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Backable: The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance on You

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A groundbreaking book that boldly claims the key to success in business is not talent, connections, or ideas, but the ability to persuade people to take a chance on potential. No one makes it alone. But there’s a reason why some people can get investors or bosses to believe in them while others cannot. And that reason has little to do with experience, pedigree or a polishe A groundbreaking book that boldly claims the key to success in business is not talent, connections, or ideas, but the ability to persuade people to take a chance on potential. No one makes it alone. But there’s a reason why some people can get investors or bosses to believe in them while others cannot. And that reason has little to do with experience, pedigree or a polished business plan. Backable people seem to have a hidden quality that inspires others to take action. We often chalk this up to natural talent or charisma…either you have “it” or you don’t.    After getting rejected by every investor he pitched, Suneel Gupta had a burning question: could “it” be learned?   Drawing lessons from hundreds of the world’s biggest thinkers, Suneel discovered how to pitch new ideas in a way that has raised millions of dollars, influenced large-scale change inside massive corporations, and even convinced his 8-year old daughter to clean her room. Inside are long-held secrets from producers of Oscar-winning films, members of Congress, military leaders, culinary stars, venture capitalists, founders of unicorn-status startups, and executives at iconic companies like Lego, Method, and Pixar.   Backable reveals how the key to success is not charisma, connections, or even your resume, but rather your ability to persuade others to take a chance on you. This groundbreaking book will show you how.  


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A groundbreaking book that boldly claims the key to success in business is not talent, connections, or ideas, but the ability to persuade people to take a chance on potential. No one makes it alone. But there’s a reason why some people can get investors or bosses to believe in them while others cannot. And that reason has little to do with experience, pedigree or a polishe A groundbreaking book that boldly claims the key to success in business is not talent, connections, or ideas, but the ability to persuade people to take a chance on potential. No one makes it alone. But there’s a reason why some people can get investors or bosses to believe in them while others cannot. And that reason has little to do with experience, pedigree or a polished business plan. Backable people seem to have a hidden quality that inspires others to take action. We often chalk this up to natural talent or charisma…either you have “it” or you don’t.    After getting rejected by every investor he pitched, Suneel Gupta had a burning question: could “it” be learned?   Drawing lessons from hundreds of the world’s biggest thinkers, Suneel discovered how to pitch new ideas in a way that has raised millions of dollars, influenced large-scale change inside massive corporations, and even convinced his 8-year old daughter to clean her room. Inside are long-held secrets from producers of Oscar-winning films, members of Congress, military leaders, culinary stars, venture capitalists, founders of unicorn-status startups, and executives at iconic companies like Lego, Method, and Pixar.   Backable reveals how the key to success is not charisma, connections, or even your resume, but rather your ability to persuade others to take a chance on you. This groundbreaking book will show you how.  

30 review for Backable: The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance on You

