My Experience of Creating a Book With 21 Founders Under 30
My book name: The Last Key To Success
(TheLastKeyToSuccess.com) Amazon: goo.gl/6Yxhwi
What’s it about?
It is about entrepreneurship. The book includes stories from 21 founders, who were each on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Each person talked about how they started their companies and what that experience was like for them. I chose 13 different topics on entrepreneurship such as: team-building, raising funds, marketing, and success in product development. I spoke to each founder and when speaking with them, I asked them to elaborate about their strengths and areas of interest. I gave them a story telling formula that would make their ideas easier for readers to digest.
Why did I create it?
My favorite comedian Judd Apatow created a book called Sick in the Head. In the book, he interviewed many famous comedians such as Jerry Seinfield and Adam Sandler, and the experience helped him build tight connections with amazing people that he met along the way. I created my first company in China when I was 14 years old. It was an English newspaper for my Chinese high school. I started it even though I could barely speak English. I was very proud of what I was able to achieve with that work, and believe if I had a strong community of entrepreneurs around me, I could have achieved even greater success. This made me realize that people need to learn from, and alongside their peers if they want to be the next Elon Musk.
How did I do it?
Toward the end of September I got in touch with founders from the Forbes 30 under 30 2016 list. I found a lawyer who created a simple contract for me to send out for their review. On October 3rd when the contract was ready, Brian, one of my contributors signed the contract within minutes (which was awesome).
I created a weekly schedule for the founder’s interviews, and asked each person to pick 2 out of the 13 topics to write the first draft of their chapters for the book. I called everyone to make sure I understood their story, and the ins-and-outs of how they started their company. I wrote down what their professional strengths were and asked them to elaborate on that.
I set up interviews with some of the authors to understand the hardest aspects of creating a company.
I was invited to be a part of one of the founders Mike’s podcast:
This was the day I met Tim Ferriss, which was the day my book was ready to be pre-ordered by the public.
I announced my book at the Stanford artificial intelligence gathering, along with 4 professors (also founders, and an Oscar winner) at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
What did I learn from this experience?
1. When you start a company, never get into an endeavor without knowing how much it will cost, and how you will be covering that cost from revenue.
2. Starting a company isn’t the hard part, the hard part is getting to scale.
3. A tight network is very important to personal success, people inspire you to think for yourself and for others.
As a person who is from another country, it’s very interesting to see how people from different backgrounds approach entrepreneurship. I was really supported by people I love, which is a special gift. I encourage everyone who is reading this to envision things they want to do and create plans to make them real. Last but not least, just do it!
One of my goals in creating this book is ultimately to connect entrepreneurs from different disciplines around the world. I want to provide a support system for each person who is trying to achieve their dreams.