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Startup Different: The Myth-Busting Blueprint for Your Multi-Million Dollar Business
Brothers and entrepreneurs David Sinkinson and Chris Sinkinson delve into the methods they used to build their business, AppArmor, and sell it—becoming “multi-millionaires overnight.” A tenacious duo with their fair share of creativity, the authors recount how they did “everything everyone told us we shouldn’t do,” emphasizing the need to develop a killer mission, deliver value, and align with professionals who bring a balance of skills to the table. In many ways a play-by-play account of how they brought one of their first tech products to market, this approachable debut is full of unconventional strategies for startup success.

“Creativity flourishes when you’re happy,” the authors write, and that mindset forms the framework of the guide. Starting with the need to brainstorm a slew of ideas, they walk readers through how to validate their own business concept, judge whether it’s worth the effort, and take the initial leap towards development, while encouraging their followers to consider a co-founder “to help move the business forward.” They also caution readers on potential pitfalls, including successfully selling the idea of a product that isn’t even made yet, ways to enhance products according to customer need without making them too niche, and how to navigate the inevitable problems that accompany funding.

The advice may seem simple, but it’s reliable and matter of fact, teeming with real world know-how that pairs well with the authors’ emphasis on research, market-tested theories, tangible results, and a ton of hard work. The stakes are high, too, as they assert that “70 percent of startups will fail in years two through five,” but that shouldn’t deter readers from taking risks—and understanding that mistakes are just part of the game: “You’re not going to be perfect” they acknowledge, going on to recommend that “when you slip, do what needs to be done to make it right.” This is as upbeat as it is pragmatic.

Takeaway: Upbeat advice on beating the startup game to achieve long term success.

Comparable Titles: Rand Fishkin’s Lost and Founder, Peter Thiel’s Zero to One.

Production grades
Cover: B+
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A