BookReview: Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business

Startup CEO @ AmazonIf a book has one actionable idea, it's a great success. Matt Blumberg has provided a gold mine of ideas, at least to me. Thanks!

Matt rekindled the idea of blogging for me. I used to think of blogging as something to do when you aren't busing creating "real stuff". Matt promotes the idea of maintaining a public persona for recruiting purposes. He is also into transparency, and talks candidly on his blog about his work at Return Path. That's likely to be my goal in renewing my blogging efforts.

Transparency is a core value for Matt. He takes it a step further than most CEOs. Here's a recent example on his blog. I've always believed in transparency. What I appreciate about Matt's approach is that he describes the mechanisms to achieve it: 360-degree reviews, postmortems, admit mistakes, the "board book", and, of course, blogging.

Matt's book is a collaborative effort. He includes "cameos" from many other people at Return Path and a few outsiders, too. The contributions are excellent, and demonstrate Matt's commitment to teamwork.

This is a book about Return Path and some content is taken from Matt's blog. Some reviewers have complained about this. To me, it makes sense, because the context is necessary to show how the ideas work. Matt's blog allows him to user-test his descriptions of those ideas. Taken together, it's a cohesive and coherent story of Matt's career and life at Return Path over the last 15 years, warts and all.

Matt is a "systems guy". I relate to that. As you may have guessed already, his systems encompass everything in his life, including his "home operating system". Really? Yup. He talks about "anchors" like Friday night dinner at home and coaching a kid's sports team. These days it's necessary, especially if you are running a startup, like Return Path. While my life isn't nearly as complicated, I appreciate Matt's approach to squeezing "every minute out of each day". It's important when you have to balance everything.

One of the techniques I hope to implement is "just a second". Matt insists "on finishing whatever quick task or thought I'm working on before engaging" in an interruption. It's tough to do this, especially given that I'm such a pleaser. However, Matt has reminded me how important this is. You have to be interruptible, and you can control your task switching time so you are most efficient.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. As a Return Path investor, Startup CEO increased my confidence in Matt as captain who knows keeps a tight ship with grace and style.

Via Rob 6/24/2014
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