At the TOM BIHN factory in Seattle, the crew gets a first look at The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
At the TOM BIHN factory in Seattle, June, Maria, Ying Xue, Fong, Lisa, Lee, and Sau Ling get a first look at The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. We’re one of the companies featured in the book.

Chris Guillebeau’s new book The $100 Startup (#4 on Amazon as we type this) is not only an excellent primer for anyone who is dreaming of making the leap to being self-employed, but it’s also a great book for those of us who have been at it for a while and are hungry for a new point of view on business-as-usual. And I don’t say all this just because TOM BIHN is one of the featured businesses: I could hardly put Chris’s book down. It’s full of inspiring stories of the successes (and sometimes failures) of entrepreneurs, some who knew all along they wanted to own their own business, some who came to self-employment serendipitously — often by losing their 9–5 job.

Chris is a keen observer of business and of human nature: from dozens of interviews and the results of hundreds of surveys, Chris has distilled the essential questions you need to ask yourself before you start your own company. And if you answer yes, this book will give a foundation to begin the hard work and fun that’s in store for you.

He emphasizes that all of it can often be done with a pretty minimal investment (yes, sometimes for $100 or less). For me it was borrowing $900 from my brother to buy a new industrial sewing machine — since then it’s been largely “bootstrapping” ourselves up and growing the business with the growing demand. It’s been said that a new business is far more likely to die of indigestion than of starvation — in other words, staying a little hungry and lean will keep you smart and efficient. The businesses in The $100 Startup are living proof of this.

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

The $100 Startup is not a road map to guaranteed financial success, but rather a how-to guide for your own off-trail adventure into the world of self-employment.

TOM BIHN in the $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau is available now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Your Local Bookstore.

Watch The $100 Startup trailer and learn more at 100startup.com

And tell us about your small business, the one you’re going to start, or ask us questions about ours: join the discussion on The $100 Startup in the TOM BIHN Forums.