Skip Navigation LinksHome / News & Events / Babson Announcements

New Book – “Worthless Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value” from Babson’s Daniel Isenberg

Authored by Daniel Isenberg, Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice at Babson Executive and Enterprise Education and founding Executive Director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project

The groundbreaking book, Worthless Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value, has been published by Harvard Business Review Publishing.

It is authored by Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice at Babson Executive and Enterprise Education Daniel Isenberg, founding executive director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project, who has previously taught at Harvard and Columbia business schools for over 15 years.

Since its launch it has risen to the top ranks on Amazon books and has been positively reviewed or featured in the Economist, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes TV, Bloomberg, USA Today, Ventureburn, Entrepreneur.com and a number of radio programs.

Worthless, Impossible and Stupid is founded on Isenberg’s thirty-one years as an entrepreneur, entrepreneurship educator, venture capital, policy advisor, and angel investor. His over two dozen published Harvard Business School case studies on entrepreneurship around the world form the basis of the book, which concludes with a reconceptualization of entrepreneurship as the “contrarian creation and capture of extraordinary value.”

“Dan’s path breaking book concludes with a section on implications for entrepreneurship policy makers. We are now taking his practical ideas, tested through the work of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project, to the next logical step by offering the first open enrollment training program in entrepreneurship policy,” noted Dr. Elaine Eisenman, Dean of Babson Executive and Enterprise Education.

Testimonies to the impact of Worthless, Impossible and Stupid include comments by some of the world’s leading figures in the field of entrepreneurship, including:

 

Brad Feld, Managing Director Techstars and author, Startup Communities:

Worthless, Impossible, and Stupid is a thought-provoking book for anyone interested in understanding the deeply contrarian nature of many entrepreneurs. It challenges the status quo definitions of entrepreneurship with substantive examples from all over the world. A must-read for building start-up communities.”

Jonathan Ortmans, President, Global Entrepreneurship Week, and Fellow, Kauffman Foundation:

“Daniel Isenberg’s bottom-up insights are a must-read for policymakers around the world racing to build smarter environments for starting and scaling firms.”

Esther Dyson, Chairman, EDventure Holdings:

Worthless, Impossible, and Stupid confounds the stereotypes. The book vividly illustrates that entrepreneurs don’t all look like Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg or Sergey Brin; they don’t all live in Silicon Valley. And most important, they do more than create start-ups that make novel products or solve problems; they build companies of lasting value.”

Jim McCann, founder and CEO, 1-800-Flowers.com and Celebrations.com:

“Daniel Isenberg manages to turn the words ‘worthless, impossible, and stupid’ into the highest form of praise by getting inside the minds of real-life entrepreneurs to explain how counterintuitive thinking (and a sometimes inexplicable indifference to failure) have helped create and often revolutionize global business.”

Linda Rottenberg, cofounder and CEO, Endeavor Global:

“Calling all contrarians: If you’ve taken great risks, confronted skeptics and setbacks, and unleashed extraordinary value, you’ll recognize yourself in this important new book by Daniel Isenberg. Worthless, Impossible, and Stupid perfectly captures the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial path, felling a great many myths along the way.”

Calestous Juma, professor, Harvard Kennedy School:

“This book is a real threat to conventional theories on business development. Its lessons apply in many other fields of human endeavor. Anyone interested in changing the world for the better should read it.”

Sir Ronald Cohen, cofounder and former Chairman, Apax Partners:

“Valuable, practical, and insightful, Daniel Isenberg’s new book is a very helpful and illustrative guide to the entrepreneurial journey.”

Maria Pinelli, Global Vice Chair of Strategic Growth Markets, Ernst & Young:
“Entrepreneurship is so important for a healthy economy: It creates jobs, supports communities, and builds a better working world. Worthless, Impossible, and Stupid provides a sophisticated and provocative narrative on this crucial topic.”
Nick Lazaris, former CEO, Keurig:
“Entrepreneurs take note. Daniel Isenberg makes his contrarian point clear in this provocative book: Entrepreneurs need to be as innovative in finding ways to capture value as they are in creating it. This will be good for them individually and for the society that benefits from entrepreneurialism.”
 
Reviews follow below:
• Economist, “Crazy diamonds: True entrepreneurs find worth in the worthless and possibility in the impossible”, 7/21/13
• Vivek Wadhwa,Entrepreneurship? Worthless, Impossible and Stupid” , July 16, 2013, Linked In http://linkd.in/Wadhwa_DI
• Wall Street Journal, “Who Moved My Fortune?” , July 30, 2013
• Entrepreneur.com,“Worthless, Impossible and Stupid? Why Contrarian Business Ideas Make It Big”, July 16, 2013 http://bit/ly/ER_WIS
•  Financial Times, “Dispelling the Myths About Entrepreneurship.” July 10, 2013
• Forbes TV (2), “Behind Every Great Entrepreneur There is a Great Entrepreneur” , July 17, 2013
• Forbes TV (1), “Daniel Isenberg on the Value of Contrarian Entrepreneurs.” July, 2013
• Bloomberg TV,“Debunking Three Entrepreneurship Myths.” Interview with Worthless, Impossible and Stupid author Daniel Isenberg June 2013.
• USA Today, “Inside the entrepreneurial mindset.” July 7, 2013
• Ventureburn, “Busted: Three myths about being an entrepreneur blown wide open.” Ventureburn,  June 28, 2018
 
For further information contact
Michael Chmura, mchmura@babson.edu
Or Nina Nociolino nnocciolino@hbr.org
 

By Hilary Katulak; hkatulak@babson.edu; 781-239-4623 | 8/18/2013 10:22 PM