Suneel Gupta is on the faculty at Harvard University where he teaches students how to be 'backable'. Using the 7 steps inside the book, Suneel went from being the face of failure for the New York Times to being the 'New Face of Innovation' for the New York Stock Exchange. His ideas have been backed by firms like Greylock and Google Ventures, and he has invested in startups including Airbnb, Calm and SpaceX. Suneel also serves as an emissary for Gross National Happiness between the United States and the Kingdom of Bhutan. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Vanity Fair.
Suneel Gupta is also on Instagram: @suneelgupta
Bold in claims, incisive in style and potentially huge in impact, Suneel Gupta’s Backable sets out to set the record straight as to what distinguishes those who succeed from those who struggle to realise their business ambitions. Namely, Gupta argues, those who get on in business do so due to their powers of persuasion and not (as is typically assumed) through connections, charisma or raw talent. After having pitch after pitch rejected, the author was driven to discover why that was, and - importantly - how to change that pattern. An epiphany came when he realised that “people who change the world around them aren’t just brilliant…they’re backable. They have a seemingly mysterious superpower that lies at the intersection of ‘creativity’ and ‘persuasion’. When backable people express themselves, we feel moved. When they share an idea, we take action.” If that’s a given, the issue then becomes how can a person become backable? Gupta acknowledges that he wasn’t one of those naturally backable people. He’s “an introvert by nature”. The good thing is, as Gupta discovered and put into action, it’s eminently possible to play the role of a backable person in order to change your lot. His advice for doing just that is shared throughout the book, perhaps best encapsulated by this line: “A typical pitch communicates that an idea is new. A backable pitch communicates that an idea is inevitable,” and from here you can potentially capitalise on people’s fear of missing out. Offering tonnes of fascinating examples, and citing individuals from a range of industries - venture capitalists, start-up founders, Oscar-winners, and leaders of iconic brands - Backable delivers practical tips in a personable style. It also considers the big picture and specific details in equal measure, sharing for example, meticulous examples of pitches that worked (and others that didn’t).