The $100 Startup

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

by Chris Guillebeau

The revolution is here. Which revolution? The micro-business revolution; the $100 startup. What’s that?

The rise of the $100 startup, as Guillebeau puts it, is the new frontier of entrepreneurism and business brought on by the ever-dwindling cost of starting and operating a business. It represents the overwhelming amount of people opening successful businesses with very small amounts of capital and resources and with no or very few employees. Why do that?

With the ability to launch a business or store with relatively little money, the risks involved are often quite low. In fact, the argument could be made that the real risk is not trying a business venture of your own and instead sticking to the endless job you’re probably overly unhappy with. The opportunity really is there for you to reinvent not only the way you earn a living, but your entire life. How did they do that?

Well, that’s the primary point of this book. Guillebeau was so fascinated with this relatively new concept in business startups that he decided to travel the world to meet with 1,500 people making a living from their micro-ventures. The goal of this was to attempt to identify what these people and their businesses had in common. Perhaps then, we can learn what needs to be done to follow the same path of success that they’ve had. This book delivers 50 of those great stories.

Aside from the inspiring stories of success comes what I enjoyed most from this book, which is it’s goal of getting your mind aligned and prepared to be thinking like these entrepreneurs. All throughout the book, and cleverly weaved in and out of the stories of people building successful businesses are lessons to be learned and points to be observed; all of which get your mind racing about the many ways you could go about doing what they’ve done. The takeaways are important. How do you use your existing skills and resources to provide a product or service that people want? How do you know what people want; and what they are willing to pay for? How do you analyze ideas and opportunities?

The only negative here, and this is completely subjective, is that this book lacks any stories or cases not ending in great success. It is important to know, and remember, that not all attempts at starting a business or opening a store of your own will be successful; in fact, most attempts are the opposite. A lot can be taught by analyzing failures, but this book is meant to be nothing but a great first-step in exposing you to a new world of opportunity driven by entrepreneurism as well as getting you to start thinking in a manner required to achieve the same successes as those profiled in the book.

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