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The $100 Startup and Why I Tried To Build a Time Machine Out of Cocktail Napkins


If you're on the internet and you read things, you've probably heard of Chris Guillebeau. A few months ago, I had the profound honor of proving myself completely incapable of understanding clocks and/or Los Angeles traffic patterns when we were supposed to meet up for dinner. He was patiently waiting at 6 on the dot. I came racing in at 6:50, a new personal record for inconsiderate. I was also tripping over things and praying for a small yet fiesty earthquake to wrench open a pit in the center of the room so I could conveniently fall in. Or maybe a time machine so I could rewind 55 minutes and stroll in like a person who plans well. But Chris was unfailingly gracious and kind and put my flustered, horrified self at ease so quickly that he jumped straight into the ranks of my favorite people in about forty-five seconds.

Note: Every time you make a horrible impression on someone you just met, you offer the other person an opportunity to make an inversely proportionate positive impression. Way to roll with circumstance, Chris.

My Point. And I Do Have One, Besides Sharing The Worst Episode of Amber Standard Time Yet, the One That Made My Mom Close Her Eyes In Despair When I Told Her About It.

Chris will have visited every country in the world by the time he's 35. He writes lots of really helpful things for people who like avoiding cubicles. He has a team of trained monkeys to do his bidding.* He also has a new book out, The $100 Startup: Reinvent The Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future. You should totally read it.

* Unconfirmed.

Luckily for you, I somehow ended up with five copies. So I'm keeping the paperback (I've already made notes in the margins and spilled coffee on it) and giving away the four pretty hardcovers.

I look like I robbed a Barnes and Noble. I did not rob a Barnes and Noble. I'm late, not felonious. 

I'm sure I could say a lot about the book, but here's the thing: Chris is smart. He's inspiring. He's done amazing things and, judging by our conversation and the fact that his World Domination Summit sells out in less time than I kept him waiting at a hotel bar, he's really good at inspiring other people to do the same. I left that evening and went home and kicked 78 percent more ass than I did before our conversation. If I got so much out of a quick dinner, how much could you get from a book he poured so much time and effort into? A LOT, I IMAGINE.

So read the book, become more awesome, and help me embark on my nomadic summer with four fewer possessions. If you want a copy, just leave a comment or send me a pandagram with your address and a book will head your way.

[Update: Whoa, those went fast! Facebook people are on the free books, man. But if you're interested, you should head to Amazon and grab one. Panda thumbs up.]