Summary of Shortcut Your Startup

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Shortcut Your Startup book summary

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Entrepreneurial brothers Courtney Reum and Carter Reum share insights and wisdom from their journey as naive founders of an adult beverage start-up to their work now as skeptical but successful venture capitalists. They describe the risks, competition and long odds facing new businesses. Their valuable practical advice on launching a new business includes choosing the right start-up, finding investors, managing expectations, building valuation, determining an “unfair advantage,” scaling up and even selling your business.

About the Authors

Brothers Courtney Reum and Carter Reum started their careers at Goldman Sachs. Almost on a whim, they launched the VEEV Spirits start-up, succeeded, and now advise and invest in other start-ups through their M13 holding company.


Barriers to starting a business have fallen. A good idea and a few thousand dollars will do it. But launching a business isn’t for everyone.

Don’t confuse starting a business with succeeding. As barriers to entry have fallen, competition has grown. More than half a million new businesses start each month in the United States. Where new brands used to have a 10-year window to achieve market penetration, brands in the early 21st century can reach $10 million in sales within a few years, but it’s not easy and starting a company isn’t for everyone. Assess your appetite for risk. Fewer start-ups make it to fifth-round funding than high school basketball players make it to the National Basketball Association. You need optimism, a work ethic, persuasiveness, the ability to inspire others and resilience.

Define what success looks like to you. Work backward from where you want to end up. For example, do you want a big initial public offering or will a monthly income suffice? Research whether a market exists for your idea. Know your competitors and how you’ll differentiate your company&#...

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