[Review] Great From The Start
And while many companies start with a great idea and loads of confidence, a startup company requires a solid business model and a proper plan in place in the earliest stages of its development for the best chance for success. Although countless books have been written on how entrepreneurs can put together successful startup companies, corporate attorney, entrepreneur, executive coach and writer John B. Montgomery gives his take with “Great From the Start: How Conscious Corporations Attract Success“.
Montgomery, a 28-year corporate law veteran who’s seen and guided many companies throughout his career, walks the reader through a thought process that encourages them to – as the title states – design and build their company to be successful right from the start. The idea is quite simple – he asserts that a successful business is one that should not only optimize profits but also does good in society (mildly ironic coming from a lawyer, but I digress). His idea of a “conscious corporation” or a “conscious capitalism-based company” is one that should be aware of all its stakeholders’ needs and act appropriately as a responsible citizen. Case in point: a corporation that fires part of its workforce for cost-cutting reasons may save some money in the short run, but is likely to destroy employee morale and stakeholder confidence in the long term.
Throughout the book, Montgomery – who is also the founder of Startworks, a technology incubator – borrows heavily from various seasoned and respected voices in multiple industries to flesh out certain points in “Great From the Start“. You’ll read advice from Mark Zawacki of Milestone Group, Nilofer Merchant of Rubicon Consulting, and Joe Watt of GulfStar Group, amongst others. Montgomery also uses the examples and experiences of Cobalt Networks, 3Dfx Interactive and NetMind Technologies to support many of the points he makes to provide additional context.
Note that “Great From the Start” is targeted at companies in the earlier parts of its develop stages, and focuses more on the time between idea and incorporation and largely ignores the later stages of growth. So it’s most applicable if you’re a new entrepreneur, and especially if you’ve almost never picked up a book about starting up and need a useful all-in-one blueprint to cover all aspects of putting together a successful company. But if you’re already a seasoned entrepreneur who’s started various companies and led some of those to success, well, this one isn’t for you.
Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.