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Starting Something: An Entrepreneur's Tale of Control, Confrontation & Corporate Culture [Hardcover]

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Item description for Starting Something: An Entrepreneur's Tale of Control, Confrontation & Corporate Culture by Wayne McVicker...

A must-read for all entrepreneurs. The story of Neoforma, a software firm that accidentally became a dotcom darling and eventually a public company. Starting Something engages the reader with the captivating story of how Neoforma survived its struggles against daunting obstacles--and in the process delivers on a very human level a wealth of insight, information, and advice for entrepreneurs.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   409
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.1" Width: 6" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   1.6 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 15, 2004
Publisher   Ravel Media, LLC
ISBN  1932881018  
ISBN13  9781932881011  

Availability  0 units.

More About Wayne McVicker

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Wayne McVicker is an architect, writer, speaker, and entrepreneur. In 2001 he co-founded Attainia, as software company. He has 25 years of experience in the design, health care and IT industries. McVicker's five-year-long wild ride as co-founder (in 1996), board member, and president of Neoforma (NASDAQ: NEOF) is the basis for this book.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > General
2Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Small Business & Entrepreneurship > Entrepreneurship
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction

Reviews - What do customers think about Starting Something: An Entrepreneur's Tale of Control, Confrontation & Corporate Culture?

Good Start Up Story  Mar 1, 2008
This is a good example of a start up and how much work is involved. By highlighting the ups and downs, it paints the real picture of a start-up, not just the glam.
If you are in start-up and looking for something big, read this one!  Dec 16, 2007
If you wanted to read a definitive true story about pre dotcom, bubble and post bubble trials and tribulations, this is the one, sinc eat the end they built a solid profitable company. I chuckled at all the characters that McVickers met with the language that was used when reason left the industry to be totally replaced/driven by greed. . For those of us lucky enough to enjoy that whole wild ride, this book brings it all back. The start-up struggles and financing on debt. Placing bets on directions with your own well being/family. The people are all there, reluctant angels, greedy guys, lazy guys, arrogant amd humble types, disaster hires, reluctant hires wanting a big piece of the action, VCs, investment bankers, handlers, hold-up artists, PR pros, Barney deal makers, aggressive Competitive cos and their VCs, Take no prisoners sales guys/CEOs. This is all played out from the point of view of a fairly humble technical guy who just wanted to do something good. And the money stories, they all were happening. This is well written, easy to follow and a good pleasurable read. If you are in start-up and looking for something big, read this one!
Entrepreneurial Understanding  Oct 27, 2007
This book covers many aspects of the entrepreneurial process. Written in a journal-style, the book takes on more the form of a dramatic novel, covering the growth of McVicker's company, Neoforma, from their beginnings as a poor internet start-up, all the way to their IPO. McVicker navigates through the convoluted process of starting this business, and provides a tremendous amount of insight into his experiences. The names in the book take on life as McVicker describes them interacting in the start-up process. Well written and packed with information, this is a good read for anyone interested in starting their own business.
Misses the point?  Dec 27, 2006
I fully admire the guts it took for Wayne to start a business, I fully admire the hard work he and his employees put in, and I fully admire his candor, since there was a lot in his book that deserved to be told, especially on the company-investor relationship side. But I couldn't help noticing that whenever he spoke glowingly of the company's progress and achievements, he measured them in terms of employee growth and fundraising stats, rather than REVENUE or PROFIT.

Here's why:

1999 - $1 million revenue, operating loss of $51 million
2000 - $10 million revenue, operating loss of $219 million
2001 - $3 million revenue, operating loss of $273 million
2002 - $4 million revenue, operating loss of $81 million
2003 - $11 million revenue, operating loss of $65 million
2004 - $13 million revenue, operating loss of $62 million
2005 - revenues finally started growing for real, because they bought some with their own stock, and then were acquired by another company end of 2005/beginning of 2006

Total for the six full years:

Revenue = $42 million
Losses = $751 million

That basically means the company spent $793 million in order to get $42 million of revenue. Think about those numbers for a second. If you're providing a service, and people are paying you 5 cents for every dollar you spend, well, maybe that's not such a great business to be in.

This book's an engaging and well-written chronicle of one of the shining examples of bubble era craziness. I'm not at all downplaying the truth or value in the general lessons, in the growing pains & emotional reversals of fortune Wayne goes through, and I'm not trying to pin the blame on him for all the missteps. I just hope that aspiring entrepreneurs who read this book balance it out with one on a business that worked, because there are a lot of those that make for interesting reading too, and luck isn't the only thing that distinguishes their trajectory from this one.
Reading Between The Lines  Oct 18, 2006
Starting Something captures the rocket ride to IPO in a truly remarkable way that makes the reader feel he's riding co-pilot. I found the discussion about their venture investor, Venrock Associates, to be of particular interest because it appears that "Bret," the Venrock Partner, was given additional equity in Neoforma after Venrock's investment (pp. 308-310). The problem with this kind of thing is that Bret works for the limited and general partners of the firm, not himself, and he took equity right out of their pockets.

Is there any way to justify Bret's actions here? Please, tell me that I'm missing something here.

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