Don’t Startup : What No One Tells You about Starting Your Own Business, by Karthik Kumar

Don’t Startup is a book by Karthik Kumar, Co-founder of Evam Standup Tamasha, a leading Arts Entrepreneurship in India. Startup is a common term these days but this wasn’t the case some fifteen years back, at least in India. This is when Karthik Kumar along with his friend Sunil thought about one. Unlike others, they dreamt of something unique – a Startup which would concentrate on Stage Shows, Standup Comedy among others. This was unique for sure in the early 2000.Dont Startup


The book is divided into three acts (Remember, Karthik is a theatre artist and he has written screenplay for several stories/dramas) which I would say is unique:

In Act I, it will talk about all the challenges and dilemmas of a start up in its infant phase. It reflects that start up journey is one of constant learning both on product front and on the entrepreneur’s front. Karthik talks about importance of time and money in the infant stage. Also subject of funding, human resources, founders and quality are touched upon with good details.

In Act II, the book is focusing on failures and success. Karthik advise young entrepreneurs to learn from both failures and success, and not to take anything as a permanent phase.

In Act III, book is reflecting on vision of future and strategy with a beautiful thought that great entrepreneurship is a balance of Arts and Business.


Don’t Startup is not about giving you the knowledge and the know-hows of starting up. It is about imparting the wisdom that Karthik has gained from his evam journey and how that wisdom will be the strength in yours. It is a Provocative book where the intent is to ignite the entrepreneur inside the reader. In this book, Karthik Kumar explores the various emotional challenges an entrepreneur faces and also tells you how to overcome them. He recounts the journey of going into an unknown area as an entrepreneur and the challenges posed in this voyage of business and self-discovery.

Most realistic book written on start-ups, with practical suggestions about hustle of Entrepreneurship from the beginning. It takes years of hard experience living the journey of building a business and fulfilling a dream, and a ton of humility to describe in such an eloquent manner.

The book is a useful guide for anyone who wants to tread the entrepreneurial journey. It starts by describing the different types of entrepreneurs and goes on to explain the various aspects in the entrepreneurial journey.  Another thing I liked about this book is never get emotional when some employee leaves you for some better opportunity and always pay your workers due, never make them work for free

After each chapter it makes the reader reflect on the chapter and internalize the learnings before moving to the next. I recommend this book not only to aspiring entrepreneurs but to everyone.

My rating : 4.5/5

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