Reviews for Burn the business plan : what great entrepreneurs really do

Library Journal
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Schramm is University Professor at Syracuse University and former president of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which was founded by a pharmaceutical entrepreneur and is the primary advocate for the promotion and support of entrepreneurship. He has written several books on entrepreneurship and capitalism (e.g., The Entrepreneurial Imperative) and is recognized as a tireless advocate. Here, the author's thesis is that each entrepreneurial effort is unique and difficult to categorize. He feels that a tool such as a business plan is often not the ideal solution for designing an entrepreneurial venture. The unpredictability of the various elements of a business start-up are examined in depth with examples in several diverse fields. Schramm believes that work experience and the knowledge of when to change or adapt are most important and difficult to plan for. He notes that years of business experience and practice is most often the key to successful start-ups. VERDICT The author's expertise and candid presentation make this a valuable addition for public and university libraries.-Littleton Maxwell, formerly with Robins Sch. of Business, Univ. of Richmond Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* This business book lives up to its billing. Schramm, author of The Entrepreneurial Imperative (2006), understands well the nature, pitfalls, and demands of entrepreneurship, having led the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (a nonprofit specializing in the subject) for years. Now he sets forth in real, practical, down-to-earth ways his knowledge of everything from debunking myths to identifying actions for success. Every one of his tenets is backed by research and a slew of notable and quotable case histories. For example, motivation references eight sources and profiles the founders of Yeti coolers (the Maserati of fishing equipment), Pink Stork (morning sickness remedies), and old-reliable GEICO insurance. Readers can review Schramm's six-question survey to determine if franchising is the goal, from identifying a niche-stable market to available expert advice. His statistics alone fascinate; for instance, a Johns Hopkins study underscores the disproportionate number of individuals with dyslexia who are forming businesses. And the average entrepreneur, far from Silicon Valley stereotypes, is 39 and has worked in corporate America for at least a decade. Remember Richard Branson's definition of an entrepreneur, Someone who jumps off a cliff and builds an airplane on the way down. --Jacobs, Barbara Copyright 2018 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
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Schramm (Inside Real Innovation), a professor at Syracuse University and former president of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, applies his experiences in the academy to this thoughtful study of "how businesses really start, grow, and prosper" and dispels quite a few business myths along the way. For one, he provides compelling evidence that strategic planning and the ubiquitous business plan "[make] no sense in the context of entrepreneurial startups." Schramm also writes that, despite disproportionate media representation, youthful founders don't represent the future for startups but rather represent "the unicorns or supernovas-beautiful to behold but rare." A book about entrepreneurs wouldn't be complete without some stories from high-profile founders, and here these include James Dyson, designer of the bagless vacuum cleaner, and Howard Head, inventor of the first successful aluminum ski. There is so much dense information in Schramm's book that end-of-chapter summaries, as well as charts, graphs, or graphic call-outs, would help reinforce key information. Still, the book finishes big, with 10 encouraging reminders, including "Make Innovation Happen" and "Build Your Company As Your Life." Addressed most directly to budding entrepreneurs, this guide drives home Schramm's advice to "chart a different path to becoming an entrepreneur" by burning the business plan. Agent: Alice Martell, Martell Agency. (Jan.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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