Entrepreneurship 101: How to Turn Your Idea into a Money Machine

by anil on December 2, 2007

Title: Entrepreneurship 101: How to Turn Your Idea into a Money Machine
Author: Michael E. Gordon
Publisher: Wiley
ISBN: 0470047127

Refreshing basics is a good idea–in any domain. However experienced you are. I found “Entrepreneurship 101: How to Turn Your Idea into a Money Machine” states the basics of entrepreneurship very clearly; covers almost all points.

It starts with the spirit of entrepreneurship. It strongly states the fact several entrepreneurs learned with their lives:

“You can’t do it alone. Building a world-class team is the only way to big success”.

It tries to define an entrepreneur in a very interesting and convincing way. I liked that section very much; I’m sure it’s gonna be a whack on the head for many.

Gordon explains the difference between an idea and an opportunity. Many think they are same. He explains the differences and provides means to find out whether an idea is an opportunity or not.

Gordon’s list of “Essential Entrepreneurial Power Skills” is a great one. I liked a practical tip called “Power of Zero” on how to step up your inflow in a phased manner. He defines phases of business which many entrepreneurs forget to track in their day-to-day rush.

Then he talks about how ideas can make or break you. The need of selecting and examining ideas which best suit you and your skills; very important I should say. An idea which is good by itself may not be good for you. He emphasis the need of finding the fit between you and your idea.

Business design is something all entrepreneurs take for granted. They go with “as soon as it makes money, it’s fine” approach. Gorden goes a level deeper and talks about designing your money machine very objectively. I liked that. It’s more scientific and rational. Again nothing new in this but a good refresher.

Once you have identified your idea the next thing you need to define is your competition. “Good” and “bad” industries are identified with this. Consider all aspects while doing this: competing products and substitutes, bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of customers, etc., etc.. He says “it’s a jungle”.

There is a chapter on “Raising Money” which will be a handy one for all new entrepreneurs. Gordon explains what are the options available to raise money with pros and cons of each equipping you to take a decision of your own.

I’m not from a business family. But I wanted to do business ever since I started thinking about my career and life. But I was often worried about the fact that mine is not a “business blood”. But later on I started realising that an inherent desire is enough to become an entrepreneur. This book underlines that. Gordon clearly states that entrepreneurship can be learned just like any other skill. That’s true. The question is whether you want to be entrepreneur.

The author talks about the importance of finding the lacking skills in you as an entrepreneur. This is a much-ignored element especially with self-funded entrepreneurs (who usually manages everything by themselves and “be his own boss” in literal sense) and can severely affect the growth of business.

This book referres many excellent entrepreneurial and business books. Most of them are must-reads. Read them too if you haven’t already. Entrepreneurship 101 is very informative and inspirational (an unusual combination) and includes a pep talk section at the end of each chapter.

What this book doesn’t cover are day-today running and operational matters of your business. That subject is in a domain of its own. So I would recommend reading Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done along with this book, if you want to have more comprehensive coverage on entrepreneurship. Another element missing in this book is the human resource part.

What the author talks about web sites and other IT related subjects lacks up-to-date knowledge. For example, he talks about the importance of meta tags in web pages to get it listed in search engines. The days of meta tags with respect to search engines are gone. Now you need to look at SEO techniques.


If you are a wannabe-entrepreneur this book is a must-read for you. If you already wet your feet, read this book twice over (you might need to unlearn something).

I would rate this book 4/5.



Interesting article. It is question of point of view. Idea is for the entrepreneur and opportunity for the investor. Opportunity means business.

I am building an Entrepreneurs Investors community (http://thestreetmarket.com). Our idea is to bring to entrepreneurs advice that will help t hem in the growth process (without crawling and begging for help). They can post their needs. Most entrepreneurs are too isolated and just don?t know what to do. They also do not have all the financial resources to ask for advice. We will be honoured if you can participate to our community.

Thanks and good work!

by gaic on December 3, 2007 at 3:00 pm. #

anil hi!

just stumbled into ur blog, i am a wannabe entrepreneur……keen on getting into food / eatery in a small way in Kerala…KYM to be precise ../am into a totally diifferent job of HR consulting as of now…I am a NRK ..my roots are in kerala,

your blog surely reminisces those traditional / cultural food which are prob fast vanishing from our palate…i want to know as to how feasible would be to get into this venture in a place like Kottayam…has more of deep rooted isms when it comes to food….

would appreciate your comments / suggestions

BR / Smita

by Smita Philip on January 4, 2009 at 1:40 pm. #

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