Book Review : Because Shit Happened (What not to do in a startup)

A lot of shit happens in startups, but most of it stays within the closed doors.

Harsh Snehanshu, who earlier cofounded a startup when in college (IIT Delhi) has recently launched his bookBecause Shit Happened: What Not to do in a start-up‘ that takes a closer look at all the shit stuff that happens in a startup – right from cofounder fights to handling personal relationships (read: girlfriends), managing disjointed teams and ofcourse, raising money.becauseshithappened

Setup in IIT Delhi, the (autobiography) story revolves around Amol, who is a shy introvert guy, though has a good sense of humor. Always interested in starting up, he goes through the cycle of whether I should share the idea with others or not? What if they steal my idea? What if the idea itself is too crappy? What if they laugh? All first time entrepreneurs go through this and Harsh has done a great job of story telling.

Eventually, Amol starts yourquote.in and ends up quitting the venture when it is on the brink of raising its first round of funding.

A perspective

One of the nicest thing about the book is that while you might think that these are childish acts between cofounders (for example, involving girlfriends in startups, fighting over designation), it does give a candid perspective on how things actually work in startups where there are enough variables to take control of (I do know of best-friends-since-class-1 cofounders who just couldn’t tolerate each other after 3 months of starting up).

Plus, Harsh hasn’t shied away from the fact that many student startup/ventures are all about jacking up one’s resume for a fat paycheck consulting job and the book uses different shades of personalities to bring out the same.

The Real Picture

Okay. The book does take names (in a subtle way) and frankly, exposes the real picture of startup contests, accelerators etc and while this is anecdotal in nature, you have to give credits to Harsh for being candid about the experience and talk about failure/rejections one goes through in entrepreneurial world.

Having said that, the Sidney Sheldon styled love (and sex) episodes are a bit overstretched and often times, one is confused whether the book is about dude (and friend)’s love story (which I am sure a lot of IIT guys must be jealous of) or a startup (or ‘starting-up’).

Overall, a pretty good read. Especially for someone like me who is reading a fiction after a year or so. In fact, the book is a must read for student entrepreneurs who often go through similar stage of indecision, new found relationships, the ever increasing parental pressure and rejections.

Recommended Read: Harsh’s guest posts on NextBigWhat:
A Letter from an Entrepreneur to his Mother
Dear Entrepreneurs : It’s Your Facebook profile, Not Your Startup’s
The Entrepreneur who wore knickers: A very short story