Business Book Review of Maverick Startup by Yanik Silver

I picked up the Maverick Startup by Yanik Silver as it seemed to have a bit more substance than the usual “go team go!” style startup book.

Startup is a difficult subject because in reality, there isn’t a road to fame and fortune, a bunch of stencils you need to fill in for guaranteed success or even consensus in the approach you can take to be a success. Startup is in essence the ultimate bootstrapping challenge. And as you are bootstrapping sometimes the physical “what works for me” has a tough time translating across. And I did find this was the case with Maverick Startup unfortunately.

Maybe it’s the sub-title that bugs me “11 X-Factors to Bootstrap From Zero to Six Figures and Beyond” because whilst I got a few good ideas, I didn’t have a “yeah man, that’s awesome!” moment.

I did however get some valuable reaffirmations of the beliefs I have held for a while re: pricing and giving and some ticking in the old noggin on ideas I can use for my freelance business and sideline endeavours.

The “I’m so happy I bought this” moment surrounds Yanik’s treatment of conscious capitalism. His promotion and execution of conscious capitalism is intelligent, heart warming and practical. You don’t walk away feeling like you have to make your millions first before you can apply the ideals, which is great.

A couple of little gems mined from Maverick Startup were:

  • Don’t expect people to spend time working your product out, help them understand it.
  • Help your customers make a decision quickly.
  • Write down your own vision of success and what you think success is for both you and your startup. Each person’s ideal is different and therefore working towards your version of success needs to be tailored to you.
  • Don’t be cheap. When you price yourself higher, you create a perception you a worthwhile and premium product- and you give yourself more money for marketing, which you will need.
  • Design tier packages that help you promote a rounded experience of your product that allow both price choice but also a sense of what you offer.
  • Always give something to your potential customers to help them use and engage with your product as well as a point of pride that gives them something to talk about with friends.
  • Networking doesn’t have to be hard. Be sincere and choose situations where the focus isn’t about shaking hands and is more about interests you and the other attendees have in common- like social responsibility or passion points.
  • Share advice, share contacts, share resources because it helps with relationship building.
  • Giving is important (I was particularly fond of this point because so many times people bang on about how you shouldn’t give freebies or not give money to charity and so on).
  • No matter what you do, work keeps expanding. So learn to do what you need, be passionate about the process and hit the refresh button occasionally.

Startup is a hot topic right now and a LOT of people have ideas and opinions. If you are seeking your roadmap to startup success, this isn’t it. But it will get you thinking about new ways to skin the customer cat.

Maverick Startup is a million miles away from the ghastly ‘money, money, money’ overtones of some of the startup books out there and it isn’t just ‘pie in the sky’ theory about the ideals without proof the pudding actually cooks, so for those reasons, it’s certainly worth the look if you are into conscious capitalism.


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