About the book…

Unleash Your Inner Company provides an innovative, proven, step-by-step process for anyone who aspires to start and grow their own business.

Author John Chisholm brings an insider’s view that distills three decades of successful, serial entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. His book combines practical principles, entertaining anecdotes, deep insights, challenging exercises, and illuminating graphics to guide the reader in conceiving, designing, building, testing, and scaling up the ideal business for them.

Many books address passion in startups; only this book shows how to turn passion and perseverance into a loop of increasingly positive results. Aspiring entrepreneurs have more resources than they realize; Unleash Your Inner Company helps them discover those advantages. Readers learn how to accelerate their learning and how different is better than better. The book also advises the reader on what to look for in a co-founder, how to avoid competitors, when best to raise money, and what they can learn from Apple, Google, Facebook, Uber, and Pinterest.

Unleash Your Inner Company is the only book the reader will need, regardless of their background, industry, or continent, to start the business that best fits their skills, passions, goals, and opportunities–in short, the right business to start now.

Table of Contents

  1. Passion and Perseverance (Step 1): A Positive Feedback Loop
  2. All You Need Is a Need and Advantage: Roadmap to Creating Your Business
  3. Let a Thousand Needs Bloom (Steps 2 & 3)
  4. Don’t Listen to Your Customers; Discover Their Goals
  5. Think Big; Start Focused
  6. The Future Is in Your STARS (Step 4): Skills, Technologies, Assets & Accomplishments, Relationships & Reputation, (Inner) Strength
  7. Growing Your Mind from the Inside Out
  8. You’re a Technologist. Know It
  9. Different Is Better than Better
  10. Listen to Your Resources (Step 4a): What Additional Needs Do They Suggest?
  11. Look, Mom . . . I’m Inventing! Mixing and Matching Technologies
  12. 1 + 1 = 3: Choosing a Cofounder and Team Members
  13. Matching Needs to Your Resources and Passions (Step 5)
  14. The Freedom of Frugality
  15. Mind the Gaps (Step 6): Ten Ways to Develop and Acquire Resources
  16. Avoiding Competitors (Step 7)
  17. Where Do Your STARS Shine Brightest? Recognizing Your Advantages
  18. Partnering, Rightsizing, and Upsizing
  19. Creating Positive Feedback Loops among Customers (Network Effects)
  20. Choose Your Best Opportunity (Step 8)
  21. Five Pricing Principles
  22. Designing, Customer Testing, and Launching Your Minimum Viable Solution (Step 9)
  23. Don’t Waste Time Raising Money
  24. Scaling Your Business (Step 10)
  25. Regulations: The Hidden Roadblocks to Your Success
  26. The Ethics of Entrepreneurship: Making the World More Positive-Sum and Abundant
  27. Acknowledgments
  28. Appendices:
    1. Unleash Your Inner Company: An Evolutionary Process
    2. Visualizing Numbers of Combinations
    3. Creating Financial Models of Your Business: Projecting Income, Cash Flow, and Balance Sheet
    4. Unleash Your Inner Company and the Business Model Canvas
    5. Making the Modern Regulatory State More Resilient, Humane, and Friendly to Start-Ups and Innovation
  29. Notes
  30. About the Author

Praise for
Unleash Your Inner Company

“The definitive primer for entrepreneurs, filled with invaluable wisdom and uncommon insights.”

– Joon Yun M.D., President, Palo Alto Investors | Creator of the $1 Million Palo Alto Longevity Prize

“This book is jam packed with insights about the entrepreneurial journey: stories to inspire you, frameworks to guide you, and tactics to deploy during the inevitable ups and downs. Highly recommended.”

– Ben Casnocha | Co-author of #1 New York Times bestseller The Start-up of You

“John Chisholm’s achievements as an entrepreneur reflect signature MIT values – a passion for hands-on problem solving, an affinity for technological solutions and a commitment to making the world a better place. With Unleash, he distills the lessons of a lifetime to give aspiring entrepreneurs a head start on success.”

– L. Rafael Reif | President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Fortune 100 enterprises will find Unleash Your Inner Company invaluable.”

– John S. Reed | Former Chairman of Citigroup and New York Stock Exchange

“Successful entrepreneurs like John Chisholm seldom jump conceptual and almost never write books like John’s, full of deep thinking and well worth reading.”

– Bob Metcalfe | Founder 3Com, Co-inventor of Ethernet, University of Texas at Austin Professor of Innovation

“John Chisholm provides aspiring entrepreneurs with the mental models that most of us had to learn by making mistakes. An essential read for anybody trying to apply or build tomorrow’s technology.”

– Joe Lonsdale, Co-founder of Formation 8 | Palantir Technologies, Addepar, and OpenGov

Unleash Your Inner Company shows people from all walks of life, step by step, how to do what they love, achieve financial independence, and make the world a better place through entrepreneurship. People across the nation and the world should embrace this book.”

– Lorraine Hariton | Former Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, US Department of State

“Chisholm emerges as the Yoda of startups. He unleashes a rare combination of human insight and the wisdom on the inner game of entrepreneurship.”

– Rob Johnson | President, Institute for New Economic Thinking

“A fascinating guide to how to be an entrepreneur—and thereby do the world a favor—from one who has done it.”

– Matt Ridley | Award-Winning Author of Genome, The Rational Optimist, and The Evolution of Everything

“Those with the ambition to launch a new company should read this book carefully.”

– Jim Champy | Coauthor of Reengineering the Corporation

“John Chisholm’s awesome experience gives him the expertise to write this book—so you should listen.”

– Adam Draper | CEO and Founder of Boost

“A TOUR DE FORCE. Now, this is a great book. The author expertly weaves in his personal story with his numerous observations and extremely helpful suggestions for how to start a company (from even thinking of the idea behind the company in the first place) and to grow it. One of the best books about entrepreneurship out there, not to be missed.”

– Robert E. Litan | Former VP of Research and Policy, Kauffman Foundation

“Before now, startups always seemed so distant, and I didn’t know where to start. Now I realize that I have all the resources I need.”

– Ben Potash | MIT sophomore

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