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Startup CEO: How to Build a Company to Success

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,202 ratings  ·  54 reviews
A definitive book for any CEO--first time or otherwise--of a high-growth companyWhile big company CEOs are usually groomed for the job for years, startup CEOs aren't--and they're often young and relatively inexperienced in business in general. Author Matt Blumberg, a technology and marketing entrepreneur, knows this all too well. Back in 1999, he started a company called R ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by John Wiley & Sons (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  1,202 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am rating books in a manner that should help others to decide wheather to read one or not. I give this one a 5, since I believe that everyone even remotely engaged into running a startup/business will find this book helpful and worth reading. You could basically print most of it, and put in on the wall as a TODO list for yourself.
Bett Correa-Bollhoefer
It's got everything you need to know to be a ceo. It also lets you know how hard it is to be a ceo. Good to read for any leader in a company to understand more about how a company should be run. ...more
Sven Kirsimäe
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: at-audible
The title of the book is a bit misleading. I think this book should be read by anyone including and above C-level and any other person who wants to get their daily business checked and in order. 4 start as the book is a bit too long and thus broad, which as mentioned, covers more general leadership and management practices applicable not only to CEOs.
Omar El-mohri
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: printed-copy, 2020
Amazing book, while you can find the content in some other places, blog and books, but getting it in one book in great with many testimonials from others CEOs makes it a good guide and reference for a Startup CEO.
I didn’t take notes but I will make sure to keep the book nearby for references.
Rich Maloy
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I really want to be able to strongly recommend this to most of the startups I work with on a daily basis, but it's not for early stage startups. I have to keep in mind that this series of startup books originated with Brad Feld from Foundry Group, a venture firm that invests in Series A & B rounds. The vast majority of the startups I see and work with are at the angel and seed level of capital and growth. As such, advice such as annual 360 reviews is not the most critical advice I would offer ea ...more
Aug 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Read this on my Kindle and it's the ideal format, as I made a ton of highlights for practical info (board meeting agendas, executive assistant job descriptions, etc.) I'll refer to later. Strongly recommend reading this in Kindle/digital format so you can highlight, and NOT as an audio book, due to the reference material contained within. ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a great book. Before reading this book I never thought being possible to know exactly which are the Startup CEO challenges and duties. Matt describes excellently the job of CEO and it helps all newbies on the role to be aware of which are the CEO responsibilities. This is a worthwhile reading.
Vlad Calus
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Gary Spagnoli
May 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Lots of noise, little value. Solid advice but much of this content is found in blogs, Twitter and HBR. Nothing feels new or innovative here, and the frameworks already feel outdated.
Tim Hughes
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Writing this review as a startup CEO, I would certainly suggest other CEOs read this book as well.

While many of the concepts discussed could be placed in the “I know that” bin, it’s good to cover these subjects as not all of us have the same background experience. It’s always good to have a general understanding of all subjects. I also see that one review on Amazon states that "I know this already" .... yes sure you do, but some people don't.

"Startup CEO" certainly covers pretty much all angles
Dan Fried
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Blumberg founded his startup Return Path in 1999 and has been a magnificent CEO, managing staff, culture, pivots, product, investors, financing, etc. He shares his experience generously and with a warmth and depth of knowledge that is inspiring and of value to anybody starting up their own technology-based business. It's no surprise he put together an impressive board including Fred Smith and Brad Feld, and that he sold Return Path after having grown it to probably over 500 employees, multinatio ...more
Yates Buckley
Jun 27, 2021 rated it liked it
The book is a fairly exhaustive guide on being a CEO in a startup. The areas of emphasis are well thought and contain useful advice. Also referenced texts are high quality further research.

The language is not always relatable and contains many fluff terms that I could see interpreting in different ways with varying outcomes. Most of the examples come from the author’s business and avoid controversies and sprinkle everything with a kind of marketing magic sense. The author’s and other businesses
Scott Wozniak
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Strong and specific discuss of being CEO of a startup. He gives you enough info to be practical and then points you to books and people who can help you go deeper in area, if you want. I loved all his points.

