The Embedded Entrepreneur - Introduction

In this series of posts, I'm going to summarise my takes on Arvid Kahl's new book "The Embedded Entrepreneur", while reading the book for the second time. I have had the privilege of being one of the reviewers of the book and I have already finished it once. Now I'm planning to read it again from the start, this time documenting my journey as a series of blog posts and sharing my learnings with you.

What is the book all about?

This is an action-oriented book, and there are a few real-world examples that encourage you to take the "audience first" approach to your business.

In this chapter of the book, there are a few examples from entrepreneurs who successfully started their businesses from inside of their communities and their businesses thrived exactly because of their engagement and audience trust they managed to build. I'd definitely recommend checking them out.

The previous name: Audience-first

Originally this book was supposed to be called "Audience first", and may bring this notion to mind that we are going to build an audience first and then start selling our product to them, which is not what Arvid intended at all, therefore he renamed the book to "The Embedded Entrepreneur" and chose the term "Audience-driven Approach" instead. That means to be part of the community you are going to build and focus on people and their needs.

You will be an integrated member of the community where you exchange ideas and build a reputation, eventually, that community can become your audience and the ground for building your business.

  1. Communities begin as a hunting ground for opportunities
  2. They become a place to build meaningful relationships
  3. They end up being the fertile soil to grow your business

Audience-first vs. Idea-first

The product-first approach takes the risky path of turning a potentially (but yet to be evaluated) idea into a product and then validating it by presenting it to the world.

This part resonates with me a lot as a developer, as I also tend to focus on making solutions on ideas that are not evaluated yet and leave finding a use for those ideas to the future.

These are a few advantages to the audience-first approach:

  • Validation is built-in: you are building a solution to problems your audience is experiencing first-hand
  • Not leaving things to chance: You already know that there are real people with real problems that are interested in your product and are willing to pay for it and if they have enough money to justify the business.
  • Your personal brand: In addition to your business you are building a brand by building a good reputation for yourself in that community, even if your business fails you have earned your place as the "domain expert".

These are the main ideas behind the "Embedded Entrepreneur".

Thanks for reading this post, did you find it useful? Let me know on Twitter. I'm going to publish the rest of the summary of the rest of the chapters every day.