Book review: The 7 Day Startup, by Dan Norris

Book review: The 7 Day Startup, by Dan Norris

I’ve been following Dan Norris (and his counterpart Alex McClafferty) since they announced they were going to launch a startup in 7 days. I thought the goal was audacious then, but curiosity got the better of me and I followed their course as they plotted out the plan to build WP Curve. True to their word, the guys launched a successful company. WP Curve is a great little service that offers 24/7 WordPress support from $69.

But how one member of the team, Dan, got there is a story unto itself.

You don’t learn until you launch.

It’s a mantra oft-repeated within Dan Norris’ new book, The 7 Day Startup, and made all the more compelling thanks to the personal stories and experiences he weaves in. By Dan’s own admissions, he struggled through early businesses by failing to adhere to the principles he shares within this book. The writing is clear, concise, and completely free of bullshit. I don’t know if Dan knows any techbros or startup guys, but he’s the complete antithesis of what they’re cynically selling.

Startup guys

The Book’s Mission

In one of the earlier passages within the book, Dan writes:

The goal of this book is to get you from wantrepreneur (someone who wants to be an entrepreneur) to entrepreneur.

As someone who has kicked around ideas, tried his hand at a service business, and loves following startup news, this was a music sheet I could sing from. Dan patiently strips away the frills and urges you to launch your idea using a 7-day approach that focuses on the bare minimum (and what’s most important) to help give you the experience you need.

7 Days

Dan breaks down the crux of the book into 7 days of action, which are centred around:

  1. Generating the idea
  2. Establising your MVP (and explaining what is)
  3. Choosing a business name
  4. Building a website for less than $100
  5. Marketing your business
  6. Setting targets
  7. Launching!
Each step is no fuss, and has a refreshing cadence. By this I mean Dan adds a practical layer to his advice. Nuggets such as you need to be able to enjoy doing this every day sound obvious, but as someone that jumped down the working for your self path before really considering such things the nuggets really hit a note.
Solve problems

The value you get is up to you

Ultimately, this is a quick read and a nice call-to-action for those interested in the startup path and not sure where to start, or for those frustrated by the plethora of information out there and are looking for something more concise. A few ideas of my own bubbled up while reading, and I think I’m going to take Dan up on his challenge some day soon. Watch this space.

If you’d like a copy of The 7 Day Startup, it is available for free over the next five days at Amazon on Kindle.

  • Hey Luke thanks for the review mate awesome. You should definitely take me up on the challenge. Make sure you use the #7daystartup hashtag so I can follow along.