My only note is that it’s very much for a startup that has major investors. A large portion of the book is focused on things like investor board and stock options. So if that’s not your approach, then you’ll have to skip a good chunk of the book.

Otherwise, very well done.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Probably one of the most informative and well written books I've read in the subject. I love how manageable the chapters were and there was absolutely zero rambling. The book was very straight to the point and yet able to tell the story. The author also seemed to be quite humble, making this book devoid of the whole icky "guru" vibe that some of these books tend to have. I enjoyed reading it very much ...more
Rui Varela Morte
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
This is a great book for one who's starting a business, startup or not.
Inside you will find many starting points to be a better CEO. More than taht I felt more conscious about the complexity of being a CEO.
Kumar Raghavendra
Apr 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very insightful book on the ins and outs of starting and managing a company. But more broadly, this has great leadership lessons in terms of how a leader should operate in practice on a day-to-day basis. A good read to incorporate some of these into our own work lives.
Cesar Zurita
Jan 24, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a great book!
Very comprehensive, very detailed yet strategic, the author seems genuine in his comments and analysis. No dogma or Silicon Valley bs. A very easy-to-read writing style. I devoured this book.
Stijn Volders
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
A great book for anyone in a leadership position. There are heaps of great idea's in this book covering all important aspects of running a business.

Stop what you're doing and start reading!
Ali Yildiz
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book for the ones who has a dream of being a business owner
Josephine Hood
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Helpful even for a mot for profit CEO.
Mar 04, 2022 rated it really liked it
In this sneak-peak into the life of startups, seasoned startup CEO Matt Blumberg shares his personal experience building a technology company from scratch.

Vitaly Kirkpatrick
Mar 12, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-love
I had a startup, CloviTek and I was looking for a good guide for a startup CEO. This book is well written. The author provides some practical advice on how to organize your life.
Nov 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Great read, basically a how-to manual that covers all the points of a venture backed startup. A lot to mull over.
Bryan Doughty
Feb 08, 2014 rated it liked it
I generally listen to books while at the gym and this audio books is divided into two sections which are each a little of 6 hours long or a lot of treadmill time.

The book had its moments, but far too often felt like as advertisement for ReturnPath or Brad Feld. I guess this makes since to prop both up, but it got old and fast. I much prefer more info and I just did not feel like I got enough.

The first half just never grabbed me at all, but the second half had lots of thoughtful info and suggesti
Eliot Peper
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Matt's a veteran entrepreneur and his book is a gift to CEO's everywhere. Many management books only focus on big company leadership issues. Many entrepreneurship books focus only on very early stage businesses. Startup CEO walks you through the entire growth lifecycle of running a business. Plus, it's organized in easily digestible, standalone chapters that contain concise and actionable perspective and recommendations. If you're leading a company, this is a book worth making time for. ...more
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unlike other books of its kind, there are many practical applications that one can take away from this book. These range from communicating company goals (and key questions and templates one can use), setting and maintaining a positive culture, engaging with staff at all levels including promotions, all the way to ensuring the self is being taken care of (sleep, exercise, family time, etc.). Recommend this book and the great resource links within.
Aug 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
This was a good, solid book about leading a start-up. I think it serves better as a reference manual than as a business text that you would want to consume in one sitting. He gives good advice about a large number of issues that CEO's (and other execs) face at one point or another. I could see myself returning to this when, say, I'm beginning to plan our next executive offsite, or if we're having problems with a member of the BOD, etc. ...more
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic "view from the trenches" by a successful startup CEO. I appreciated the practicality of the advice and the way Blumberg pulled in different perspectives by including short passages from friends and co-workers. A must-read book if you're thinking of starting up your own company and even more important for early-stage founders. ...more
Paul Davidescu
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book for a first time CEO to understand how all the moving part works and how they can avoid making mistakes as things get more complicated and intense down the road. Matt is an all-star and did a good job at easing apprehensions by breaking problems down in a beautifully easy to understand manner.
Craig Cote
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an interesting and informative book, even for a non-CEO like me. There's lots of meat, and I hope to start making use of some things in my own "operating system" immediately.

I figure that knowing more of the why's and where fore's of running a business can make one a more valuable employee and help make the decisions that inevitably get made make more sense.
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