem could be built. In the end, I don't think I've learned that many ideas or got massively inspired, but I appreciated the effort of the author.
Wow, this was a great book, and it hits on some points about trying to get people on board with an idea (like us working at the library trying to get the city officials on board with an idea) you don't need people's approval to do your startup. I am just newly added to a co-op art gallery in my town and I see this book as very relevant to our situation as a small art business. We are in a very small town and trying to push the economy and bring people in to the town instead of having so many, especially the young, move out. We have great classes that serious art students from the HS can take even though there is no course credit (our Community College doesn't have a visual arts program, no advance art classes) but they can take classes and build their portfolio, if they see we are still at it after they do college they might come back and be a part of the co-op. This book kind of helped me see how our little place can help the economy in one sector (arts and entertainment).
This is a must for anyone in a startup or small business, people might not think of our co-op as a business but it is, we sell art, have classes to keep us open, artists who have their work there have to basically rent the space but also volunteer hours to keep the space running. It's a different kind of business but still it is something this town needs and I hope it influences new artists as well as draw people to our town. This book keeps me open to the ideas to help keep that happening and to recognize problems ahead of time. This book is part of a series so I urge any forward thinking person to check it out.
Wygrzebane w Tarabku, polskie wydanie.. Książka w Polsce wydana przez to samo wydawnictwo co książki Trumpa z polskim wstępem do pominięcia moim zdaniem ( do wyrywania kartek nie będe namawiał), w przeciwieństwie do samej książki; wydanej w USA przez Wiley w 2012 (co widać choćby po względnie długim rozdziale o 9/11) ;
Autor postuluje że na sukces trzeba pracować 20 lat (zniszczenie albo wykupieni zajmuje mniej, sad but true?) , uważa że najważniejzą rolę odgrywają przedsiębiorcy (nie jacyś tam politycy czy naukowcy, ten nacisk tłumaczy jak znalzł się polski wydawca) ważni są liderzy, mentoring, otwartość .... daje relacje znajomych opisujące wszystkie ważniejsze imprezy i spotkania cykliczne w mieście .... i jeśli Boulder miało swoje dobre 20 lat po czym najwidoczniej rozpłyneło się po świecie to dobrze że ich wartośći (czy oryginalne, czy tylko skopiowaen i zwerbalizowane reguły od innych? whatever...) rownież poszły w świat i nie wszystkie zostały przechwycone i przeinaczone ...
Reading this is similar to having a guest speaker at your class on Economic Development. He comes at you with experience and reflections on what worked for Boulder. In that sense, this short read (188 pages) is packed with good information in an area with so little published. He gives what he calls his Boulder Thesis: four attributes for developing a strong start up community. One such idea is that Entrepreneurs must lead and he spends much of the book building the case. Entrepreneurs, by nature, are the ones that are in it for the long term, they get things done, they act quickly, they understand failure and can rebound, etc. He explains that others in the system are feeders, and while important or useful, they can not lead it. Some Feeders are Government, Universities, Investors... Feld has helped me understand the dynamic of Boulder and I agree with much of his thesis, but all his talk of diversity and the organic nature of how start-up communities grow also tells me that his thesis isn't a law and every community will find success in a unique way. You have to begin with what you have. A critique of the book is that it is filled with links to resources that no longer are available. You can find some of these by searching on-line and it isn't a big deal. In fact, searching these things has lead me to find a lot of useful resources.
Einstein made the point that imagination is more important than logic. People can develop creativity but it starts with imagination, that is followed with logical action. While most entrepreneur’s focus on imagining and creating new products or services, this book provides a foundation to imagine and create an environment that supports and encourages entrepreneurs, a “startup community” (even possible for rural communities). This book gives priceless principles to design and sustain your startup community, whether that includes an incubator(s), accelerator(s), angel investors, or all of the above.
This book has details about important key topics like leadership of the startups needs to belong to the entrepreneurs, not the investors, government, or colleges. #GiveFirst, be inclusive, value mentorship (both ways), think and act long-term, and embrace the fact a lot of startups will fail, encourage and support founders of failed startups to learn and consider another try someday.
If your community wants to increase it’s number of entrepreneurs and new businesses, but you don’t know where to start, this book has proven and priceless shared experiences and tactics, not just on the key points I mentioned, but many others. A must read for entrepreneurs.
I picked this up after listening to Feld's interview on Tim Ferriss. The book covers a brief history of startups and tech investing in the US, and how the Boulder startup community came to be.
Some of the more interesting sections were the Boulder Thesis, the ingredients that made the Boulder startup community work; the different roles in a community: feeders, leaders and instigators; and adapting the startup community to more rural environments.
Great primer on a topic that was totally new to me. I would have liked more specifics on a few areas, but the focus on some of the core players and dynamics kept it really easy to digest.
This book should be titled “my experience building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Boulder Co.”. The book’s title purports to be a much broader lesson in the methodology of establishing startup communities, but 80% of the content is specific to one case study - that of Boulder, Colorado. While this is fine and valuable, the title misleads you to think there is any broad research or literature review conducted to really understand a complex ecosystem. This was more of a marketing brochure for Boulder in my opinion.