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A book about startups: Why do you need to read it?

Jochen Kalka’s “StartUp lie” (Econ) explains how business startup euphoria is abused – and who benefits from it

Jochen Kalka’s new book The StartUp Lie (Econ) aims to be an eye-opening book for anyone involved with StartUps. The author confronts the fad StartUp with reality and explains how the business startup euphoria is abused – and who benefits from it. Because fact is: Nine out of ten StartUps fail. There are no fixed employment contracts. Exploitation is normal. Reason for questions to the author:

What is the book about?

The book shows that startups are anything but cool, that balls and table football are distraction maneuvers. Based on 12 identified lies, the book shows in concrete terms, based on thoroughly researched facts, how startups really tick. How savage they exploit, how misogynist they act, how they deceive investors, how horrible the glorified failure is in the end.

What is the intention behind it, how did the book idea come about?

Now I could say: I myself founded a startup and invented a patented button. But I never realized it was a startup.

I could also say that as editor-in-chief of internet, media and marketing titles (in Süddeutsche Verlag ia W & V, Lead digital, Kontakter) I have been writing about startups for years, in several startup juries, in Japan, Israel and Silicon Valley Visited startups and researched about them.

But the idea of the startup lie came from Econ boss Jürgen Diessl. When he spoke to them in conversation, immediately the spark jumped over and all the examples and stories on the subject almost burst out.

Name concrete examples

Just the impressions from the Silicon Valley, the Las Vegas of investors, the Silicon Tourism German managers as Selbstmarktung. Or the language, the Startupsich, a linguistic blah blah bubble. The forced introduction of the douce across all hierarchical levels, the order of a great insurance company to abolish the tie, the nasty stickers on laptops. But also the economic aspects, if for example an old research institute should suddenly call itself survey startup, in order to get fresh money from the banks more easily. When a beverage company puts its name on Blockchain and massively increases its market value. Startups too often remember the emperor’s new clothes.

Which readership should be addressed?

On the one hand, there are young people who want to be seduced by the startup magic, who do not know what to expect, who have only heard siren songs from the literature and the net so far. They should be opened their eyes – but written in a loose style, not instructive!

On the other hand, it is older people from the age of 30 onwards to put on the startup glasses, which, with their old-school companies and departments, are eager to put on a more up-to-date look, which, out of the latent fear of losing touch, puts sneakers on to their suit Company set up a creative room and let young people work out a concept for the future that they will never take seriously. You should notice, it is not all gold, what startup shines

Of course, the book is suitable for founders as well as investors, but also for crime fans and reality checkers who want to be entertained with truly incredible – but true stories.

With what argument can the bookseller best sell the book?

Better invest 18 euros in this book and have fun than putting thousands of euros into a startup and having trouble.

Which 3 words best describe the book?

Enlightenment, warning, entertainment

Will there be a sequel?

I really hope that everything has been said with this book! In this respect, no sequel is currently planned.

What do you like to read privately / up-to-date?

I recently enjoyed “Change my ass” by Axel Koch. In addition to literature, I like to read novels for my life like Paul Auster’s “4321” or what actually changed my life: by Kazuo Ishiguro “The Uncomforted”. Mariana Lekys “What you can see from here” also impressed me a lot, it’s just beautifully written. Or I’ll hit myself laughing on the floor with the “Kangaroo Apocrypha” by Mac-Uwe Kling.


Also published on Medium.

Published inStartups

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