Bernd Schoner

The Tech Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide

The Tech Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide

How to Bootstrap Your Startup, Lead Through Tough Times, and Cash In For Success

Being an entrepreneur is a thrilling and rewarding experience. But getting your business off the ground requires a lot more than just a bright idea. The Tech Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide provides the tools and insight you need to defy the odds and build a profitable tech startup from the ground up.

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Get the tools and insight you need to defy the odds and build a profitable tech startup

The hard truth is that most technology startups never make it to the funding state, and only about 10 percent of venture-backed startups generate positive returns for their investors. An even smaller number of startup founders enjoy a successful exit.

The difference between the successful entrepreneurs and the majority is that the successful entrepreneurs are able to navigate the ocean of issues that arise beyond the big idea.

In his 10 years as cofounder of the MIT spinout ThingMagic, author Bernd Schoner experienced it all before selling the business to a multinational public technology company. He has compiled everything he learned (seriously, everything) in his The Tech Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide.

Topics covered include:

  • Venture capital… a double-edged sword. Learn the pros and cons of taking venture capital and other funding options
  • Raising money in a down round. Know what to do when your valuation is lower but your need for cash is high
  • Selling the company. Understand different exit strategies and choose which is right for your business
  • Getting started without funding. Gather the tools for bootstrapping a tech company

If you are starting a business in the tech space, thinking about starting one, or know someone who is about to take the leap The Tech Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide is essential reading.

Praise for The Tech Entrepreneur's Survival Guide

“In classic Media Lab ‘Practice over Theory’ style, Bernd provides a very practical and useful guide to technology entrepreneurs based on experience. A must-read for any tech entrepreneur trying to build a company.” 

—Joichi Ito, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab

“The best-laid business plans never survive contact with reality. Bernd has provided a comprehensive guide to anticipating the unexpected in the life of a startup.” 

—Neil Gershenfeld, professor and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Bits and Atoms

“A genuine narrative from the field, with battle scars and self-reflection. Reading this book will help you avoid many pitfalls.”

—Nicholas Negroponte, professor at the MIT Media Lab

“I wish I had read Bernd’s book when we founded the Echo Nest. Bernd touches on all the major issues in the initial formation stages of a tech company and many of the problems that come up when the company matures. If you are thinking of founding your own tech startup, read this book first."

—Tristan Jehan, cofounder of the Echo Nest

“A crucial and wise guide for anyone considering a journey through startup land, with clear lessons for the budding entrepreneur.”

—Sanjay Sarma, professor of mechanical engineering and director of digital learning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“There’s a lot of great insights and practical advice for the entrepreneur in this book, stuff you normally won’t read or hear unless you buy some hard-bitten company founder a few drinks. If you are launching a technology startup, reading this book is the thing you should do first.”

—Mark Roberti, founder and editor in chief of The RFID Journal

“A visceral, behind-the-scenes guide to technology entrepreneurship. Bernd tells it like it is and presents a universe of solutions to tricky startup situations that can significantly improve the odds of success. Indispensable.”

—Larry Begley, cofounder and managing director at .406 Ventures

“A must for any budding entrepreneur. It explains every aspect of the startup process, from knowing when you’ve got the right idea to surviving within a large corporation after you’ve sold your startup—and everything in between.”

—Tim Rowe, founder and CEO of the Cambridge Innovations Center

“Bernd provides a fresh perspective, original insight, and innovative workarounds that are new even to a veteran startup and venture capi- tal attorney like myself. Highly useful—and highly entertaining!”

—Jonathan Gworek, partner at Morse, Barnes-Brown, Pendleton PC

“A must-read for aspiring high-tech entrepreneurs. It provides practical details on all aspects of building a company, especially for situations where things do not quite work out as planned. The spot-on advice, delivered with a smattering of humor, is invaluable.”

—Thomas A. Weber, professor of operations, economics, and strategy at the Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship Institute, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

“Bernd provides entrepreneurial guidance as a tech founder who has experienced the worst and the best of startup life. His advice is grounded in real drama, which makes the book a valuable guide as well as a fun read.”

—Jens Wüstemann, president of the Mannheim Business School and professor at the University of Mannheim

“With humor and the wisdom of experience, Bernd brilliantly captures the essentials of building, funding, and exiting a tech company. Whatever the problem, The Tech Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide offers a straightforward and lucid solution to the startup dilemma.”

—Hans-Michael Hauser, managing director at the Boston Consulting Group

“One of the most useful books on entrepreneurship I have read. Bernd’s subtle sense of humor makes it an entertaining read from start to finish.”

—Stefan Goetz, managing director of Hellman & Friedman Private Equity

“Bernd provides broadly applicable lessons on how to make a tech startup successful. He does away with the cliché of the infallible tech genius and entrepreneur and presents a more realistic approach to entrepreneurship.”

—Elgar Fleisch, professor at ETH Zurich and the University of St. Gallen

288 Pages | Hardcover | McGraw-Hill | May 2014

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