I spent the last few days in Washington DC reviewing scientific grants for the government. My flight home gave me time to read Ben Casnocha’s book, My Start Up Life.
I have been reading Ben’s Blog since the summer of 2004. I bought his book partly because I wanted to read it, partly to support his efforts, and partly for the opportunity to win dinner with Ben. Two out of three isn’t bad. I don’t normally read auto-biographies but figured that since I enjoy his blog, that I would also enjoy his book. It’s definitely a keeper.
The underlying narrative outlining how he started and grew his company Comcate is interspersed with lessons learned that he calls “Brainstorms.” These sections are similar to many business books but they are all personalized based on Ben’s experiences. There are also “Brain Trusts” written by some of Ben’s mentors and friends that tie into the concepts of each chapter adding depth and a broader perspective. For the entrepreneur in each of us, Ben gives a lot of detail about how he approached some of those branch point decisions that can make or break companies: outsource or in-house, to hire an outside CEO or not, stay small or try to get big, boot-strap or take outside funding, and my personal favorite the long hard slog. Ben was blessed with the support of his family who facilitated his efforts while letting him pursue this dream. He has also cultivated an impressive team of mentors, advisors and friends.
I have to remind myself that Ben cannot yet legally toast his massive successes with a glass of champagne. This remarkable young man has started a successful business, traveled the world, written a book and soon will start college. What will he do next? I’ll be reading his blog to find out.
You can learn more about Ben’s book here.