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The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How Three…

The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How Three Harvard Business School Graduates…

by Bill Murphy

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Interesting read and fairly inspirational. I liked the back and forth style of writing. One chapter would tell the story of the three entrepreneurs and then the next chapter would attempt to dissect and offer lessons on being an entrepreneur based on their stories.

It does tend to come across as a really long advertisement for the Harvard Business School and at times I was turned off by that aspect. ( )
  damienfranco | Aug 22, 2013 |
For the college entrepreneur, being accepted to the the Harvard or Stanford Business Schools is the Holy Grail of Opportunity. Each year, thousands apply and only a few are accepted into these elite programs. The graduates are assured lucrative job offers and contacts for which others would kill. This book follows three HBS graduates who chose another popular route, entrepreneurship. These three turned down the six figure salaries for the opportunity of making something big on their own.

I picked up this book in the hopes of gleaning some information to feed my desire of someday having my own company. What I came away with was unexpected discouragement. I am sure this wasn’t what the author went for, but after tracing the route of these three Harvard graduates, I got the distinct impression a) I could only make it if I attended the Harvard Business School and b) if I didn’t create a multimillion dollar company in three years, I wouldn’t be a successful entrepreneur. The stories were interesting, the advice pertinent, but the loftiness unattainable.

The three chosen subjects each started Internet companies: The Ladders, Military.com and Bluemercury (an online cosmetics retailer). Each were successful through the tenacity and strength of their founders. Each survived through their contacts made at HBS. In fact, one of the lessons I learned from the book, intentional or not, is the value of high-powered contacts, both for advice and cash. It is discouraging to anyone who hasn’t gone to the elite schools to ever hope of meeting these kinds of players.

The chronicle of their respective business startups was very educational and interesting. The book is very engaging, the stories very well written. It is obvious Murphy is a reporter. His style and experience shows through – I cared about their problems and successes. I cheered inwardly as Marla made the shift from sinking online retailer to successful brick-and-mortar boutique. I applaud the success they achieved and grumbled at the poor people management decisions and bad behaviors.

I came away from the book with a fresh look at the hyper-charged life of the successful big entrepreneur, with multimillion dollar investments and even larger payoffs. What I didn’t find was much value for the small entrepreneur. It felt that the message was “if you want to be successful, you better go to Harvard or Stanford”. That just isn’t an option for me, so I was left wondering if I had any business even considering starting my own business. That wasn’t what I was hoping to find. ( )
  DanStratton | Jan 24, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I found this book to be a bit underwhelming. The ten rules were interesting, although I'm not entirely convinced that entrepreneurship can really be learned. And I didn't find the stories of the three HBS graduates all that interesting or compelling. With the plethora of business books out there, I probably wouldn't spend the time on this one unless I was really starting from a knowledge base of zero.. ( )
  indianajane | Apr 6, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was expecting a business management book, however this book is more of a biography of three entrepreneurs. The useful ideas are very diluted in amongst the day-to-day stories and the history. The persistent references to HBS were also annoying and detracted from the overall ideas. ( )
  varroa | Feb 12, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book describes the process that these graduates from Harvard Business School became successful with their business startups, but one of them already had a successful business before he went to Harvard. I was hoping that the advice would be more helpful for those of us who don't have thousands of dollars to pay for an exclusive education. There's more to life and the country than the east coast and the west coast, but the midwest always seems to be completely ignored. ( )
  loveradiator | Jan 3, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805091661, Hardcover)

Written with the cooperation of Harvard Business School, an instructive and inspiring book for anyone who dreams of starting a highly profitable business

In 1998, three Harvard Business School graduates—two men and one woman—turned down six-figure salaries at big corporations, bet on themselves, and launched their own new companies. By their ten-year reunion, their audacity had paid huge dividends. They'd made many millions of dollars, created hundreds of jobs—and left their mark on the world.

Based on dozens of interviews with highly successful entrepreneurs, Harvard Business School professors, and HBS alumni, The Intelligent Entrepreneur tells the compelling and instructive story of how these three young founders developed ideas, assembled teams, built ventures, and achieved their dreams. Along the way, they learned that starting great companies requires much more than a ferocious work ethic or good timing. Their hard-won insights—distilled into ten key rules—will help anyone become a successful entrepreneur.

What they teach you at Harvard Business School is that intelligent entrepreneurship can be learned. In that spirit, Bill Murphy Jr. uses a unique combination of vivid storytelling and lucid instruction to show would-be entrepreneurs how to improve their odds of creating dynamic, lasting businesses.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:06 -0400)

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Tells the compelling story of how three Harvard Business School graduates developed ideas, assembled teams, built ventures, started companies and achieved their dreams in only 10 years and provides 10 lessons that can be learned from their experience.… (more)

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