It has been ages since I last wrote a review of any sort and it has been one remarkable book that has made me take this up after such a long time. Titled "Stay Hungry Stay Foolish" after the famous concluding words of Steve Jobs at a B-School convocation, the book tells the stories of 25 IIM Ahmedabad pass outs who made it big as first generation entrepreneurs. The book contains stories as implausible as the ones of Naukri.com and Shree Renuka Sugars to ones as different from the league as GiveIndia and Ekalavya School.
All 25 stories in the book are as similar to each other as they are distinct which goes on to show, in my mind, the talent of the author, Rashmi Bansal, an entrepreneur herself. Rashmi writes a popular blog Youth Curry and is the founder and editor of the youth magazine JAM. In this book, written with as much fluidity as is found in her blog, Rashmi uses a generous dosage of her own insights, opinions, and views without introducing any bias in each of the stories. These insights, often expressed employing very matter-of-fact mannerisms (read, in italicized Hindi), are what make the stories believable and at the same time, grand and singularly unique.
The arrangement of author's thoughts is well brought out as it starts from her own notions and expectations about the entrepreneur and his/her story. Moving on to the facts, the author provides clear insight into the background from which these entrepreneurs started out. She then moves to the interview approach which is more like a free flowing thought expression than a Q & A. Even though it is obvious that the author had a certain set of questions she posed to all interviewees in the book, the way she has avoided putting the questions down and the manner in which she has stopped short of publishing responses to all such questions for all interviewees shows a fair amount of discretion.
The final section on advice for entrepreneurs is really icing on the cake as it puts across the personality of the entrepreneur and his/her story in a nutshell. Drawing from their own experiences, the entrepreneurs very succinctly put across their take on the entire journey and the struggle to achieve what they have. Although the takes are as different from each other as chalk and cheese, they still provide a profound perspective into the decisions that the concerned entrepreneur took and what anyone in a similar scenario should logically go for or avoid.
Notwithstanding the insights and views included in the book's narrative by the author, there still seems something missing as far as an independent take on the entire subject of entrepreneurship is concerned. An additional chapter on the author's own opinions, though not holding a torch to the other chapters which necessarily deal with all these fascinating stories, would still have gone a long way in threading the thoughts and ideas together. As of the moment, though there are many of them and this should be appreciated, they are just floating in the air right through the pages. For all you know, such a chapter may have just answered the question that the title of this blog post poses.
Before getting started on this book, I had thought that I will be able to truly relate to two specific stories where I have been personally associated with the protagonists at a professional level. However, it was a pleasant surprise to finally discover that my bonding with the book's stories ran deeper. To say that the book was inspirational and provided motivation would definitely be an understatement. I could almost see the past, present, and future of myself and so many others like me in one story after another and that, Ms Bansal, is quite creditable from where you stand as a debutante.
Posted at 12:18 pm by Nitai