First of all, how are you and your Family doing in these COVID-19 Times?
Rajat Bhargava: Thanks for asking. Everybody is healthy and safe. It’s obviously an incredibly scary time, and our hearts go out to those affected by this dangerous virus. Hopefully, together we can all get through this challenging period.
Tell us about you, your Career, how you Founded or Joined JumpCloud
Rajat Bhargava: My passion is to help take innovative concepts and bring them to the market to see if they can help change a market or somebody’s life. I’ve done that through the founding of my own companies, investing in startups, and advising founders.
You Recently Wrote a Book about how to Create a Startup. Could you tell us how that came about?
Rajat Bhargava: Sure. My co-author, Will Herman, and I have worked together for over 25 years. He’s also a serial entrepreneur, investor, and advisor.
Over time, we’ve spent countless hours helping founders, and many of their questions were the same. So, we thought it would be great to write a book covering the foundational aspects of a startup.
Hopefully, the conversations we can have with founders can be at a deeper, more advanced level with that information. We recently launched our second edition of The Startup Playbook with Wiley and Techstars after selling out of the first printing.
The book’s title is Founder-to-Founder – can you say more about that?
Rajat Bhargava: There are too many books out there that founders read that aren’t from a founder’s perspective. They are written by VCs, lawyers, accountants, investors, etc., and we’ve always felt that their input was from their perspective in the startup ecosystem, but not a founder’s.
Many issues discussed in those books have important consequences for founders, so we wanted to write something biased to their best interests. We try to give the full picture of an issue to the extent that we can, but then advise about what’s in the founder’s best interest. We hope that founders feel that they have a resource that unequivocally supports them.
What are Common Misconceptions about Startups?
Rajat Bhargava: There are many, and we try to touch on a few of them in the book. Some of the folklore out in the startup community is incredibly damaging, and we want founders to know the truth about startups. Some of the common ones that we tried to dispel center around money, time/effort a startup takes, and what success means.
Being the founder of a company is an incredible experience, but it isn’t easy. We want people going into it with the right frame of mind with real-world information, rather than sensationalized stories.
One of the interesting points you make is to go slow to go fast. What does that mean?
Rajat Bhargava: Our basic point throughout the book is to do your homework. Do it quickly and well, but do the homework. When we think of homework, it is talking to customers, iterating on messaging, pricing, value props, the product, and more.
Always think things through and build a foundation from which to build upon, but don’t get bogged down in analysis either. Once you have foundational elements – product/market fit, a solid business model, and the right startup team – you’ll see a great deal of progress.
The corollary is that if you skip steps and breeze through things without getting that foundation built, you’ll pay for it later. You’ll inevitably have to go back and do that work anyway, but now you’ll be doing it further down the road when you’ll be under far more pressure.
Any Final Thoughts?
Rajat Bhargava: We hope that founders will find The Startup Playbook valuable and helpful. The second edition has been significantly expanded with additional stories and material. We also tried to make the book easier to read by breaking it down into more bite-sized chapters.
The book is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and BAM.
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