Book Review – “The First Mile”, by Scott Anthony

The First MileA book about how to transform your innovation ideas into a working machine? Anytime! Especially when it comes from Harvard Business Review Press and it is packed with actionable advice and study cases.

“First Mile”s author (Scott Anthony) is not quite new to the innovation field. As a managing partner at Innosight (a small venture capital and consulting company from Singapore which generates 76,400 hits, quite  a lot for a discrete company), he has seen hundreds of such small companies starting and failing – or succeeding. And objective books by venture capitalists, written out of passion, are quite rare. So I braced myself for a potentially good read.

“The First Mile” is an entrepreneurship book mostly about creating, testing and starting the implementation of your business plan. It is a book oriented towards the first-time or maybe serial antrepreneurs, who want to do other mistakes than their predecessors. As a Harvard Business Review Press book, it has two main advantages:

– it is very practical – which I enjoyed substantially, especially with regards to the bullet, actionable list style (you can almost create a task or a process list based on the book);

– and it is packed with real-life examples from real life companies.

In the past I have seen many “start-your-business” books which simply lay out a professor’s theoretical ideas – actually, as an ex-MBA student of entrepreneurship, I was exposed to such materials. “The First Mile” is a practioner book – maybe too coloquial on certain pages, but otherwise quite useful. Take for example the advice on forecasting – the idea not to engineer your sales and profit forecasts to get a desired outcome, rather to put all the contingencies in. As such, it is a short and informative small cook-book about “how-to” develop your precious idea on the market.

Thus, if you want to avoid the in-famous scarlet “F” letter (from Failure), you can increase your chances by documenting a bit more. Enjoy!

 

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