Press kit

Information you can use to promote the book when writing a review or an article about "Entreprenerd".
ForewordAuthor CredentialsTarget AudiencePhotos

Foreword

Written by Andrew Binstock.

There are many books and business school case studies available today that describe the founding and ascent of the major software companies. While undoubtedly inspiring, they fail to really communicate what it’s like to build a company in its early stages.

The start-ups they examine inevitably rely on venture capitalists to provide the direction and nominally expert advice to the founders. That so many companies fail completely when embracing this model is not seen as a limitation of the model, but rather the inevitable culling by the “invisible hand of the market.”

It is a wonder that decades later, potential entrepreneurs are still wowed by the unicorns that succeed but don’t view their rarity as a caution against adopting that model.
This book is about a company that succeeded by using a very different model. iText was entirely self-funded, never accepted VC (venture capital) money, and built a successful company on a completely open source product. Moreover, the initial author of the software, Bruno Lowagie, became the co-CEO of the company through diligent work, despite having no business experience, and together with his wife—the other co-CEO—built a company that went from $300K in earnings its first full year to a corporation with more than thirty full-time employees, offices on three continents, and a valuation in tens of millions of dollars at the time of its sale. In my view, this model represents a much more attainable success for many developers than the pie-in-the-sky venture capital lottery.

In this book, Bruno explains his transformation from self-described nerd in the administration of a local university to CEO of a successful company that was eventually acquired by a conglomerate. He also describes the many decisions he and I had to make in the early stages and how we were able to solve unexpected problems quickly and effectively enough to continue the self-funded journey of iText.

Some of those decisions worked really well, others led to costly dead ends. They’re explained here in Bruno’s always candid and entertaining style. You get to see how certain principles helped iText not veer off the tracks—and how all the work eventually led to success.

This model of building a thriving business is more approachable than those of VC-backed highfliers. It is particularly suitable for software developers and other nerds who want to commercialize their inventions and build a company. Not only does Bruno unfold the business aspect, including the innumerable small decisions, but he carefully explains the transformations that he and his wife, Ingeborg, had to undergo to be able to fulfill their new responsibilities.
As such, this book is both a handbook and an autobiography in which developers can place themselves easily. In this sense, it is a comparatively rare book, which should be especially useful to all aspiring “entreprenerds.”

Author Credentials

Business credentials

These are some of the business awards won by Bruno Lowagie:

For a more comprehensive list, see Bruno's Awards page.

Developer credentials

profile for Bruno Lowagie on Stack Exchange, a network of free, community-driven Q&A sites

Author credentials

Check Bruno's author score on Goodreads.

Goodreads reviews for Gebeten

Reviews from Goodreads.com

Target Audience

I wrote this book with young, technical founders in mind. It's the kind of book I wish I had read at the start of my career. I knew all there was to know about writing code, releasing free and open source software (FOSS), and building enterprise applications, but I didn't have a clue about developing a business. For example: I didn't know the difference between revenue and EBITDA. I didn't know how to justify why my FOSS project was worth millions of dollars. I learned all those things the hard way.
In Entreprenerd, I talk about the ups and downs of being a developer forced into business to save his free and open source project. Taking the reader with me on my journey, I share the vocabulary that is indispensable when talking to an accountant, a business lawyer, and an investor.
With this book, I want to show technical founders what they can expect when starting a company to commercialize their technology.

I notice that Entreprenerd is also popular with established entrepreneurs who recognize their own struggle in my story. M&A consultants, Business Angels and VCs recommended the book to founders looking for an investment. It helps them explain the different options a founder can choose from when growing the business, as well as the possible consequences of each choice.
Entreprenerd is a book for everyone who is eager to learn more about doing business, but hates being taught. Personally, I don’t believe authors of business books who claim having found the recipe to become a millionaire. I prefer being inspired by an entrepreneur who walked the talk, and who isn’t ashamed of being open about the miserable failures that preceded the eventual success.

Photos

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License
When using a photo, please add © 2021, Ine Dehandschutter.
Click on the image to get a high-resolution version.

#1

portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie

#2

portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie

#3

portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie

#4

portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie

#5

portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie

#6

portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie

#7

portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie

#8

portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie

#9

portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie

#10

portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie

#11

portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie

#12

portrait Bruno Lowagie portrait Bruno Lowagie
Join the group Entreprenerd on LinkedIn to get regular updates about the book.