Why This Book?

In early 2008, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers held a roundtable meeting. The partners, including Randy Komisar, invited CEOs from several early-stage companies they had recently backed. Amid discussions about the common business challenges these entrepreneurs faced, Komisar asked for a show of hands: “Which companies had abandoned their original business plans for a Plan B, or beyond?” Two-thirds of the entrepreneurs raised their hands. In fact, they said, they had restarted their companies nearly three times each! Plan A, the basis on which they had pitched for—and won—Kleiner’s venture capital funding, hadn’t panned out.

Some seven thousand miles away at London Business School, John Mullins, a professor ...

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