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Don’t Startup By Karthik Kumar | Book Review

The perks of being a professional book reviewer, that too associated with Team ThinkerViews include getting exposed to new talents and books from various genres.

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We love to explore self-help and motivational books too. Actually, exploring journey of successful people has many benefits. On one hand, you get inspired, and on the other, you learn from his/her experiences. So, you came to know what to do and what should be avoided. And, usually, successful people love to share their real experiences to guide others, as much as possible. Eventually, you learn that this supportive nature and willingness to help others is one of the key attributes that helped them achieve what they had.

It is one of the reasons that we love to watch Commencement speeches by prominent figures. Here are some such books we got a chance to explore recently.

Today we are going to talk about Don’t Startup (tagline: What No One Tells You About Starting Your Own Business) by Karthik Kumar.

Let us take a look at the cover page of this book.

Book Cover:

This book is a little different than other books in the same genre, especially in terms of title. “Don’t Startup”, these words seem to be shocking when you read them for the first time, and that shock may attract you to go ahead with the tagline, and eventually the book.

Don't Startup: What No One Tells You about Starting Your Own Business By Karthik Kumar | Book Cover

Don’t Startup: What No One Tells You about Starting Your Own Business By Karthik Kumar | Book Cover

You can see the picture of the author occupying almost half of the cover page. And, to reinforce the word “Don’t” you can find “X” made up using band-aids of red color. This goes in sync with the book title.

The Book And My Thoughts For The Same:

Inspirational books have a scope of a lot of fictional incidents and hypothetical content. Of course, with good intention. But, when you are writing something based on reality, you cannot have that liberty. Of course, some creative liberties are allowed, but the most you can do to make it interesting is the way you present it.

The author has experience in delivering performances on stage and his first act is seen in the title and the cover page of the book.

The book doesn’t formally introduce him. And, that I think should have been taken care of. No doubt, he is popular and may not need an introduction for those who already know and follow him. But, then you are excluding a large number of readers. A formal introduction to him and his company “EVAM”, must have added positive value to the book.

I found that his official website is http://www.evamstanduptamasha.in/, which seems to be under development for new avatar. If the site is mentioned in the preface/foreword segment, it could have been even better.

The book is written in the simple day-to-day language and I found it a very thoughtful decision. It connects the author and reader quite effortlessly. For any such motivational semi-autobiography, if the reader connects with the author emotionally and start thinking “oh, I could do this” or “I should have implemented this”, then it is the true success of the author. And, it seems that Karthik has achieved it to a remarkable extent.

The book is managed in 3 segments, and each of them is referred to as an “ACT”. There are total of 20 chapters distinguished unevenly in them.

The beginning of the book starts with the reference of the popular story of “Batman” and “Bruce Wayne”. It proves that the author knows how to present the things in an interesting manner to hook the reader with the book. His detailed elaboration of Bat-suit, Bat-weapons, Bat-signals,… is interesting. And more importantly, he is able to connect all these elements with his journey of creating a successful start-up.

So when you read

The need to be Batman says a lot about why Bruce Wayne does what he does.

consider that, in the same way, the incidents mentioned are to be linked with the content of the book.

He gives some interesting tips to the readers throughout the book. Of course, we cannot (and must not) include all of them to avoid spoilers. Here is a line I would like to quote from the book:

Find an idea that you can genuinely contribute to, not just in terms of funding, but also to the development of. Otherwise you may just become a CEO of the enperprise where you make all venture decisions but have no control over the product development ones. This could inhibit your need to be master of your destiny

And he explains it with the example of “Apple”, yes the company behind Mac, iPod, iPad, iPhone,…

Leadership is an essential quality you must have, especially if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. The author says:

Leadership is a skill that you will have to get better at, until you can hire someone better than you.

It actually gives a very important message. You alone cannot do everything. Your real skill is in finding the right person for each job.

The author also focused on having curiocity and attitude to earn knowledge. It is better to read in the book in his own words.

He also suggest that taking precautions and doing the things by weighing positives/negatives is a really good thing, but one shouldn’t wait endlessly. Some intersting projects often don’t get a real body due to such attitude.

I find the author’s elaboration about busy-ness at various stages of start-up, quite interesting.

The author has included some wisdom lessons too. For example:

The truth will be that one will never have ‘enough’ money in the startup phase and this will seem like a curse, and you will be tempted to look at other businesses, peers and marvvel at how green the grass is on their manicured lawn. The truth is also that, in the startup phase, it’s best not to have more than enough funds. …

Seems impractical advice, right? Well, you can read the explanation and reasoning behind these lines in the book and you will find it convincing :).

In addition to importance of team-work and other stuff, I will suggest you to read the chapter “Culture” with full attention. I like the way the -culture- is defined.

Culture is what the people do even when no one is watching, especially when no one is watching.

I will suggest you to not to miss “Takeouts”. It holds some real gems. Such books should be considered as self-help books. And, unless and until you act upon what you learn from it, it is not going to add any value in your own personal journey.

When you read such books, you should have a pen and a paper (or a “notes” related app in your electronic device open). You should mark/note what you find important and if you think you can implement it at so and so place in your work/life, you should note it immediately. Often, such thought skip our mind later. So better to keep them consolidated and keep revisiting them.

As said earlier, I want to avoid spoilers, as far as possible, so just concluding here.

We bought this book when a book promotion was running so in terms of money, it is value-for-money for us. If you want to get notified for intersting book purchase offers, you should follow us on various social media. We often shout-out such offers.


A book that elaborates some real-life lessons from real-life experiences. Read it with full attention and try to implement the lessons. Not for a time-pass.

ThinkerViews Rating:

Around 7.5 out of 10.

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