Go Start Something! by Jan Collmer is a guide for professionals thinking about making the shift from a traditional 9-5 role to an entrepreneurial venture. Based on his experience as a successful entrepreneur in the semiconductor industry, Collmer provides 50 “rules” for potential entrepreneurs to consider before launching their first ventures.
Unfortunately, Collmer’s book is filled with contradictions and inconsistencies that stem from these rules and confuse readers throughout. The rules are first mentioned in the Introduction. By definition, a rule is something that must be adhered to in order to do something right. However, Collmer notes, “The rules are not immutable, they are just checkpoints in your decision process. Any one rule, or a majority of the rules, may be violated and not upset the success of your project.” If this is the case, Collmer might have used words such as “guidelines” or “principles.” At other points, Collmer also refers to the rules as a “checklist,” confusing readers further as to how to interpret their meaning and use.
After Collmer’s Introduction, one would imagine the book would systematically describe the rules in some depth. However, Collmer never focuses explicitly on them again. In the first two chapters, he looks at “great entrepreneurs” and recounts his work history. Later, he dives into chapters with titles such as “Luck” and “Cash Flow.” Several don’t relate at all to the rules, while some are only loosely linked to them.
In another inconsistency, Collmer notes twice in the introduction that the book is not meant to “[provide information on] sources of financing,” and yet three chapters and five of the rules expressly deal with funding and capital management.
Whatever wisdom Collmer’s experience has given him is lost in this tangled tome. The inconsistencies are such that readers may wonder whether the man who wrote the introduction and the man who wrote the rest of the book were on speaking terms.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.