The Fail-Safe Startup

The Fail-Safe Startup

Your Roadmap for Entrepreneurial Success


Brought to you by Penguin.

The Survival Guide for Entrepreneurial Success from Harvard Professor, Tom Eisenmann

90% of all startups fail. But why?

For the past decade, this is a question that Tom Eisenmann has tried to answer. Focusing his research and his MBA class at Harvard University on the mistakes and missteps of entrepreneurs, for the first time, he reveals his findings, and - most importantly - how you can avoid them.

Eisenmann's fascinating, often counter-intuitive, advice debunks common Silicon Valley mythology including:

The False Promise: How early success, often based on extenuating factors, gives founders the misplaced confidence to expand.
The False Start: That the 'fail fast' mentality of many founders can mean launching before they're ready - wasting time and money.
The Audacity of Goals: Silicon Valley scoffs at moderatea mbitions but the more audacious your goals, the more can go wrong.

Drawing on case studies from startups around the world, in all shapes and sizes, The Fail-Safe Startup will show you how to analyse others' failure to ensure your success.

© Tom Eisenmann 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021


  • Eisenmann's book about failure, an inherent part of startup life, is actually a book about how to succeed. The stories and voices of entrepreneurs at all stages and of all stripes bring his frameworks and playbooks to life. Whether you're a first-time founder or looking to bring innovation into a corporate environment, Why Startups Fail is essential reading. As Tom says, creating something from nothing is a daring act. His wisdom and encouragement will give any reader the confidence to take the leap.
    Eric Ries, CEO of LTSE and bestselling author of The Lean Startup

About the author

Tom Eisenmann

Tom Eisenmann is the Howard H. Stevenson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the faculty co-chair of the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship. Since joining the HBS faculty in 1997, he has launched eleven MBA courses on a range of topics related to entrepreneurship, including The Entrepreneurial Manager, an introductory course taught to all 900 first-year MBAs and Entrepreneurial Failure, an MBA elective. Eisenmann has written over one hundred Harvard Business School Case Studies and his writing appears regularly in the Wall Street Journal, The New Statesman and The New York Times.
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