21 Secrets of Successful Startups Cover


21 Secrets of
Successful Startups

Pillars for an Entrepreneur's Foundation


A new book by Sam Wong, a Silicon Valley Advisor &
Five-Time Startup Executive

"If you're a founder and you could triple your success rate, wouldn't you try?"

Purchase Your Copy Today!

95% of Startups Fail or Dramatically Miss Expectations. Great Execution Maximizes the Likelihood of Success.


Industry experts frequently emphasize the importance of great execution. But what exactly does great execution look like? How does one turn a goal into real-life action? Every entrepreneur and investor aims for world-class execution, but the poor hit rate - about 5% - on venture capital investments exposes how few founders actually execute well.

In order for companies to excel at execution, dozens of business functions and processes must be built well. Great execution provides a solid foundation for entrepreneurs to build their enterprises and their lives. 21 Secrets of Successful Startups provides direction, frameworks, and tools to help founders build successful startup companies. Drawing from over 30 years of experience and five different startup ventures - including both successes and failures - Sam Wong provides advice on execution, fundraising, and talent development. 

With the consistent stress inherent with startup life, the author also provides guidance to help founders thrive personally. Where most business books focus only on professional matters, Sam crosses over and offers perspectives, gleaned from his own challenges, to help entrepreneurs thrive in their personal lives as well. 

If you currently lead, advise, or invest in a startup 21 Secrets of Successful Startups provides key tools to build the foundation needed to support both your company and your quality of life. 

Reader Reviews

Read what founders are saying about 21 Secrets:

Delightfully Practical, Personal and Poignant!

...well written with excellent advice on topics ranging from financial planning to mental health. Clear, crisp explanations and examples. I highly recommend this book to entrepreneurs of all experience levels green or grey! I hope Sam writes 21 More Secrets!

Mike Moyer
Author, Slicing Pie

The Founder's Roadmap to Success

Hard to understand concepts are broken down into layman's terms so that even first time founders (like me) can understand it. I've been searching for an entrepreneur's road map but haven't found one anywhere online or in book format... until now. I highly recommend this book to startup founders.

Lisa Clifford
CEO, Autistalline

If you can't have coffee with a serial entrepreneur, get this book instead.

These 21 secrets read like the conversations you would have if you met a serial CEO for coffee twice a month for an entire year. Since so few people would have this amazing opportunity, Sam created this book to be the next best thing.

Kate Stephenson
Owner, Dyad Engineering

Great Insights from a "been there, done that" founder turned advisor". 

Sam has some really great frameworks for logically derisking your business in the most effective order. I love how he also ties in the personal side of things and the importance of putting your startup in the perspective of an "asset" and not your "baby". It's a quick, engaging read that doesn't ramble. 

Eric Espinosa
CEO, Venture Validator

An extremely valuable resource for every entrepreneur.

Full of practical guidance with tons of specific examples that are easy to understand and apply. Detailed coverage of important topics such as MVP, valuation, exit strategies, and balancing family and friends in the midst of heavy startup stress. 

Kevin Hardin
Owner, MakingProto

Practical, actionable guidance. 

Years of hard-to-gain experience explained in every page with valuable, unique insights and practical, actionable guidance. 

John Vong
Chairman, ComplianceEase

About the Author

Sam is a Silicon Valley advisor and five-time startup executive. As a serial entrepreneur, he has been CEO, CTO, or VP Engineering / TechOps for five companies, driving multiple acquisitions. Drawing from years of experience in technical and management consulting, he provides sound guidance in both strategic direction and actionable execution. In addition, having benefited from decades of wise counsel, he also provides personal growth and development advice. 

Download Free Color-By-Numbers Tools for Founders

Tools to help you create actionable strategies.

Detailed Two-Year Startup Budget

Startups need detailed budget projections that are broken down: by month (not by quarters), by business functions, and by headcount. Expenses must also align with expected revenue. But building a defensible bottoms-up budget takes a lot of time. Simplify this task with this spreadsheet template.

Simple Equity Dilution Model

Very few first-time founders understand the typical dilution events a startup will encounter. Even after educating yourself by reading dozens of web articles, clarity on projected dilution remains elusive. Visualize and model your own dilution scenarios with this easy-to-use, customizable spreadsheet

Liquidation Preference Proceeds Model

Founders all work to secure a term sheet — a major funding milestone for all startups. But term sheets come loaded with unfamiliar legal language, such as liquidation preference, which can dramatically impact who gets paid. Armed with this spreadsheet, founders can see how liquidation preference affects payouts in various exit scenarios.


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