Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur

What struck me about Stuart Skorman’s book (subtitled, "Why I Can’t Stop Starting Over") is his creative need to start new businesses and his (growing) wisdom about business. Stuart’s better-known accomplishments are launching (sold for $100M) and Elephant Pharmacy.

Stuart’s smarts, creativity, luck, risk-taking, and finances are well-described. The book is written in a conversational style - it’s as if you’re sitting down with him (or going for a walk) and he’s mentoring you on customer service and startup business logic. He not only describes his business life, but also his personal life (and the give-and-take he learned). The best part of the book is his hard-won pearls of wisdom that end each chapter:

* Why I rarely hire MBAs (they often don’t understand the needs for creativity, struggle, and sacrifice)

* Customers can be your best teachers (by intimately knowing your customers likes and dislikes you have a better chance for success)

* Decisions should be made by the person with the best resumé (Hire well and entrust the right person make the right choices on your behalf)

* Three rules to winning in poker and business (Be aggressive, be conservative, be opportunistic)

* Do’s and don’ts for choosing a business (base it on logic, stick with the familiar, prioritize fun, start small, do something established, know your risk tolerance, and focus on short-term goals)

* Create a second bottom line for your idealism (calculate the cost of your idealism from your profitability)

* Avoid creativity at all costs (where possible, reuse existing well-tested solutions to your problems. Creativity is expensive (but attention-getting)).

* How to make the transition from a big company to a start-up (start small, do your homework, work for a startup first, understand your motivation, and be financially prepared).


Jay Hamilton-Roth founded Many Good Ideas ( to help small businesses brainstorm, design, and implement effective marketing strategies. He combines creativity with common sense to demystify the process of getting great results. He has used his high-tech background from MIT to help him launch five businesses. He consults with companies in a wide range of industries and publishes a monthly marketing newsletter and daily marketing blog ( He ...

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