World Domination For a C-note

The $100 Startup
by Chris Guillebeau
Crown Business, 2012

Chris Guillebeau of the Art of Non-Conformity blog (and likewise titled book) has released his new The $100 Startup between trips to every country in the world. Guillebeau writes in the vein of success gurus Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin. But although Guillebeau lives a seemingly high flying life, he connects with the reader in a down to earth way that reflects his contagious idealism.

Based on an underlying bootstrapping philosophy, The $100 Startup argues that we have the ability to pursue our unconventional dreams in the new economy if we have the courage to start. The enemies to our dreams include the notions that we need thousands of dollars in capital and a highly detailed business plan before we can act.

But Guillebeau is a realistic entrepreneur. Not every dream is marketable, he warns. The key is finding the convergence point between passion and the market. By bootstrapping (the $100 part) we insulate ourselves from the potential consequences of failure. Hard work, imagination and passion ultimately win the day in Guillebeau’s world.

The book is filled with real world case studies, and not every success story in the book is an Internet wonder. Many are more traditional businesses, some even brick and mortar. All, however, are small, microbusinesses. Guillebeau writes from the perspective of life as an adventure, not life as a desk bound manager. He’s not interested in teaching you how to build Apple, but how to make a living with a MacBook under your arm.

Many have a dream that they’re not embracing. It might not be a new career, but a new direction for the one you have; perhaps it’s a charity or non-profit. Whatever it might be, the reality is that there’s never been a time more open to more people to embrace those dreams than right now. For a Benjamin it’s worth a shot.

(Review copy supplied by the author/publisher.)

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