one of the best emails Ive ever gotten

Dear Gerald A.,

Since founding Gust over ten years ago, I have had a front row seat as hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs have struggled through the challenges of starting up their businesses…which collectively have raised over a billion dollars in seed funding. As an angel investor who has seed funded over 100 companies, I’ve seen them up close, and as a startup founder (six of them, and counting 🙂 I’ve experienced those same challenges myself, learning different lessons each time.

Along the way I’ve read dozens of great guides to entrepreneurship and the startup world; books like Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup, Steve Blank’s The Startup Owners Manual, and Guy Kawasaki’s The Art of the Start. All of these occupy permanent places in my library, and Eric, Steve and Guy are friends of mine. But it eventually occurred to me that these—and all the other well-known books on company startups—while wonderful for the important lessons they teach, are less useful in laying out the very specific steps needed to start a company.

I therefore set out to put down in one book all of the nitty gritty details about how to actually start a startup that I’ve learned through painful trial and error. The result is The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business, which will be published next month by Wiley. And because you’re an entrepreneurial startup founder who has had the good sense to join, I would like to make you a special, pre-publication offer to order the book at an incredible discount and have it sent to you as soon as it ships.

The book outlines the specific ins-and-outs of starting up a high-growth business in the 21st century, detailing solutions that can save you tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of dollars on the path of scaling your venture. To give you an idea of what I cover in the book, here’s the Table of Contents:


Translate Your Idea into a Compelling Business Model
Craft a Business Plan to Serve as Your “Plan A” Roadmap
Find and Know Your Competitors
Draft your Founding Dream Team
Allocate the Equity in Your Startup
Build a Minimum Viable Product and Validate Your Plan with Customers
Establish Your Brand with Online Public Profiles
Network Effectively within the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Incorporate as a Delaware “C” Corporation for Protection and Investment
“Lawyer Up” the Right Way
Recruit your Boards of Directors and Advisors
Select an Accountant and an Accounting System
Establish and Manage your Credit Profile
Open Bank, Credit Card and Merchant Accounts
Choose Your Key Technologies, Platforms and Vendors
Measure Your Business with Data Analytics
Round Out Your Team with Employees and Freelancers
Establish a Stock Option Plan to Incentivize Your Team

Understand the Funding Process and What Investors Want to See
Nurture Your Investor Pipeline
Fundraise with Online Platforms
Survive the Term Sheet Negotiation and Investor Due Diligence
Get the Most from Your Investors, Now and in the Future
Understand Your Company’s Valuation for Funding vs. Option Grants
Keep Your Eye on the Exit and Reap the Benefits of Success
If this sounds like the kind of information you’ve been looking for, just let me know, and I’ll send you a hard copy of the first edition as soon as it’s published. And because I want to make sure you’re happy, if for any reason you don’t like it when you get it, just send it back for a full refund…and I’ll even pay the return postage! While the book will be priced at $32 in the US, because you’re a Gust user I’ve arranged with the publisher to get you this special offer for only $19.99 plus shipping.

Just before we went to press, I asked some of the smartest startup experts I knew to review the proofs and let me know what they thought, and here is what they told me:

“Finally! The indispensable instruction book that takes you from your Big Idea to a Big Exit. In his inimitable wise and witty style, David takes founders through the nuts and bolts of how to start a company that can successfully make it all the way to the finish line. I’m giving copies to all of my entrepreneurs!”

—Barbara Corcoran

Business Expert and Star of ABC’s Shark Tank

“I work with hundreds of first-time entrepreneurs and The Startup Checklist is the clearest, most useful resource I have seen for someone considering starting a scalable, high-growth business. Experience may be the best teacher, but right behind her is David S. Rose.”

—Andrew Yang

Founder and CEO of Venture for America and author of Smart People Should Build Things

“Everyone knows that a great business starts with a great idea. But the journey from a great idea to a flourishing, profitable business is a lot longer and thornier than most people realize. I can’t imagine a more experienced, savvier, street-smart guide along the way than David S. Rose’s The Startup Checklist.”

—Howard L. Morgan

Co-founder, First Round Capital

“The Startup Checklist should be required reading for every entrepreneur. It walks you step by step through the entire process of building a seriously big company, and will save you from making all-too-common mistakes that can easily kill an otherwise promising venture.”

—JJ Ramberg

Host of MSNB’s Your Business

“David S. Rose has seen it all, over many years and across thousands of companies, and then, to the great benefit of the rest of us, has distilled the essence of what it takes to succeed. I can’t say strongly enough how much I feel that following the checklist David has created will help you make your company more successful.”

—Bill Gross
Founder and CEO of Idealab

Please accept this no risk offer to get your copy of The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business as soon as it’s published…and after you read it, I’d be delighted to hear from you what you think of it! To order the book at the special pre-publication price of only $19.99, simply click here, and just a few weeks from now it will appear on your door step.

Warmest regards,
David S. Rose
Founder & CEO Gust


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