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High Growth Handbook

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,226 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Well known technology executive and angel investor Elad Gil has worked with high growth tech companies like Airbnb, Twitter, Google, Instacart, Coinbase, Stripe, and Square as they've grown from small companies into global brands. Across all of these break-out companies, a set of common patterns has evolved into a repeatable playbook that Gil has codified in High Growth Ha ...more
Kindle Edition, 353 pages
Published July 17th 2018 by Stripe Press
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  1,226 ratings  ·  92 reviews


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Emil O. W. Kirkegaard
Not at all scientific. Has a bunch of interviews with big name people, who share some anecdotes. Sometimes gives some decent advice, but mostly just fluff as one would expect from a typical business book. Could have easily been half the length without losing much content. Uses a lot of abbreviations that were never defined, making for annoying reading experience if one is without internet for looking up things.
Thijs Niks
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Spot on book about the things you’ll encounter once your startup starts growing exponentially. I kept nodding my head, as someone who has seen Uber go from 1,500 to 15,000 employees.

In true Silicon Valley style, the book is a little rough: Some of the interviews contain more information than the chapters, it should go deeper on trade offs between organizational structures, and lacks an in-depth look at international expansion. So that leaves room for improvement — a 2.0 version, if you will.

St
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Bartosz Majewski
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Highly tactical, full of nonobvious example. Much recommended if you work in high growth environments. Some parts are very SV. Some universal.
Peter Boyce
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Elad delivers on the promise of unpacking fundamental factors for enabling company growth. Earns the rare right to be a desk-side handbook for ongoing reference.
Ahmad hosseini
A great book for startups!
Scaling and growth is an important and exiting step at lifecycle of a startup. But for founders, there are a lot of challenges at this stage. How to organize employees? How to hire new employees? How to manage the board? How to do marketing?
This book is packed with key frameworks for building and scaling your company. Author packs every useful lesson about building and scaling companies in a single, digestible book. Book includes many interviews from entrepreneurs with
...more
Shreef A
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of interviews with people who started, invested in, and scaled up companies. The interviews are organized into sections so you can jump directly to the interviews with the topics you want to focus on.

I would have found this book very useful during my first try to start a company. Back then I had to collect these insights and advice from different sources spread all over the internet.

So basically, the book delivers on its promise that it is a handbook for people starting or scaling
...more
Adrian
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good managment book. Would put this book on the same level as management classics like 'High Output Management' (Andy Grove) and 'The effective executive' (Peter Drucker)
Dan
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book covers a wide range of interesting topics regarding companies, not necessarily their growth, but their overall management and development. It's good for adding 'common-sense fillers' if you already know a bit about startups. You should like this even more than 'Hard Things About Hard Things' book, due to the more expansive scope.
Andrus
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the content is useful, but the format of featuring mostly interviews is inefficient (for my taste). As an audiobook listener I ended up feeling that although I got a couple of good ideas, the amount of hours spent wasn't worth it.
Franta
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good advice for me and my company.
Carl
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very practical.
Gabriela
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very useful information
Srdjan
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inconsistent. Nothing spectacularly insightful. Mostly solid and worth reading for an understanding of what going from 10 - 10'000 employees really means and an insight into the capital structures underlying some of the largest firms in the world.
Manas Saloi
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Big fan of Elad Gil and have consumed all his blogposts too. This book gives a structure to his thoughts on all topics under the sun related to startups.
Azhar
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super dry read but I found it to be incredibly informative!
Robt.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lot of excellent insights here.
João Oliveira
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After working for a few of these hyper growth companies, this is probably the best book on the mechanics of company building, Highly recommended for entrepreneurs or startup employees!
Bill de hÓra
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, zal-9d4cd60f
A must read for founders, and I think also for engineers and product specialists for the insight it gives to all the other functions needed to make it really work.

As someone who's worked as an engineer and a product manager, it was wonderful to read a book that barely focused on product and technology when it came to growth, but on growing the other critical functions needed to build out a real business (so many startups begin from product/engineering foundations and it can be difficult for thos
...more
Phillip Klien
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, a "must-read" for anyone managing people.
KC
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw this book recommended online, and was interested from the onset, as I am currently taking an interest in certain types of startups, particularly those approaching a high growth phase. Somehow, perhaps due to my exposure to common priorities of technical products, I thought this book was going to be about growth in terms of user acquisition, or install base, or maybe revenue. However, this turned out to be about how to scale up a business in terms of headcount. This was a bit surprising to ...more
Alok Kejriwal
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If Moses spoke 10 commandments, Elad Gil gives you TOP commandments to run, scale, fund & exit a startup.

