At its core, this book offers a unique opportunity to connect with the authors and see reflections of yourself within their stories. For those seeking a glimpse of this experience, I urge you to keep reading.
I asked Gaby:
How would the book look once it has been written? Let’s make sure it has the most essential ingredients of a great book?
Gaby > In this book, readers embark on an adventurous play as informed and successful early stage entrepreneurs. The journey is both thrilling and educational, and is complete with comprehensive and up-to-date information, actionable advice, and applicable strategies.
The structure of the book is clear and consistent, providing readers with an easy-to-follow roadmap to success. Engaging stories follow the journey, drawing readers in and connecting the content to their own experience. Thought-provoking questions are interspersed throughout the pages, encouraging readers to think more deeply about the content. Comprehensive examples of successful early stage startups further illustrate the strategies discussed in the book. Inspiring quotes from successful entrepreneurs motivate readers to stay the course and pursue their dreams.
Finally, useful exercises allow readers to apply the strategies to their own situation, helping them to achieve success in their early stage endeavors. The language in the book is inclusive, respectful, and friendly, making the content accessible to all readers.
The book is a comprehensive guide to early stage startups, empowering readers with the knowledge and strategies to create sustainable value.”
(End of Gaby’s long answer)
This indeed brings a sense of joy and fulfillment! Our beloved readers are worthy of receiving the finest. May Gaby and I be able to offer them with such excellence, with a steadfast commitment and loving kindness in our hearts.
When I sit down to write, many questions arise. Gaby and I would love to share with our readers some of the inner struggles we underwent as first-time authors. These struggles and how we deal with them are often overlooked or untold in traditional storytelling, even though they are as important as the rest. Expect to find some inner dialogs here and there, between Gaby and I and between myself and I. These will serve to shine light on the Zen aspect of the experience.
Is this about compiling and organizing the breadth of personal knowledge and expertise I have acquired during these years? Can it serve as a unique high-density resource that I can offer to my fellow entrepreneurs?
I want to cover the whole field of topics important to founders. That would look something like:
- Product Development: This includes everything from identifying a problem to be solved, to researching and developing a solution, to creating a minimum viable product and testing it with customers.
- Marketing and Sales: This encompasses all the strategies and tactics used to attract, engage and convert potential customers, including branding, advertising, PR, and online and offline sales strategies.
- Finance and Fundraising: This includes budgeting, financial forecasting, raising capital, and developing relationships with investors.
- Operations and Logistics: This encompasses everything from managing and organizing internal processes, to scaling up and maintaining a sustainable business model.
- Leadership and Management: This includes leadership development, team building, and the practices and processes used to manage and motivate employees.
- Business Model and Strategy: This includes understanding the overall structure and direction of the company, and making informed decisions about how to grow and scale the business.
Gaby and I do not aspire to add to the ever-growing collection of books that simply scratch the surface of the world of startups. Our aim is to delve deeper, to uncover the essence of what sets successful startups apart, to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams with purpose and passion.
In a world where startups and AI go hand in hand, it may seem as though the realm of commerce and transactions is a far cry from the realm of spiritual awareness and unity. Yet, despite their stark differences, it is our mission to bridge these two worlds and unite them as one. This task is excruciating, but we believe that it is worth the effort, to offer a deeper understanding of both and guide our audience on a journey of discovery, held together by a single thread.
And so, the writing of this book, a story in itself, serves as an example of a real “startup” journey. Delving into concepts from both worlds (startups and Zen) shall help illuminating the path ahead.
Furthermore, Zen is all about having a clear and open mind, being aware of the present moment, and not getting too attached to things. It’s about accepting change and not resisting it. Zen teaches us that there is no separation between things, and that everything is connected. It also teaches us that there is no “self” and that things are not always what they seem. These are some of the main ideas that Zen focuses on.
If you are seeking a straightforward approach, this book offers an in-depth exploration of specific topics, each accompanied by a comprehensive review that includes a clear definition, the significance of the topic, a debunking of prevalent misconceptions, and a discussion of established best practices. Throughout the book, practical examples from the real world are woven into each topic to provide insightful connections to the wisdom of Zen philosophy.
After several days of contemplating various alternative outlines suggested by Gaby, I felt stuck. None of the outlines we came out with Gaby felt good enough for me. They didn’t lack structure. I reached the conclusion that too much academic structure would not serve my purpose. What the outlines lacked was a great story.
Let’s sit down and revisit the matter with myself. The following questions arise:
Wisdom Seeker: Should I use a formal or informal writing style for this book?
Inner wisdom: The best writing style for this book is one that is clear and concise, yet also engaging and approachable. A good balance between formality and informality can help keep the reader interested while still conveying the important information and ideas.
Experiment with different styles that the AI can use to rewrite my writings. Choose the style that resonates the best.
Wisdom Seeker: How can I make sure the content is accessible to a wide audience?
Inner wisdom: Avoid using jargon or overly technical language that may be confusing to some readers. Instead, aim for a clear and straightforward style that can be easily understood by a diverse audience. The book could appeal to the general public if it highlights a trending topic such as AI. It could also appeal to people curious about the intersection of philosophy and technology.
