A five minute conversation with Jordan Raynor is about all it takes to get that this guy is a natural storyteller. The pattern of his dialogue is engaging and inquisitive and before you know it, a whole bunch of context is woven together in a way that would have taken other people double as long to say.
So it is only natural that Raynor, co-founder of Citizinvestor and serial entrepreneur, would write a book that reflects these same qualities.
The book chronicles Raynor’s walk through the designing and launch of Citizinvestor with co-founder Tony DeSisto, and is written to inform a broad range of readers on what it takes to do so with one’s own ideas.
Citizinvestor, if you don’t already know of it, is a unique crowdfunding outfit that focuses exclusively on public projects that would otherwise face big budget hurdles to complete. Basically, Citizinvestor allows members of the public to willingly supplement the tax rolls with private dollars to see that important projects or capital improvements are made. This company — founded over Chinese buffet lunches with “the most bootlegged non-disclosure agreement in the history of startups” — today is valued at $3.5 million and has successfully funded projects in 13 municipalities.
The startup’s success has led Raynor to countless speaking engagements, including at colleges throughout Florida. It was through these encounters that Raynor realized how hungry millennials are for learning about startup life. And not just the business or entrepreneur majors — from political science classrooms to public relations — Raynor found the same keen interest.
“Students are infatuated with startup life and startup culture. I realized over time that the questions I was hearing were less about Citizinvestor and more about how you take an idea for a company or application and launch it, and what does it look like to get through the day to day grind of doing so,” Raynor said. “Like, raising capital, being away from family, growing something into a sustainable business. I was answering these same questions over and over again , so I decided to package it into a book.”
Unlike most books on the subject, however, Raynor doesn’t attempt to offer the typical “how to do it” checklist-style memo. Instead he brings the reader with him, through ups and downs, through what he’s learned, through moments of confusion and hilarity.
That’s how a story teller teaches. And Jordan Raynor does so in “Startup Stories” in a way that will be broadly received.