Resources for outliers: insights for the journey ahead

The outlier philosophy breaks an old way of thinking about how you have to be in a certain area of the country to be software company. Or, that you must follow the traditional start up path of raise money, build a team, profit.

We want to continue to develop the framework of what opportunities there are to start an outlier type of company in an Elsewhere type of geo. And, if you’re in those markets, provide resources that will help create a new framework of thinking. How can you be both thoughtful and systematic in your approach? What should companies consider as they build teams and scale? What are the potential exit opportunities in the future?  To help answer some of these questions — and offer some different perspectives — we wanted to share our latest reading list.

  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Ben Horowitz, Co-Founder of VC firm Andreessen Horowitz offers blunt, straight-forward advice on surviving the start up life. It’s a struggle, he explains, that will either kill a CEO or make him/her stronger.
  • Crossing the Chasm: Twenty-six years ago, Geoffrey Moore first published what has become known as the “bible for entrepreneurial marketing.” Now in its third edition (with insights on the realities of high-tech marketing), many of his insights are still very relevant today for any start up that is defining and creating a market, and trying to take their product mainstream. 
  • SCRUM: A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, Jeff Sutherland offers guidance on Scrum — the revolutionary approach to project management and team building that has helped to transform everything from software companies to the US military to healthcare in major American hospitals. My favorite quote, “Fail fast so you can fix early… Working product on short cycles allows for early user feedback and you can immediately eliminate what is obviously wasteful effort.”
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow: Renowned psychologist and a Noble Prize winner in Economics, Daniel Kahneman explains the two systems that drive the way we think. In revealing where we can and cannot trust our intuitions, he offers practical insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives. And, how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.
  • But What If We're Wrong? Cultural critic Chuck Klosterman investigates which things we take as certainties today might one day be proven wrong. Underlining the importance of asking this question, he offers case studies that show practical examples of how to re-frame thinking.  
  • Bootstrapping in America: We also wanted to include a podcast series on the list. Produced by tastytrade, each week you’ll hear from a wide range of entrepreneurs on the trials and tribulations of boostrapping startups.

 

About the Author
Chris Pacitti

Chris Pacitti

Chris has 22 years of experience as an investor and passionate mentor to software entrepreneurs. He founded Elsewhere Partners after identifying a tremendous unmet opportunity to invest and scale software companies that don't fit the traditional VC model. He also continues to serve as a general partner at Austin Ventures, the nation's largest regional venture capital firm, where he co-led technology investing for 16 years.