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Publisher's Summary

A groundbreaking book that boldly claims the key to success in business is not talent, connections, or ideas, but the ability to persuade people to take a chance on potential.

No one ever makes it alone. But how come some people can get investors to believe in their ideas while others - sometimes with even better ideas - fall flat? What is it about certain people that make us want to take a bet on them? What is it that makes them backable? As it turns out, it's not what you think. Backability is not driven by having the best experience, the finest pedigree, or the most innovative ideas. In fact, many highly successful people are backed long before they are qualified. We tend to view these people as lucky. But the decision to back them is neither an accident nor a mistake and rarely the result of good luck.

Drawing from his own business experience, countless interviews with some of tech's biggest innovators, and compelling case studies of classic success stories like Howard Schultz and Elon Musk, Gupta breaks down the six qualities of backable people who get others to take a bet on them. Backable pulls back the curtain on the illusive X factor that some people just seem to have and instead offers concrete tools like crafting the right pitch and appropriately scaling a project's vision. Anyone from aspiring entrepreneurs to start-up stars can master these skills and jump-start their next big idea.

©2021 Suneel Gupta (P)2021 Little, Brown & Company

Critic Reviews

“The most successful people aren’t just brilliant...they’re backable. This is the quality I look for most in leaders I recruit and entrepreneurs I fund - now I have a great name for it and a playbook for what it takes. Whether you want to get ahead inside a company or build a start-up from the ground up, this fascinating book is a must-read.” (Reid Hoffman, co-founder of Linkedin)

“This book is truly brave. I felt like I was sitting with Suneel as he unveiled secret steps that anyone can take to stand out and achieve their dreams.” (Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, best-selling author of Brave Not Perfect)

"Backable provides a super-readable and actionable look at how to make your ideas take flight. Whether you're pitching a brand-new startup or an idea for your company's next product, you'll find a wealth of insights and stories throughout." (Mike Krieger, co-founder of Instagram)

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What listeners say about Backable

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I like it

good book full of thought provoking stories. some chapters felt a little bit repetitive.

4 people found this helpful

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Practical yet critical advice

I have read dozens of books on how to sell oneself. Backable differentiates itself by providing concrete stories from those that have proven to be backable and why stakeholders take a bet on the "backable".

I found the last chapter of interviews especially helpful. It wraps up many of the critical lessons I personally had to learn through experience. I wish I knew of these tips from the start.

Suneel has saved you countless hours of mentor meetings and months if not years of advice/lessons all wrapped up in a weekend's read.

Whatever you're working on refining, whether you're at the beginning or deep in it, take a step back and read Backable. You'll be glad you did it.



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Great book

If you have to pitch anything to anyone, you should read this very helpful book.

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Must read

Interesting & informative . Liked the style of the author. Must read for all age group to understand startups.

2 people found this helpful

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Best book of the year!

If you listen to one book this year, make it this one. It’s moving, enlightening, inspiring, and just really fun to read. Suneel’s insights are unique and happened to overturn some of my long-term beliefs. Turns out it’s not about charisma, but conviction. It’s not about having all the answers, but getting the audience to feel they are a part of your idea. This book is full of fascinating stories, interviews, and pearls of wisdom from the author’s entrepreneurial life. He shares his life’s lessons from a place of humility. I feel like I made all the same mistakes so many times, and yet failed to learn these important lessons until reading this book. This book is for every entrepreneur, every business leader, every sales person, and anyone with an idea that requires others to buy in. Suneel is a great storyteller, so the audio book version is fantastic. Listen to it, you won’t regret it!

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Major impact already

I needed to find a way to get potential employees interested in me. Jim Camp’s & Chris Voss’ negotiation styles & techniques were critical in starting the negotiation process but Suneel Gupta’s approach w/ starting w/ a story was critical in at least getting the discussion started. His “narrative approach w/ story-telling w/ a central character” let me rebrand myself w/ my new tough experiences, helped show why I had experiential insight which was hard to find on Google, & how my insight was leading the trend in improving this part of the world in healthcare in a way which not only our patients but my associates would benefit immensely... especially in the time of the great resignation.
Additionally, I was worried about the shortness of the listening time but his lengthy addenda which included so many great stories & solid examples on how this approach worked made the book exceedingly worthwhile. I am elated that I chose to listen to this great book!

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Innovation Masterpiece

Thank you for this book. I use it in my business and give it to startups I fund.

Progress in new ideas is only made at the intersection of boldness and vulnerability. Love it!

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  • 09-03-21

Such a fascinating and practical book!

There are a few books I have listened to that are this well written, yet at the same time this practical. Highly recommended!

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I simply loved this book from the beginning to the end.

Not only does Suneel open your mindset, he also tweaks many thoughts and turn them into usable insights and tips you can implement easily right away.

I work in sales and after reading “Backable” I tweaked my pitch with a few of Suneel’s tips which changed my presentation from “better is better” to “different is better” and now it’s working much better.

Thank you, Suneel

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Phenomenal

This book changed the way I look at my future. Sincerely hope anyone reading this gives it a shot! Promise you will be captivated from the very first story about the first woman ever employed by Ford ;)

1 person found this helpful

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  • SAB
  • 03-13-21

straightforward take home massages

yes. this book is good. rekindled my ideas and a gave me room to feel inexperienced and OK at the same time. I will for sure use some of the tips as I move forward

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  • James Murray
  • 04-01-21

A concise manual in Idea To VC Pitching

This is the perfect book to read when you are in the space of "I have this idea/ideas and if it's going to work I'll need some backing, should I go for it and if so, how?". Well done Suneel.