Friday, June 29, 2007

I published my book on Entrepreneurship

Here is the formal press release:

Serial Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist Rich Swier announced the release of his first book "Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking - A Guide for Entrepreneurs" today. The book is targeted towards entrepreneurs and anyone involved in a startup business.

Over the past ten years, Rich has interfaced with hundreds of entrepreneurs in numerous industries including retail, health care, communications and hi-tech - as has personally been the founder or angel investor for numerous startups. These experiences were the catalyst for the new book and were the motivation to share the stories and lessons to entrepreneurs looking for guidance in their new venture.

“Rich is a very sharp, no-nonsense business man. As a venture capitalist in Clinipace, he has been outstanding to work with and understands how to add value to the relationship. I enjoy our relationship. More venture capitalists should aspire to be like him.” states Jeff Williams, CEO and Founder, Clinipace.

The book is currently available on the website

Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking
Genre: Business & Investing
Paperback: 135 pages
Description: A Guide for Entrepreneurs who are starting a new venture.


Hitchhiking is the only experience that encompasses the same elements of starting your own business fear, ambition, blind-trust, risk and true self-exploration. This book is for entrepreneurs who are walking the road alone looking for a lift.

Book Details:

· Paperback: 135 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: Rich Swier (June 2007)
· ISBN: 097973570X

Thursday, June 28, 2007

True Story #2 (from my Book) - The Lesson of "Listening to your Customers"

The "Adobe" Story

As told by Charles Geschke

This theme will seem utterly repetitive by now, but like almost every other startup, Adobe set out to build the wrong thing. We envisioned creating a computer/printer combo package that we would sell as a complete self-publishing solution. We were approached by Digital Equipment and later Apple, who were both very interested in the printing software we had developed.

By this point though, Adobe had raised $2.5MM in funding under the story that we would sell the computer/printer combo package and we were stubbornly clinging to the original plan in spite of two large potential customers begging them for just the software.

We went back to our board and received the sage advice from the chairman to ditch the plan and listen to our customers. Q.T. Wiles said,

“You guys are nuts. Throw out your business plan. Your customers - or potential customers - are telling you what your business should be. The business plan was only used to get you the money. Why don’t you rewrite a business plan that is focused just on providing what your customers want?”

We followed the advice resuming talks with DEC and Apple and soon after closed deals with both. The rest is history.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

True Story #1 - The Best Angel Investment in History

"Instead of us discussing all the details, why don't I just write you a check"

- Andy Bechtolsheim to Google Founders when making the first Angel Investment

Unable to interest the major portal players of the day, Larry and Sergey decided to make a go of it on their own. All they needed was a little cash to move out of the dorm — and to pay off the credit cards they had maxed out buying a terabyte of memory. So they wrote up a business plan, put their Ph.D. plans on hold, and went looking for an angel investor.

Their first visit was with a friend of a faculty member. Andy Bechtolsheim, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems, was used to taking the long view. One look at their demo and he knew Google had potential — a lot of potential. But though his interest had been piqued, he was pressed for time.

As Sergey tells it, “We met him very early one morning on the porch of a Stanford faculty member’s home in Palo Alto. We gave him a quick demo. He had to run off somewhere, so he said, ‘Instead of us discussing all the details, why don’t I just write you a check?’ It was made out to Google Inc. and was for $100,000.”

The investment created a small dilemma. Since there was no legal entity known as “Google Inc.,” there was no way to deposit the check. It sat in Larry’s desk drawer for a couple of weeks while he and Sergey scrambled to set up a corporation.

True Entrepreneurial Stories

I have decided to start a new direction with my Blog. Over the past year, I have been jotting down lessons I have learned as an entrepreneur - and try to share my experiences in hope that others could benefit.

Over the next few months, I have decided to post "True Entrepreneurial Stories" that will share real stories from real entrepreneurs about their experiences when starting their venture.

Some of the posts will be my experiences, some will be infamous stories from well-known entrepreneurs, and (hopefully) I will get stories from my readers I can share as well.

If you have a good story - post as a comment to this post.