Startups and Downs: The Secrets of Resilient Entrepreneurs

Must-Read Alumni Books 2Mona Bijoor C98 WG05
Indigo River Publishing

In 2010, Mona Bijoor founded JOOR, a startup that would become the world’s largest wholesale platform for fashion, beauty and home products, with seven offices around the world managing billions of dollars in orders. But getting there was not easy. Joor struggled in the same ways that many other startups do: raising capital, hiring staff that would stay long-term, branding, and staying ahead of the competition. Inspired by her experience as a founder, Startups and Downs offers a guide to overcome the problems so many entrepreneurs face. Through a combination of personal experience and interviews with other entrepreneurs—including Flatiron Health CEO Nat Turner W08 and Burrow CEO Stephen Kuhl WG17—Bijoor defines the seven principles that unite successful startup leaders. From having the right mind-set to raising capital and dealing with employee turnover, this book aims to help business owners—from novices to CEOs—adjust their approach to achieve their goals.


Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race to Turn Hope into ActionMust-Read Alumni Books 1

David Fajgenbaum M12 WG15
Ballentine Books

Before he turned 30, David Fajgenbaum initiated treatment for symptoms that were eventually discovered to be a form of Castleman disease, a rare disorder that causes the overgrowth of lymph nodes around the body and has a 35 percent five-year mortality rate. After relapsing while taking the only medicine available at the time, Fajgenbaum—one of the youngest individuals appointed to the Penn Medicine faculty—took it upon himself to study his charts and test his own blood samples to find a new treatment. His memoir tells a story of relentless optimism and dedication as Fajgenbaum recruits patients and physicians to begin research aimed at discovering a cure. By recounting his path towards advancing the field of rare disease research, Fajgenbaum demonstrates that, in his words, “hope cannot be a passive concept.”


Aesthetic Intelligence: How Boost It and Use It in Business and Beyond

Must-Read Alumni Books 5

Pauline Brown WG95
Harper Business

As chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton North America, Pauline Brown learned to channel the power of what she calls “the other AI” to strategically create and target products and experiences. Now, the Wharton Alumni Executive Board member and Harvard instructor reveals strategies for sharpening AI skills. She argues that everyone has aesthetic talent, but businesspeople can further cultivate them by practicing attunement, interpretation, articulation, and curation. Using her analysis of companies including the Carlyle Group, Ben & Jerry’s, and Warby Parker, Brown shows the reader how to use “the other AI” to build consumer loyalty and market share. This book serves as a roadmap to perfect the skills needed to build an effective aesthetic strategy, while also leaving space for authenticity and creativity.


Driving Innovation from Within: A Guide for Internal EntrepreneursMust-Read Alumni Books

Kaihan Krippendorff ENG94 W94
Columbia Business School

After 15 years of teaching about the dynamic relationship between strategy and innovation, Kaihan Krippendorff was surprised to learn that one of his clients thrived despite not employing the structures espoused by him and other experts. After talking to more innovators, he realized that this phenomenon was more prevalent than experts thought and set out to interview 150 entrepreneurs about their wins and losses in innovation. Those insights led to Driving Innovation from Within, which is aimed at self-directed leaders working within companies that do not facilitate employee-generated innovation. Along with success stories he shares, Krippendorff develops a new framework and tools that can skyrocket creative ideas and turn skeptics into evangelists.