Wisdom Seeker: How can I make the book memorable and impactful for the reader?
Inner wisdom: Consider using storytelling techniques and including real-life examples and case studies. Also, be sure to convey your message in a way that is authentic and genuine, as this can help connect with the reader on a deeper level.
Wisdom Seeker: Should I include quotes or excerpts from other sources in the book?
Inner wisdom: Quotes or excerpts from other sources can be a great way to add credibility and depth to your book. However, it is important to make sure they are relevant. Always be sure to properly cite any quotes or excerpts you include.
Wisdom Seeker: How about personal anecdotes and stories?
Inner wisdom: Yes. However, it is important to use them sparingly and make sure they are relevant to the overall message of the book.
Wisdom Seeker: How can I make the book visually appealing?
Inner wisdom: Consider including elements such as images, graphs, and charts to break up the text and make the book more visually appealing. Choose carefully.
As I contemplate these questions, an insight starts to emerge.
The process of writing a book seems to be very similar to the process of launching a new product. Sharing my inner questions and thoughts about the book, while I am having them, shall allow the reader to be more intimate with my inner experience. I will have many questions and challenges while writing, and I shall be applying the teachings from Zen when making choices. Making this inner dynamic transparent to the reader shall strengthen the sense of authenticity and enhance the reader’s intellectual understanding with a stronger feeling of “direct experience”.
When reading the self doubt questions, the reader might directly feel how relevant my questions are. If they have other relevant questions that have been overlooked, they might feel empowered to write a better book by themselves. They might want to reach out to me to share their perspectives. When they read the inner wisdom answers, they will immediately see how well these answers resonate with them. And, who knows? Maybe they would want to reach out to share their unique insights with me and enhance the potential future editions of the book. We might even become real life friends.
In sum, this approach seems to be a great opportunity to connect with my readers, enhance their reading experience and make it more enjoyable. However, I shall also remain focused on the core topic of the book, which is the intersection of startups, AI and Zen, and avoid the many potential distractions into tangential topics.
While the conventional, academic outlines have their own merits, they may not resonate with everyone. In the realm of startup entrepreneurship, there is an immense value in learning from real-life experiences and stories, rather than merely from structured theoretical knowledge. Such an approach allows for a deeper understanding of the subject matter, and adds a personal touch, making the learning process more enjoyable and relatable. The tale of an individual’s journey through the world of startups is a rich source of inspiration, insight and wisdom, and often provides a more fulfilling experience than simply studying dry, impersonal academic theories.
What I’d rather do in this book is embark on a new and exciting startup journey, and invite the reader to join me in the ride as closely as possible.
This brings to mind the words of Philip K Dick:
“A novelist carries with him constantly what most women carry in large purses: much that is useless, a few absolutely essential items, and then, for good measure, a great number of things that fall in between. But the novelist does not transport them physically because his trove of possessions is mental. Now and then he adds a new and entirely useless idea; now and then he reluctantly cleans out the trash — the obviously worthless ideas — and with a few sentimental tears sheds them. Once in a great while, however, he happens by chance onto a thoroughly stunning idea new to him that he hopes will turn out to be new to everyone else. It is this final category that dignifies his existence. But such truly priceless ideas…perhaps during his entire lifetime he may, at best, acquire only a meager few.
But that is enough; he has, through them, justified his existence to himself and to his God.” – Philip K Dick
With this newfound inspiration in my hands, I resolved to transform the pages of this book into a playground for unbridled experimentation. I will be narrating the riveting tale of my next startup, from its very genesis to its nascent beginnings. In a daring move, we will welcome the concept of “failure” as a possible outcome, releasing ourselves from the burden of undue pressure and needless anxieties along the way.
I yearn for this new endeavor to be a paragon of simplicity and distinction, bringing forth an approach that is quintessentially known as “Simply Different”.
Reid Hoffman, founder of Linkedin, says starting a company is like “jumping off a cliff and assembling an airplane on the way down”. So, let’s hold hands and jump off the cliff together.
The narrative of this book’s inception, too, bears semblance to the tale of a nascent startup, compelling in its own right. Indeed, it is a tale of true events, and the scent of novelty permeates the pages. The introduction tickles the reader with the story of the book’s very creation – a tale as captivating as the book itself. It is as if one is reading two stories in tandem, rendering the intellectual and emotional experience all the more profound.
Throughout the pages of this book, we embark on a journey with GoingNext, a startup like no other. From its early beginnings to the unveiling of a fully-realized prototype, we delve into the heart of the startup experience. We begin by exploring its values and vision, inquiring into all the crucial components that bring it to life. And as we reach the end of our journey, we reflect on the trials and tribulations, the growth and the triumphs of GoingNext. Join us as we unravel the secrets of a successful startup.
Here’s how our journey together will look like:
- The Foundations of Starting Up
- Zen Teachings and Startups
- Exploring the Potential of AI
- Developing the Product
- Developing an Actionable Plan
- Marketing and Reverse Marketing
- Staying Ahead of the Curve