Anticipate Failure: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Navigating Uncertainty, Avoiding Disaster, and Building a Successful Business
Lak brings his years of real-world experience building startups and new businesses inside large companies into this book, and I am certain that any founder, entrepreneur, or executive will benefit greatly from reading it. I know from personal experience that there are lessons to be learned from startups, even for a large, global business such as ours. Through my thought partnership with Lak, I have transferred many of these startup lessons into Siemens with favorable outcomes. —DR. ROLAND BUSCH, President and CEO, Siemens AG
Anticipate Failure is a rare look into the causes of business failure and why so many leaders don’t adequately address them until it’s too late. Through plenty of in-depth case studies, the book provides readers with a proven roadmap for anticipating the most common points of business failure and then navigating their way through them. —GRAZIA VITTADINI, CTO at Airbus
Insightful, thought-provoking, and eminently practical. Lak Ananth has crafted a powerful guidebook rooted in the philosophy that the key to safeguarding success is a deep understanding of the drivers of failure. A rewarding journey through fascinating case studies, powerful concepts, and constructive coaching, Anticipate Failure is a valuable addition to the entrepreneurial tool kit. —RON ADNER, Leverone Memorial Professor, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, Author of The Wide Lens and Winning the Right Game
When I built my own businesses, I had the good fortune to be able to gain insights from my strong personal network of entrepreneurs, along with great investors who offered their timely guidance. They helped me take advantage of opportunities and recover from the inevitable failures. But what if you don’t have a network to draw on for advice as you grow your business? In Anticipate Failure, Lak Ananth coaches readers through the most common sources of failure, providing tremendously valuable advice. I wish I had a book like this when I founded my own startups—it would have been a huge benefit to me, my customers, and my companies. —BILL TRENCHARD, Partner, First Round Capital
In his book Anticipate Failure, Lak Ananth addresses a topic that is of critical importance to every entrepreneur, which is to expect and prepare for failure when starting a new venture. As veteran company founders know all too well, it’s not a question of if failure will arrive—it’s when. A methodical framework such as mine, coupled with Lak’s book, will go a long way to help any entrepreneur get their venture off the ground, find their way past failure points, and get to ultimate success. —MOHIT ARON, Founder & CEO, Cohesity, Co-Founder & CTO, Nutanix
Quibi was going to put short, premium-quality videos in the hands of millions of content-hungry mobile consumers around the globe. The Apple Newton combined cool with indispensable in a way that was expected to spark a new mobile device market that was much bigger than the personal computing market. The $2,500 Tata Nano automobile was touted as a major gamechanger for India and the millions of aspiring middle-class customers who would surely buy one. The Segway personal transporter was introduced with fanfare as a marvel of technology that was poised to change urban transportation.
Each one of these products was to set the world on fire – disrupting markets and changing our lives forever.
Until they didn’t.
In his groundbreaking book, Anticipate Failure, Lak Ananth — CEO of global venture capital firm Next47 — describes the most common patterns of failure in innovation. He starts with the premise that building a business based on innovation is a perilous endeavor, and failures big and small are always around the corner. Ananth then dives into instances of failures, guiding the reader to understand root causes. Finally, he provides readers with insights and coaching that will enable them not just to avoid failure, but to anticipate it and then get through it on the way to success.
Anticipate Failure contains a riveting mix of stories of high-profile failures in innovation as well as many new stories that will be found nowhere else. In addition, Ananth has interviewed some of today’s most successful founders and executives for the book, including Filip Kaliszan, CEO of Verkada; Gokul Rajaram, on the DoorDash executive team; Dr. Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens; James Joaquin, Managing Director of Obvious Ventures; Eran Ben-Shushan, CEO of Bizzabo; Andre Hartung, President of Diagnostic Imaging at Siemens Healthineers; Li Pu, President of Segway Robotics; and many others.
Anticipate Failure is not a “do-these-things-and-you-will-succeed” prescriptive kind of business book. Instead, it is a coach and trusted companion that will help any business founder, executive, and manager get through some of the most difficult challenges they will face when they embark on innovation and building a new business. Read it, then put the lessons you learn to work in your own business.
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