The $100 Startup

Review: If you’re interested in, say, running a service that delivers mattresses on the back of a bicycle or becoming an itinerant wedding photographer, here’s your holy text.

James Cowan 0
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(Photo: Natalie Castellino)

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love and Create a New Future
(Crown Business)
Chris Guillebeau

“This book isn’t about founding a big Internet startup, and it isn’t about opening a traditional business by putting on a suit and begging for money at the bank,” warns the introduction of this guide to modest-sized entrepreneurship. So if you’re looking for tips on becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg, it won’t help you. (It doesn’t even want to try.) But if you’re interested in, say, running a service that delivers mattresses on the back of a bicycle or becoming an itinerant wedding photographer, here’s your holy text. Guillebeau is preaching from his own playbook: the author founded a coffee-importing business from his couch before launching a series of travel guides while wandering the globe. Now he’s calling for a “microbusiness revolution,” where anyone with a C-note can follow their passions and be their own boss (but not, it should be said, anyone else’s boss; most microbusinesses have one employee). And while the author’s zeal grows tiresome quickly, and the advice is rather basic (e.g., “Passion or skill + usefulness = success”), the case studies are intriguing. When you read of a man who earns money helping travellers maximize their frequent flyer miles, you realize that there really are countless ways to become an entrepreneur.

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