‘Surviving a Startup’ preps readers to have entrepreneurial mindset

Caryl Anne Francia, Business Editor

In “Surviving a Startup,” author and Founders Space CEO Steven Hoffman provides readers with useful advice for entrepreneurial-minded people who want to take their business idea to soaring heights.

Hoffman provides insight into the business world in a way that allows readers with little financial knowledge to understand. At one point, he even criticizes the American education system for not properly teaching students about finance for their adult lives.

Luckily, this book exists to make up for that.

Hoffman is honest about his advice from the start, asking readers to evaluate why they want to run a startup. While he is critical for the most part, he can also get motivational, encouraging people tired of their current job and reasonable business idea to go for it.

He presents readers with useful anecdotes to better explain concepts and provide inspiration for the readers.

Examples he provides tell the stories of how Mark Cuban, a media proprietor best known for his appearances on the show “Shark Tank,” and Justin Woolverton, the founder and CEO of Halo Top Creamery, used their entrepreneurial mindsets to create successful businesses.

Hoffman helps readers navigate how to network and make positive impressions, whether when pitching to investors or interacting with journalists. Even if readers aren’t pursuing business careers and are picking up this book for leisure, he provides useful advice on how to tell engaging stories with confidence.

Perhaps the most useful thing Hoffman does in his book is to provide insight into business law. While he is not a business lawyer, he gets into how entrepreneurs have worked with lawyers specializing in business topics, such as patents, to execute their ideas to avoid legal risk.

Hoffman understands that lawyers don’t provide their services for cheap, so he points to free resources that people can use when they are starting. The advice isn’t comprehensive, but it does briefly tackle topics that are addressed in Baruch College’s LAW 1101 course.

Hoffman makes a point that while students coming from elite universities like Harvard University may be appealing to investors just by name, these students don’t necessarily have the qualities to be an entrepreneur. He even lists people with successful business careers who didn’t go to university, including Founding Father Benjamin Franklin.

Instead, he says that someone who proves themselves to be a leader, overcomes challenges and inspires others is favored, and that kind of person can easily be found in Baruch’s student body.

The Ticker’s business section has published a few articles covering programs and events related to entrepreneurship and startups on campus that students can take advantage of. The section has also featured student-run businesses and startups.

This book just serves as a crash course guide to the business world with positive reinforcement and could be used to the benefit of other students taking this path, and hopefully, they’ll be featured in The Ticker one day.