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rajiv Srinivasan

    Honest, pithy, wise, and short. Sincerely among the best coaching books I could offer to the people in my life pursuing entrepreneurship in any capacity. The beauty is in it’s simplicity and tangible takeaways. I appreciate the author’s humility and willingness to expose the weak links in even a seemingly successful outcome for his startups. Pulling back that curtain demystifies “feast or famine” perceptions people have of entrepreneurial venture. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with so many Honest, pithy, wise, and short. Sincerely among the best coaching books I could offer to the people in my life pursuing entrepreneurship in any capacity. The beauty is in it’s simplicity and tangible takeaways. I appreciate the author’s humility and willingness to expose the weak links in even a seemingly successful outcome for his startups. Pulling back that curtain demystifies “feast or famine” perceptions people have of entrepreneurial venture. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with so many one-liners that I’ll be taking away. “It is much easier to prepare for a presentation than a discussion”; “how you get to an idea is just as important as the idea itself.”; We need more high integrity people who can sell a good idea". It’s a great model for a coaching book. Concise, effective, modest, and actionable. Highly recommend for all young professionals and anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Loved every page of this book. The way he tells insider backstories and pulls together information reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell's style. While reading this book I cried over some stories and laughed out loud at others. I would recommend this book as an essential read for anyone interviewing, reinventing themselves, or developing ideas. Great information and tips for teachers, students, coaches, screenwriters, public speakers, leaders, and salespeople. I could see the next "Hidden Figures" fema Loved every page of this book. The way he tells insider backstories and pulls together information reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell's style. While reading this book I cried over some stories and laughed out loud at others. I would recommend this book as an essential read for anyone interviewing, reinventing themselves, or developing ideas. Great information and tips for teachers, students, coaches, screenwriters, public speakers, leaders, and salespeople. I could see the next "Hidden Figures" female overcomes the odds movie coming from this book. I can't wait to share one of the stories from this book at my team's next meeting. My favorite thing was the fresh ideas. Gupta presented a really new take on things that I had never considered before. There are little jewels on every page. My highest compliment to a book is if I want to recommend it to friends. Backable by Gupta, I highly recommend.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Here's how to become that business person everyone gets behind: 1. Convince yourself first (by building a great offering) 2. Tell the business story from an individual's point of view 3. Arrive at an insight that you've earned by living it, or a secret you've discovered not many know 4. Understand FOMO -- make your buyers feel like they have not to miss out 5. Bring people in (to be co-creators) so they feel like owners too 6. Be willing to rehearse, test, and ask for feedback -- say, 'can I try my p Here's how to become that business person everyone gets behind: 1. Convince yourself first (by building a great offering) 2. Tell the business story from an individual's point of view 3. Arrive at an insight that you've earned by living it, or a secret you've discovered not many know 4. Understand FOMO -- make your buyers feel like they have not to miss out 5. Bring people in (to be co-creators) so they feel like owners too 6. Be willing to rehearse, test, and ask for feedback -- say, 'can I try my pitch on yo?' 7. Let go of your ego Great stuff.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Andrew A

    Suneel charms you with his charisma and takes you through his personal life journey...Stop. No, instead it gets a lot better. Suneel shares how to be convincing, how to fall in love with your project. Can someone teach you the science of how to fall in love? You bet Suneel knows how. When you start reading Backable, the “aha” gets you every chapter with your own personal echoes of “I remember how I failed to pitch to X” and yet he shows the way. Better he guides you to the journey of how to beco Suneel charms you with his charisma and takes you through his personal life journey...Stop. No, instead it gets a lot better. Suneel shares how to be convincing, how to fall in love with your project. Can someone teach you the science of how to fall in love? You bet Suneel knows how. When you start reading Backable, the “aha” gets you every chapter with your own personal echoes of “I remember how I failed to pitch to X” and yet he shows the way. Better he guides you to the journey of how to become the ideal you, how to become Backable. Is this book only applicable to venture funding and entrepreneurship? Hell no, how about being backable in your own life? Would you rather be the person whom others want to support in just about every walk of life or will you be extra in your on-life movie? That’s for you to decide, but if you choose to be backable - go read Backcable!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ak

    I finished the book in only a few days but felt I had taken away a clear understanding of the major and minor insights he was trying to share because of the brevity and storytelling. This book expressed a number of ideas I had thought about but couldn’t articulate in depth. On top of that it described what to do when you encounter those situations. One idea I felt resonated with me was the idea of an emotional runway. The author briefly described what I had been experiencing over a number of yea I finished the book in only a few days but felt I had taken away a clear understanding of the major and minor insights he was trying to share because of the brevity and storytelling. This book expressed a number of ideas I had thought about but couldn’t articulate in depth. On top of that it described what to do when you encounter those situations. One idea I felt resonated with me was the idea of an emotional runway. The author briefly described what I had been experiencing over a number of years in a few pages with clear tips on how to deal with it. The book delves deeper into the seven main sections with more insights, advice, and entertaining storytelling well worth the time You will spend reading. I highly recommend for entrepreneurs or any looking to give more validity to the ideas they plan to share with others. (There are great tips on public speaking as well)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    I HIGHLY recommend this book not just for entrepreneurs, but anyone whose job is to earn trust, build consensus, or "sell" their ideas or vision (in other words, pretty much everyone). There are so many great lessons in this book, many of which are counter-intuitive, and they're shared through great stories, empirical evidence and Suneel's own hard-fought lessons. I HIGHLY recommend this book not just for entrepreneurs, but anyone whose job is to earn trust, build consensus, or "sell" their ideas or vision (in other words, pretty much everyone). There are so many great lessons in this book, many of which are counter-intuitive, and they're shared through great stories, empirical evidence and Suneel's own hard-fought lessons.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

