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March 25, 2012

Founder's Dilemmas - And There Are Many

In the very first year of a company, there are a few very tough, make-or-break decisions that founders need to make.  My colleague and friend, Professor Noam Wasserman, teaches a class called "Founder's Dilemmas" at Harvard Business School that delves into these decisions and has become a "must-take" session for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Noam has turned the materials and research from his class into a new book:  The Founder's Dilemmas, where he analyzes the fundamental trade-offs such as when to found a company, who to found it with (if anyone), how to determine roles and responsibilities, equity splits, choosing investors and many more sensitive issues.

This is a serious book for a serious endeavor: creating a company from scratch that can be a world-beater and life-changer.  Analytical, insightful and even a bit wonky at times, Wasserman's story arc is less about war stories - although the books is chock full of them, featuring the founders of Twitter, Pandora and others - and more about the decision tree every founder must climb.  Rather than having these decisions happen by chance, Wasserman's book is a towering guide to making these decisions thoughtfully and purposefully.

Every founder should read it - and take the time to digest its rich data and lessons.

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