97 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know

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This is the wiki for developing the book 97 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know which will be published by O'Reilly & Associates.


What will come of all this?

O'Reilly will select the best 97 axioms from this private wiki for a book by the same name which will be published later this year. The book will contain 97 Axioms from entrepreneurs and venture fund capitalists providing advice for entrepreneurs. There will be contributions from approximately 20 - 50 authors. Each author is expected to contribute an average of 2 axioms with a limit of 4 axioms per author.

Each two page spread of the published book will contain the title of the axiom, a name and picture of the author and a explanation of the axiom. Each author will also be included in a biographical section in the back of the book where their full bio and contact information will be provide (if so desired). The explanation associated with each axiom should be between 350 and 500 words and should clearly explain the axiom presented. O'Reilly and series editor, Richard Monson-Haefel, will work with authors by providing guidance and editing as needed.

Rules of Engagement

  • Contribution is by invitation only. You can nominate others for inclusion by adding them to the Nomination Page; please make sure to include an email address.
  • You can set yourself up with an account (just click create_account) and begin writing your first contribution immediately. See Axiom 0 which provides a template for your entries.
  • Each contributor is asked to provide an axiom and a brief discussion. The axiom should only be a 2 to 10 words long if possible. In print, we want each axiom and discussion to fit on a two-page spread. Keep your discussion between 350 and 500 words.
  • We are asking everyone to create an author page (Please create one). Content on your author pages certainly doesn't count towards your 350-500 words. We'll want (minimally) a bio and a head shot. Only contributions with associated bios (including head shot, and description of background) will be considered for contributions to the book. You may use an icon that's associated with you instead of a picture. Please keep your author page up to date.
  • We are using MediaWiki which has its own conventions for wiki editing. If you have never used a wiki before or are not getting the results you want check out the MediaWiki help page for guidance on how to create and edit entries.
  • To add a head shot, first use the "Upload file" under Toolbox (on the left side) to put the file on the server. Then use a tag like [[Image:filename.jpg]] in the bio.
  • Please also add your snail-mail address and email address to the Address page. This information will not be released when the site goes public. We need to keep track of it so that we can send you a comp copy of the print book when it's available, and in case O'Reilly's legal department decides we need to get explicit releases from all the contributors prior to publication. If you still don't want to disclose your contact info (and I cannot promise that this site won't "leak" out to the rest of the world), please still add your name to Address, and write "I'd prefer not to" or something like that. Then your contact info to mailto:mike@oreilly.com.
  • Please, no illustrations or fancy styling. Just keep it plain text.
  • Please edit your own contribution only.
  • Please keep this URL private sharing it only with people you want to nominate (see the [Nomination Page]). Don't link to it, digg it, put it on your web pages, send it out to a mailing list, etc. First, it's only temporary. This book will not live within O'Reilly commons indefinitely.
  • All works on this site are covered under the Creative Commons Attribution 3 license. You warrant that all work that you contribute to this site is your original work, except for material that is in the public domain or for which you have obtained permission.

"What's in it for me?", said the contributer.

As a contributer the benefits you derive depend on what you say and who is saying it. If you are a venture capitalist your advice is going to be read by thousands of entrepreneurs who are looking for a wise sage to help them with their start-up. If you are an entrepreneur than you can bet that this book is going to be read by venture capitalists who want to (a) know what there colleagues are saying and (b) are mining the book for potential ventures.

There is also the potential to truly help people who are starting a new venture. As you know a start-up of any kind is usually far more than most people bargained for. You have the experience and wisdom that can help them - all you have to do is write it down and we'll help you share it with thousands of entrepreneurs.

Whether you contribute to this book to advertise your business, gain status in the industry, or to help people, the end result is the same. Your contribution will be read by thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands, of people new and experienced in the start-up game. It's a chance for you to shine.

The Good Stuff

Axiom 0 shows how we want you to structure contributions.

We are already in the midst of another book called "97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know". You can take a look at that wiki to get a better idea of what we consider to be a proper axiom, but remember those axioms are for software architects not entrepreneurs. That 97things project wiki is also private so please do not share it with anyone else.

For a good idea of what an entrepreneur axiom might say take a look at the article "Proverbs for Entrepreneurs" The proverbs presented in that article represent good examples of entrepreneur axioms, however the explanations are too short. Your explanations should be 350 - 500 words.

We're looking forward to working with you!

Richard Monson-Haefel, Curl Inc.

Mike Loukides, Editor, O'Reilly Media, Inc.


Please add your contributions here. Go into edit mode for this section to see how to add a new contribution.

Axiom 0 axiom title by Jon Doe

Axiom 1 put your title here by David Hornik

Axiom 2 changing direction by Dharmesh Shah

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