    If you've had an idea that you thought was great, but you needed financial backing, this book is a blueprint of how to convince investors to support your idea. Written in straightforward and easy to relate to language, this book is really a must have for entrepreneurs. If you've had an idea that you thought was great, but you needed financial backing, this book is a blueprint of how to convince investors to support your idea. Written in straightforward and easy to relate to language, this book is really a must have for entrepreneurs.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chris Boutté

    For my entire life, I've been a person with a billion ideas, and that's why I love being an entrepreneur and working alone. I can test ideas, analyze outcomes, and come back with more tests. What I've learned in the last year working at a company again is that collaboration on ideas can really make them take off. Unfortunately, I sometimes have a difficult time selling others on my ideas. That's why I had to pick up this book from Suneel Gupta. I had it on my calendar months before it came out a For my entire life, I've been a person with a billion ideas, and that's why I love being an entrepreneur and working alone. I can test ideas, analyze outcomes, and come back with more tests. What I've learned in the last year working at a company again is that collaboration on ideas can really make them take off. Unfortunately, I sometimes have a difficult time selling others on my ideas. That's why I had to pick up this book from Suneel Gupta. I had it on my calendar months before it came out and bought it on launch day.  I'm all about scientific testing and data analysis, but sometimes I just need a book that hypes me up with ideas and inspiring stories. That's exactly what this book is. Gupta has a great philosophy around what it takes to make your ideas backable, and although this will be beneficial for many startups looking for investors, I found a ton of value in it. As I read this book, I implemented a few of the strategies at my job and it actually worked. I was able to get people to back my ideas and take a chance on some things I wanted to try. This is a great book for anyone who has ideas and knows how beneficial collaboration is.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The content was refreshing and usable. I found the basic tenants of the author’s philosophy very useful and believable. I also agreed with the preface of the book stating its multiple applications. As essentially for persons looking to be backable in their attempts at getting financing for a startup, to helping individuals “Rise” ( see what I did there? ) above challenges and become more backable in their jobs. But the real reason I gave it five stars... The full i I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The content was refreshing and usable. I found the basic tenants of the author’s philosophy very useful and believable. I also agreed with the preface of the book stating its multiple applications. As essentially for persons looking to be backable in their attempts at getting financing for a startup, to helping individuals “Rise” ( see what I did there? ) above challenges and become more backable in their jobs. But the real reason I gave it five stars... The full interviews at the end. The interviews are the “creme de la creme” that rockets the value of this book. The interviews were so insightful and useful. I truly didn’t expect how much I would value their content. The interviews made this book a five! Bravo Mr. Gupta for deciding to add those unedited discussions! Fantastic!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    ** I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and my opinions are my own. I am not a member of this book’s target audience because I do not have any plans to pursue entrepreneurship. However, the book offered lessons that will be applicable in more general life situations. I like Gupta’s narrative style and the way he tied in his own experiences without making the book only about him. He clearly did his research, and he provides engaging, real-life examples to support each of his tips to be “backab ** I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and my opinions are my own. I am not a member of this book’s target audience because I do not have any plans to pursue entrepreneurship. However, the book offered lessons that will be applicable in more general life situations. I like Gupta’s narrative style and the way he tied in his own experiences without making the book only about him. He clearly did his research, and he provides engaging, real-life examples to support each of his tips to be “backable.” I highly recommend this book to future entrepreneurs or to anyone who will ever have to pitch themselves or their idea!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    I received a free copy of this book via Goodreads’ First Reads program. Entrepreneurial types will probably gain the most from this read, as it is largely geared towards how to deliver an effective pitch and get people to buy into your idea. The vignettes gleaned from various interviews were fairly interesting. I was not expecting the book to end where it did- it felt a bit abrupt and sudden. I would have liked to see something a bit more substantial and fleshed out. This read a bit more like it I received a free copy of this book via Goodreads’ First Reads program. Entrepreneurial types will probably gain the most from this read, as it is largely geared towards how to deliver an effective pitch and get people to buy into your idea. The vignettes gleaned from various interviews were fairly interesting. I was not expecting the book to end where it did- it felt a bit abrupt and sudden. I would have liked to see something a bit more substantial and fleshed out. This read a bit more like it could have been an expanded blog series or magazine articles.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Barred Owl Books