For a few weeks I resisted buying the book due to the high price; now I regret every day I lost.

The High Growth Handbook has a unique format. It clearly lays out the most important aspects of a start-up business & then includes real-life interviews of the who's who of the world (mainly silicon valley) who have attempted & achieved those principles that are enshrined inside.

The book has amazin
...more
Mason Jones
I usually find bits and pieces of useful advice, or at least food for thought, in the "entrepreneur"/startup genre, and that was true in this one. But in general that's all I got: bits and pieces. I think the book was compiled from blog posts by Gil, and the chapters end up feeling like it. They're fragmentary, with some sections being noticeably more extensive or complete than others, and pieces are repeated between chapters. The interviews spliced between chapters tend to run on and could have ...more
Aviva Rosman
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has been on my list for a while because it's not stocked by the Chicago Public Library, so I was surprised and delighted to receive a copy in the mail as marketing for Stripe. I'm grateful that Stripe's multi-billion valuation can support such expensive marketing - and while I didn't sign up for Stripe's services, I did read the book.

Like many books for startups, High Growth Handbook is very tactical and made up mostly of previous blogs. I liked the advice and examples, especially sin
...more
Ryan
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book about the "good problem to have" of a startup -- after you've reached product/market fit, the scaling into an enduring organization.

The book included a lot of interviews with experienced Silicon Valley executives and venture capitalists. Some of the interviews were pretty horrible, most were good, a few were great. I did like that Elad used people he thought better able than himself to illustrate certain points.

The book could use better editing in a lot of places, as it seemed like ce
...more
Quinten Selhorst
I believe that High Growth Handbook is a true gem in the world of abundant DIY startup books. His no-nonsense and pragmatic way of storytelling helps us both relate to him as an entrepreneur, as well as understanding many complex topics like managing your board of directors, how to structure your organisation during hypergrowth, how to build an acquisition engine and everything in-between.

For me, the book almost read as a natural prequel of Scaling up: How a Few Companies Make It...and Why the
...more
Daniel Neri
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book with coverage on many key issues facing new companies. Relevant information for both first time founders and experienced leaders. The book delivers information in a straightforward “do this and you’ll succeed” approach which I appreciate. It borderlines on opinionated, but Gil does a good job staying on the right side of the fence and just presenting data and strategies based on his extensive experience. Of particular note were the sections on product management and organizational ...more
Mohammad Al-ubaydli
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An extraordinary book, incredibly helpful to every founder because it is so detailed and specific. The content here is very difficult to get hold of in other ways because far fewer companies go through the scale-up phase than the start-up phase (most due along the way). And the ones that do make it never talk about the problems in public - they have PR people by then hiding all mistakes. So this is a real service to the community and it benefits from Elad’s own rich experience and network. The v ...more
Prasanna
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was such a good book that I got my startup to buy 3 copies and give one to the CEO, another one to my boss - the VP of Engineering and leave one in the bookshelf. The reason is that this is one of the best presented books that goes into the nitty-gritty of what to do when you start getting massive growth - from how to build executive team, how to raise capital, how to hire and fire execs, PMs. In addition, Elad has included interviews with prominent leaders in the industry to provide their ...more
Yu Zhou
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read through the book quickly, and was able to learn useful insight about running a tech start up. Board management, executive team building and M&A are three useful chapters to me, as I do not usually read about these topics. A tech start up CEO is really spending time on strategy, not on product development; a CEO can hire experienced professionals to work on the part he/she does not enjoy: hr, legal and corporate development. What seems missing from this book is the evolution of growing fro ...more
Gonzalo Fernández-Victorio
This is a book that tries to be the reference to CEO while scaling startups through their high growth phase.

And it certainly manages to do it.

But it is not only that. The book is full of small pieces of insight. Like when it mentions that (obviously) Product Managers are not the same as Project Managers. Or that hierarchy is about tie-breaking.

However, the main insight I got, appears only as another small piece of insight: at the beginning of the startup, the main role as founder is build a pro
...more
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