The Monk and the Riddle: The Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur

Front Cover
Harvard Business Press, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 181 pages
37 Reviews
How one Silicon Valley insider has blazed a path of professional--and personal--success playing the game by his own rules.

Silicon Valley is filled with garage-to-riches stories and hot young entrepreneurs with big ideas. Yet even in this place where the exceptional is common, Randy Komisar is a breed apart. Currently a "Virtual CEO" who provides "leadership on demand" for several renowned companies, Komisar was recently described by theWashington Postas a "combined professional mentor, minister without portfolio, in-your-face investor, trouble-shooter and door opener." But even more interesting than what he does is how--and why--he does it. Komisar has found a way to turn an ambitious and challenging work life into his life's work.

The Monk and the Riddleis unlike any other business book you've read. Transcending the typical "leadership book" model of lists and frameworks on how to succeed in business,The Monk and the Riddleis instead a lively and humorous narrative about the education of a unique Valley insider. It unfolds over the course of an ongoing dialogue between Komisar and would-be entrepreneurs, "Lenny and Allison," and is at once a portal into the inner workings of Silicon Valley--from how startups get launched to how venture capitalists do their deals to how plans get prepared and pitched--and a deeply personal account of how one mover and shaker found fulfillment, not in work's rewards but in work itself.

As the narrative follows Komisar through meetings with venture capitalists and eager entrepreneurs, and as his conversations with Lenny evolve toward a resolution,The Monk and the Riddleimparts invaluable lessons about the differences between leadership and management and passion and drive, and about the meaning of professional and personal success. "When all is said and done," writes Komisar, "the journeyisthe reward."

  

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Review: Monk and the Riddle: The Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur

User Review  - Sam Klemens - Goodreads

This book irked me at points. I felt like it lacked flow, but that's not even quite the right way to put it. This; it was put together very logically but seemed to be emotionally stunted. It conveyed ... Read full review

Review: The Monk and the Riddle: The Art of Creating a Life While Making a Life

User Review  - Anwen Garston - Goodreads

I think this is one of my favourite books. I read it really quickly as it was so good. Worth reading for everyone. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

THE RIDDLE
1
THE PITCH
7
THE RULES OF THE GAME
27
THE VIRTUAL CEO
45
THE DEFERRED LIFE PLAN
57
THE ROMANCE NOT THE FINANCE
79
THE BIG IDEA
95
THE BOTTOM LINE
111
THE ART OF LEADERSHIP
129
THE GAMBLE
147
THE WHOLE LIFE PLAN
159
THE ROAD
173
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
179
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
181
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

is a Virtual CEO who has worked with companies such as WebTV and Mondo Media. He is former CEO of LucasArts Entertainment and Crystal Dynamics, and one of the founders of GO and Claris. He lives in Portola Valley, CA.

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