Features

Lessons for budding entrepreneurs

Book review: What it Takes Raegan Moya-Jones' book is an entertaining and informative “warts and all” account of how she set up her business.

What-it-takes-100

How I Built a $100 Million Business Against the Odds

Penguin, £14.99

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.

Buy on Amazon

Most people who write books about starting a company tend to play it safe, praising everyone involved and downplaying any obstacles. That frequently makes for a dull book. Happily, Raegan Moya-Jones doesn't follow this formula. Instead, her book is a "warts and all" account of how she set up aden + anais, which sells premium baby swaddles and blankets, while she was working in sales for The Economist. She grew it into a $100m powerhouse with operations around the globe.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

As she admits, Moya-Jones is not someone who suffers fools gladly, and she is scathing about those she feels treated her badly or got in her way. They include her employers, who repeatedly passed her over for promotion, her business partner, Claudia, whom she fell out with, and the private-equity firm who eventually ousted her.

Occasionally these complaints come across as special pleading, notably her outrage that competitors would try to copy her concept, when she herself took the idea from a product that was being sold in her native Australia. But some of her other points are valid, such as the limited vision of venture-capital firms, and her candour makes the book entertaining and informative.

There are plenty of lessons for budding entrepreneurs too. Anyone who has contemplated starting a business or wants to find out what it is like to create one should definitely read this book.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/519325/six-contrarian-books-for-christmas
Films

Six contrarian books for Christmas

Merryn Somerset Webb picks six of her favourite contrarian books to help you look clever and perhaps win a few arguments over the Christmas dinner tab…
9 Dec 2019
Visit/513323/coming-to-terms-with-anna-sorokin
Films

Coming to terms with Anna Sorokin

My Friend Anna: The true story of the fake heiress of New York CityWilliams is a solid writer who does a good job of explaining how she, and other int…
21 Aug 2019
Visit/513324/book-in-the-news-the-inside-story-of-spains-tumultuous-crisis
Films

Book in the news… the inside story of Spain’s tumultuous crisis

After the Fall Crisis, Recovery and the Making of a New SpainA book that goes beyond politics to offer a deeply sympathetic portrayal of a country.
21 Aug 2019
Visit/513325/an-offbeat-take-on-economics
Films

An offbeat take on economics

Review: This Giant Beast That is the Global EconomyA new TV series outfreaks Freakonomics.
20 Aug 2019

Most Popular

Visit/investments/stockmarkets/600878/coronavirus-pandemic-financial-markets
Stockmarkets

A global coronavirus pandemic seems inevitable – are markets still too complacent?

Coronavirus is going global. It’s only a matter of time before it’s classed as a pandemic. John Stepek looks at the markets’ reaction, and explains ho…
24 Feb 2020
Visit/investments/property/buy-to-let/600849/come-back-buy-to-letters-all-is-forgiven
Buy to let

Come back buy-to-letters, all is forgiven

The government is winning its war against small private buy-to-let landlords. But who benefits?
23 Feb 2020
Visit/personal-finance/pensions/pension-tax/600877/why-it-makes-sense-to-scrap-higher-rate-pensions-tax
Pension tax

Why it makes sense to scrap higher-rate pensions tax relief

The point of pensions tax relief is to keep you out of the means-tested benefits system. The current system is ridiculously generous, says Merryn Some…
24 Feb 2020
Visit/investments/commodities/600729/the-rare-earth-metal-that-wont-be-a-secret-for-long
Sponsored

The rare earth metal that won't be a secret for long

SPONSORED CONTENT – You can’t keep a good thing hidden forever; now is the time to consider Pensana Rare Earths and the rare earth metals NdPr.
31 Jan 2020