    Backable is packed with practical advice shared in a real and honest way which is both engaging and just so much fun to read! If you've ever wanted to become better at convincing others, if you've ever wanted to accelerate your career, or if you love stories with surprising twist endings, then you will not be disappointed with Backable. Backable is packed with practical advice shared in a real and honest way which is both engaging and just so much fun to read! If you've ever wanted to become better at convincing others, if you've ever wanted to accelerate your career, or if you love stories with surprising twist endings, then you will not be disappointed with Backable.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Zacharyah Gramstad

    Great, actionable book. Pretty formulaic, at times I think over-simplified. The author does not come across as a genius, and the insights in the book aren't earth-shattering. But I think they are presented so simply that the book can be applied very easily. I will probably re-read and/or take notes on the summary (in the appendix of the book). Great, actionable book. Pretty formulaic, at times I think over-simplified. The author does not come across as a genius, and the insights in the book aren't earth-shattering. But I think they are presented so simply that the book can be applied very easily. I will probably re-read and/or take notes on the summary (in the appendix of the book).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Berman

    It turns out there’s a heck of a lot more than charisma that goes into why someone does or doesn’t take a chance on you. Whether you’re applying for a job, trying to raise money, or persuading mountain gorillas to trust you, Suneel Gupta has broken it all down in a fast-paced and remarkably actionable book. Highly recommend.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    I received this book in a goodreads giveaway Very interesting book. The book is well written with a lot of ways to improve presentations. If you are wondering how to get backing on a project this book is definitely a place to start

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anne Libera

    Clear, straightforward, and useful take on the skills, practices and knowledge required to pitch ideas to potential backers. While there are some stories that have been around a while in some form or other, the advice is eminently practical and useful.

  17. 5 out of 5

    James Sefton

    What is there to say other than it was extremely readable. I don't think I have read a book this quick. I could take or leave the interviews in Part 2 but I loved how he told the story of his mother. It is a beautiful sentiment I have shared with those I am close with. What is there to say other than it was extremely readable. I don't think I have read a book this quick. I could take or leave the interviews in Part 2 but I loved how he told the story of his mother. It is a beautiful sentiment I have shared with those I am close with.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mike Cimorelli

    This book is incredibly valuable for anyone who is trying to move and motivate groups of people. I found the authors candid approach to this book refreshing and he did a great job walking the reader through his progression to become backable.

  19. 5 out of 5

    John

    Great I won the giveaway, can't wait to start reading Great I won the giveaway, can't wait to start reading

  20. 4 out of 5

    O

    Clear and to the point of getting you the reader to act now, instead of later with audacity, clarity, authenticity, and gumption. A must read if the next level is what you seek.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ben Wiener

    Excellent actionable advice and framework for anyone who needs to pitch an important venture or idea.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Wanamaker

    Very inspiring. Some of the context can be applied to many other professionals besides those seeking backing from venture capitalists.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cole Roberts

    Most business books could be a blog post and this is one of them. Valuable insights though

  24. 4 out of 5

    Esgagu

    This book is absolutely awesome.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    A helpful, insightful and digestible book that can help anyone attempting to start a business. Really, whether they are looking for outside funding or not, there are practical tips here to get your business started in the right direction and cultivate the right mindset. This book will inspire confidence in many who may feel they lack certain things to get started. Really valuable and practical information here and I am thankful to Mr. Gupta for writing this book for us and making this informatio A helpful, insightful and digestible book that can help anyone attempting to start a business. Really, whether they are looking for outside funding or not, there are practical tips here to get your business started in the right direction and cultivate the right mindset. This book will inspire confidence in many who may feel they lack certain things to get started. Really valuable and practical information here and I am thankful to Mr. Gupta for writing this book for us and making this information more easily accessible.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ernest Haiat

  27. 4 out of 5

    Teressa

  28. 5 out of 5

    Troy Clark

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Sevick

  30. 4 out of 5

    ALEX WESTNER

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