Reviewed: Startup Life


Most startup/entrepreneur books mirror say if you want to succeed, be prepared to sacrifice anything and everything, and it will all be worth it in the end. You’ll be the next Facebook/Twitter/Google/Yammer … you get the idea.

However Startup Life, by Amy Batchelor and Brad Feld, is a reassuring read for entrepreneurs. Its story is essential as books on marketing, or funding, product dev or community building.

The theme of Startup Life? Balance is worth striving for. You can have a life and still be successful. Feld and Batchelor thoughtfully tackle the issues that nearly every businessperson faces — no matter whether Internet or bricks-and-mortar. These are the universal challenges: Money (lack of it, or suddenly an abundance of it — which has its own issues).

Time. Priorities. Sleep. Friends. Fights/Relationships. Divorce. Marriage. Illness. Family — children, siblings and parents. More than just the next UI rev, these are the things that can keep entrepreneurs up at night, and potentially tear them apart.

Batchelor and Feld start off by explaining how their own relationship nearly failed. They go on to share practical tips that helped them have a healthier foundation as a couple, from which to build successful individual lives as well.

The pair also interview other entrepreneurs to include their differing stories and perspectives (Mindful that they don’t have children of their own, they share the lessons and insights from friends with kids who had to balance time with family vs. the often urgent needs of a growing business — which was helpful).

In short, Batchelor and Feld pay some overdue attention to the people behind the business (and those who love or must cope with them).