The Startup Community Way

Building a startup community is challenging and takes a long time. Brad wrote about the basic principles in his 2012 book Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City. In this book, Brad and Ian help you take your startup community to the next level, using the theory of complex systems.

The Startup Community Way is an explanatory guide for startup communities. Rooted in the theory of complex systems, this book establishes the systemic properties of entrepreneurial ecosystems and explains why their complex nature leads people to make predictable mistakes. As complex systems, value creation occurs in startup communities primarily through the interaction of the parts—the people, organizations, resources, and conditions involved—not the parts themselves. This continual process of bottom-up interactions unfolds naturally, producing value in novel and unexpected ways. Through these complex, emergent processes, the whole becomes greater and substantially different than what the parts alone could produce.

Although we are living in a booming age for startups, we need to think about the future. When the boom times slow, what will happen to our startup communities, and how will we ensure that entrepreneurial success is still within reach for everyone? This book provides a framework for answering these questions, looking at startup communities as complex systems that—given the right resources and support—can help entrepreneurs succeed and benefit society as a whole.

If you have been involved in any way in building a startup community or entrepreneurial ecosystem in your city, The Startup Community Way is key to helping you understand the next phase of your journey.

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Brad has been an early-stage investor and entrepreneur for over thirty years. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and Intensity Ventures. He is also a co-founder of Techstars.

Ian is an analyst, strategist, and writer. He has been an advisor and executive for leaders in technology, media, and finance. He is a leading thinker and writer on entrepreneurship and the economy. Ian also advises and invests in startups in the United States and Europe.