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I don’t think I’m breaking new ground by saying that book publishing is going through a rapid transformation. I’ve learned a lot about traditional publishing after working with Wiley for the past few years on Do More Faster, Venture Deals, Startup Communities, and Startup Life. I’ve also experimented with self-publishing with HyperInk for the book Burning Entrepreneur. And, as I continue to publish books in the Startup Revolution series, you’ll see a lot more experimentation from me, both around the writing and publishing process, as well as with regard to engaging with everyone reading these books.
Recently, I starting pondering what would happen if a book wasn’t simply static content, but an actively-engaging, community-building platform? What if a class could read and share notes, an executive team could collaborate around a book, or a community of readers could interact within the text itself?
I recently found a social reading technology called BookShout!, and, after spending some time with them, think they are addressing a lot of things I want in my current book reading experience. As a result, I’ve launched Startup Communities: Creating an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City on BookShout!
If you download the book and join the community, you not only get the book, but you can also connect with me, see my notes, invite others to join you, and create robust communities and in-line conversations inside the book.
To help entrepreneurs worldwide, Startup America is also using its full resources to reach out to millions of entrepreneurs so that we can all read the book together. Leaders of Startup America, including Steve Case (the founder of AOL) and Scott Case (the CEO of Startup America) are going to read and share their notes as well.
We listen to music together and go to movies together – now we can read books together. I hope you’ll join me, participate, and give me feedback on what you think.
SPECIAL OFFER: Thanks to BookShout! and Startup America, I’m giving away 250 free digital copies of Startup Communities on BookShout! The first 250 people to create an account at Bookshout.com and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org will get a copy. All I ask in return is that you make notes on areas that help you, invite others, and engage with me, give me feedback on what you think.
I just found out that Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City made the Amazon Top 10 Business Books of 2012.
I’m not a huge “made that list person” but as a writer this is a very cool thing, especially when I look at the other books, and writers, on the list. I’m downloading all of the other books right now and taking them on my two week vacation which is coming up.
I’m at Defrag this morning listing to Kevin Kelly explain how the global super organism already exists and why it is different than the Kurzweil defined Singularity. Awesome – and extremely consistent with how I think about how the machines have already taken over. Kevin’s intellectual approach is clearer and deeper – which I like, and will borrow heavily from. Kevin’s book, What Technology Wants, is also in a swag bag and I’ll be reading it next week.
One of the powerful concepts is that the “city is the node.” As I’ve been talking about Startup Communities, I’ve been explaining the power of “entrepreneurial density” and why everyone is congregating around cities again (intellectually referred to as the reurbanism of American). It’s really cool that he’s using the Degree Confluence Project to “show” (rather than simply “tell”) this.
A few of the books on the Amazon Top 10 Business Books of 2012 touch on this theme – I’ll be looking for it as I read a lot on the beach the next few weeks.
Every day someone shows me a Kindle and asks jokingly if I can sign Startup Communities for them. This is one moment when I wish I always carried a sharpie or a paperclip with me. I adore Kindles too much to actually ruin them, but the thought crosses my mind every time I hear the question.
There is however a way for me to sign Kindle versions of my books. It’s a super cool app called Kindlegraph. Simply go to it, authenticate with Twitter, and search for “Brad Feld” or “Startup Communities” (or just click on the preceding links.)
As an author, there’s something emotionally satisfying about signing a book you’ve written. I guess it creates another connection with the reader, which is bidirectionally powerful. I’m glad I can now do it on the Kindle as well as on physical books.
I just finished up at Thinc Iowa and am heading to San Francisco for a few meetings tomorrow. I had an awesome time in the last 24 hours, especially last night hanging out for three hours with 20 or so entrepreneurs at StartupCity in Des Moines.
I started my talk off today by showing a video that the Kauffman Foundation just did for Startup Communities. It’s part of the Kauffman Sketchbook series which I completely love. I think it does a fantastic job of explaining the Boulder Thesis, which is the framework that I use in Startup Communities for how to create a vibrant and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem.
If you haven’t seen the Kauffman Sketchbook series, go check out some of the other videos. My favorite is from Paul Kedrosky about raising capital titled Money Game. It follows.
My friends Phil Weiser and Brad Bernthal at Silicon Flatirons (who are a big part of the book Startup Communities) are hosting me in Boulder on Monday for a “Crash Course: Startup Communities – Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City.”) It’s happening at CU Boulder from 6:15pm – 7:45pm and Lesa Mitchell from the Kauffman Foundation will be joining us for a discussion. Lesa and her colleague Paul Kedrosky has also been a big supporter and influencer on my thinking in this area.
If you want a preview of what I’ll be talking about, Steve Blank, the successful entrepreneur and brilliant brain behind the Customer Development idea, has an outstanding and thorough (like everything Steve does) review of Startup Communities up on his site.
This is the first public session in Boulder about Startup Communities. I’m in Chicago today at the Startup America Regional Summit where I’m talking about Startup Communities with leaders of about 35 regions that have embraced the Startup America movement. I’ve been having a lot of fun talking about the book, getting feedback from entrepreneurial leaders around the country, and meeting with some new and interesting entrepreneurs who are working on super cool businesses. But it’s always fun to have home court advantage and I’m very much looking forward to spending time talking about Startup Communities with a bunch of people in Boulder who helped me figure all this stuff out.
If you are in Boulder on Monday 10/15 and want to come hang out, register for the event now (it’s free) and come join us.