9th book of 2021: The Art Of A Happy Exit by K. Srikrishna
I was recommended to read this book and reach out to Mr. Srikrishna by none other than Sidharth Rao (author, How I almost blew it).
Entrepreneurship is amongst the hardest endeavors. There are very few things which add as much value to an ecosystem as the formation of new a enterprise. All that value creation notwithstanding, the eventual destiny of an enterprise is to drift away from the founder at some point in time. In the parlance of the startup ecosystem, that's called an "exit".
While most entrepreneurs dream of an exit with them leaving the reigns to a team committed to grow their (ever growing) legacy, very few prove to be so lucky. Here's how founders usually get the exit:
The company dies with nothing to show for (most likely)
It's sold in distress, founders are hired by acquirers
It's sold for cash, founders get rich
The company becomes a lasting institution with founders as thought leaders (least likely)
This harsh reality makes it obvious that one needs to prepare to avoid the most likely outcome by having a good "exit strategy". Which is what this book is all about.
The lessons are told through the stories of different entrepreneurs sharing their "exit" experience, mostly in a frank and no-holds-barred fashion. I'd say it's an important book which could be amongst the crash courses for people just starting out with their first startups.
While the reading experience is a bit uninspiring (due to the somber storylines), the lessons are valid and quite essential. Truth is bitter, but needs to be told.
Kudos to Mr. Srikrishna for writing this. We've talked, and he could be joining my podcast (I Read This Book) anytime soon. Cheers to that!
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