The Startup Playbook | David S. Kidder

Summary of: The Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups from Their Founding Entrepreneurs
By: David S. Kidder


Embark on a thrilling journey as we explore vital lessons from some of the world’s fastest-growing startups in ‘The Startup Playbook’ by David S. Kidder. The book summary provides an arsenal of strategies from pioneering entrepreneurs like Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Sara Blakely (Spanx), Robin Chase (Zipcar), Seth Goldman (Honest Tea), and Hosain Rahman (Jawbone). We dive into their built-for-success mindsets, spotting trends early, optimizing resources, maintaining work-life balance, cultivating an enthusiastic customer base, and consistently adapting to an ever-evolving market.

The Power of Being Early

Reid Hoffman’s LinkedIn success story and his lessons on spotting trends and anticipating solutions for early start-ups are illustrated in the book.

Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn and a successful investor, always stresses the importance of being early in trends. His ability to spot an emerging trend before everyone else is what makes his investments, including LinkedIn, successful. Even when many thought his idea was unnecessary, LinkedIn managed to become a massive platform, and Hoffman’s keen sense for anticipating potential problems and addressing them before they arise demonstrated his business acumen.

When creating LinkedIn, Hoffman recognized the issues with recruiting and job hunting in newspapers and headhunters. He aimed to make it easier and more centralized through an online platform, but people doubted that a site could surpass traditional forms. However, Hoffman understood that by being early, he had a significant advantage over any possible competition. He also knew that finding novel solutions could change public perception and increase the platform’s user base.

The solution Hoffman provided was a new function that allowed new users to scan their email address book for connections on LinkedIn. This simple addition quickly grew the network, and users were soon connecting with many more people in their industries.

The key takeaway from Hoffman’s story is to trust your instincts, anticipate solutions for potential roadblocks, and be early in spotting emerging trends. The book emphasizes that being early to a trend isn’t only beneficial but necessary for success in today’s rapidly changing market.

In summary, The Power of Being Early is your ultimate guide to anticipating innovation, spotting trends, and transforming a vision into a tangible and profitable success.

Visualize Your Success

Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, achieved success in business and life by creating mental snapshots of herself attaining concrete goals. Despite not knowing how she would achieve them, the mental snapshots helped her stay focused and motivated. It’s crucial to only share your business idea with potential investors as sharing it too broadly may result in skeptics. Even Blakely’s parents were skeptical of her idea for footless pantyhose.

Efficient Solutions

Robin Chase founded Zipcar, a car rental company offering cars for an hourly rate, after realizing how inefficient car ownership was. She identified inefficiently used resources and came up with an efficient solution. Similarly, by coming up with new functions for things normally used for one purpose, successful startups can be created. Although reacting quickly to problems is crucial, being honest with customers and solving problems as soon as possible is key to surviving. Robin faced a serious revenue problem after the first three months of running Zipcar and had to inform her customers about a 25 percent increase in the hourly rate. Most customers were prepared to pay more for the already great service. Efficient solutions, innovative ideas, and quick reactions to problems are fundamental to success.

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