Book Review: Breaking Out and Making Big


The first thing that I noticed about the book when I saw it was the cover. In an explosive pink color, the cover is cluttered with a huge hyperlink mouse pointer image with little badges surrounding it. Yes, Start-ups in this technical age revolved around computers. For the sake of argument, which business doesn’t? I could make out the title and the caption (or as some might call it the tag line, or the mantra) and the author’s name. I proceeded to ‘click next’ and open the pages of the digital copy I had.

Start-ups – tricky to get right, difficult if handled improperly and the success rate is alarmingly less. While most people still prefer to go for established businesses, Start-ups have now become the ‘in’ thing. Any person with a vision and a mission statement and a little bit of capital can, in theory, begin a start-up venture. But maybe because there are too many of them around, or maybe because nothing is done that hasn’t been done already, or maybe because the practical implementation of the theory of start-ups is not up to the mark, the ratio between the start ups that begin and the ones that run successfully is not a hopeful picture.

Rudrajeet Desai has given the readers an abridged version of all the knowledge, tips and tricks he acquired over his illustrious career. He also details the struggles and the most possible causes of failure. And he gives tips to avoid all the common mistakes and instead concentrate on doing the right thing at the right time. As a reviewer, I cannot deny that this book had a few valuable lessons (whether you wish to begin a start-up venture or not). I have tried the best to segregate my review and focus on the important aspects.

The language used in the book is easy, lucid and not having big show off words. There is no unnecessary jargon, technical or otherwise and the author has tried his best to put out his points in a way they would be understood best. The language being mostly error free is another plus. But the overall tone of the book is authoritative and follows a set ideology and the ‘do this’ and ‘then do that’ format might not work for all readers. The author has, in his own words, clearly stated how difficult it is to maintain a start-up. The fixed way to go about it seems a bit out of context. The ideas lose focus because of the tone in which they are delivered. The book sometimes does give one the feeling of reading an itemized to do list.

The organization and structure are near impeccable. The book covers a huge variety of topics and is most effective as a guide book that can be read at one’s own pace and even sometimes randomly from the middle. The topics are independent of each other and can make sense if read more than once. Starting from worksheets to self help type questions, the author has obviously put a lot of work into the organization of the content and that shows. The structure is simple, with the common message being conveyed is, “Are you ready? Should you really do this? Are you sure you can manage? Okay then, this is how you should go about it.” Written in that order.

When I began reading the book, I looked forward to having detailed, clear views of what exactly were start-ups and what was the hype surrounding it. The book answered most of my questions and tried its best to give a layman’s version of all the major definitions. The organization and the presentation helped me make sense of the book and the biggest plus is that this book can be used by all and sundry. Those who have an idea to begin a start-up, those who have already done and are fresh in the market, those who have done some time back and are looking for ways to improve, every type of start up related query is answered.

But the real drawback is when the book takes an authoritarian tone, with not much of new information that other books of this genre did not provide. Some topics risk sounding clichéd and become frequently repeated ground rules. The Umpteen Commandments might work in some cases and might not, in some other cases. While it is impossibly difficult to cover every doubt that might arise in the minds of entrepreneurs, the book could have taken a different approach and maintained an encouraging tone. This is not a drawback from the reviewers end, but for people buying the book in the hopes of getting motivated have to look elsewhere if they do not want a brutally honest criticism of the work they are yet to begin.

What stood out the most in the book- The first ever topic that gave a little background about the author, the overall organization, the carefully constructed charts / tabular columns.

This book will clearly tell you why start-ups aren’t for everyone. But if you still decide to go ahead it will give you steps that will help you on your path to victory. If information is what you are looking for, this is a gold mine. If motivation is what you are looking for, the search will have to go on for a bit longer.

Title: Breaking Out and Making Big
Rudrajeet Desai 
Harper Collins India
Non-Fiction/ Business
3.75 of 5.00
Reviewed for:
The Tales Pensieve Pick of the month – February 2016

Read the reviews of other books rated 3 stars by Team TP HERE