Upscale by James Silver must have taken a long time to research and write, but that makes it one of the better reads when it comes to the ecosystem of startups and investors.
As somebody who has written widely on technology and knows the effort it takes to write an article, let alone a book on the subject, this is a seriously impressive piece of work.
The Upscale accelerator ‘powered by’ the UK’s Tech Nation wants to increase the success of startups companies and, er, upscale, the chances of investors in receiving serious returns on their capital.
There have been numerous success stories, not least FinTech company The Accountancy Cloud that has scaled considerably due to the programme, but others further down the line such as Monzo and Ometria.
However, this is a book review and not an accelerator review, but it’s difficult not to refer to the great companies that have resulted from this initiative. Silver has been granted exclusive access to the programme and he speaks to many of the UK’s successful entrepreneurs.
These include Saul Klein, Brent Hoberman, Wendy Tan White, Suranga Chandratillake and many others. If these names mean nothing to you, then this probably isn’t the book for you. However, if they do, you will love their words and inspiration.
Written by founders for founders, Upscale is the type of book everybody can learn from whether that is investing, scaling, marketing or making the right decision when that market turns in another direction.
There are few platitudes in this book, just smart advice from smart people who have been through the mill, have been shredded by the mill but have come out spotless and cleansed.
I’m not a fan of business books, especially when allied with a commercial venture, but I’ll make an exception in this case. Well-researched, very well-written and extremely topical. Buy it.