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Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur, by Stuart Skorman

SerialI wasn't sure whether I was going to like Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur.  I was intrigued by the fact that the author, Stuart Skorman, had started so many companies over the years, but would there really be valuable lessons from any/all of them?  It got a bit more interesting when I realized that Skorman founded HungryMinds.com, a company my employer at the time (IDG Books) acquired.

Although I can't really say I learned anything revolutionary about starting a business, I have to admit that the story itself was very entertaining.  In a relatively short period of time Skorman launched four different businesses.  Some made him rich (Reel.com, earning Skorman $17 million) while others cost him a fortune (he notes he lost about $10 million of his own money on the HungryMinds venture).

Confessions is an entertaining read although it drifts from time to time.  For example, I wasn't sure why he felt compelled to provide so much information about the 18-month vacation he and his wife took after the HungryMinds sale.  There's also the occasional dead end; the author admits that he signed a non-disclosure agreement which prevents him from divulging certain aspects of his most recent business, an innovative pharmacy that offers both traditional prescriptions as well as herbal remedies.

Prior to reading this book I had no idea who Stuart Skorman is.  In 200 fairly short pages I feel like I got the Cliffs Notes version of his career and I'm curious to see if he's got any more new business ideas left in him.



Did Mr. Skorman mention in his book what exactly it was that Hungry Minds was supposed to *do*. During the brief period our company was involved with/acquired/integrated HM, I never understood what product it produced or service it rendered. Did he have insight into the company's vision?

Joe Wikert

Hi Cindy. I don't have the book in front of me but I believe his goal was to create the leading learning portal. He did note that in hindsight it was an ambitious goal and something that at least in his eyes is virtually impossible to do. So he had a vision but he didn't have the ability to pull all the pieces together before the market collapsed around him.

John Helmus

Hungry Minds was a learning portal. We acquired the name. We felt it didn't tie us to books only or to technology (IDG). The flying pig, well, that is something for discussion over drinks someday perhaps.

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