Hot Seat
The Startup CEO Guidebook
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: May 2015
Pages: 322

What avoidable problem destroys more young startups than any other?
Why is it a mistake to ask for introductions to investors?
When do you play the CEO card?
Should you sell out?

Author and four-time founder/CEO Dan Shapiro tells the stories of dozens of startups whose companies lived and died by the advice in these pages. From inception to destruction and triumph to despair, this rollercoaster read takes aspiring entrepreneurs from the highs of billion-dollar payouts and market-smashing success to the depths of impostor syndrome and bankruptcy.

Hot Seat is divided into the five phases of the startup CEO experience:

  • Founding explains how to formulate your idea, allocate equity, and not argue yourself to death
  • Funding provides the keys to venture capital, angels, and crowdfunding, plus clear advice on which approach to choose
  • Leadership lays out a path to build a strategy and culture for your team that will survive good times and bad
  • Management reveals how to manage your board, argue with your team, and play the CEO card
  • Endgame explains how to finish a company's existence with grace, wealth, and minimal litigation
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useful for anyone who wants to understand startups

By Cate

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  • Accurate
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  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written


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    Comments about oreilly Hot Seat:

    The best book I have read in quite some time, I totally recommend it. I think it's useful for anyone who wants to understand what goes on in the startup world, or who works at a startup.

    I love this book because it's full of information – like what is a cap table? Where should you incorporate? (DELAWARE) What is convertible debt? What does a CEO actually do? Most of all it's full of stories, some of them Dan's, some about other people. And, I love this, many of these stories are about women. Dan included some wisdom from his mom about communicating (and it's really good) but also a ton of stories of female founders, and co-founders, and CTOs, doing their thing and being awesome.

    It's so good that I read it in a 6 point font (preview copy - PDFs on Kindle – ai!) in about a week, re-read it again ~6 months later, and have been buying a copy for someone else ~monthly, often because people are asking me for advice that I think the book is a far better resource for.

    Finally, masterful use of footnotes. I was so inspired by this that I have actually started using them.

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