Entrepreneurial Lessons in Fiction

Books about business and entrepreneurship are everywhere these days and tend to follow a simple formula: an entrepreneur shares their story about success or failure, what they learned, and how you can apply those lessons to your own startup journey. Some are good, many are bad.

As a writer, my Kindle is full of both! I like to read both good and bad business books to inspire and amuse.
Eliot Peper

While listening to a podcast recently, something caught my attention: a fiction book about entrepreneurship. Within seconds I owned a copy and I’ve just finished reading it.

Uncommon StockUncommon Stock is the debut novel of Eliot Peper, and creates pretty much an entire new genre: the startup thriller.

James is an archetypal nerd, introverted and constantly wearing dorky t-shirts. Mara is a keen hiker and loves her college environment in Colorado with its access to the outdoors, her love of which she shares with her boyfriend Craig. When James approaches her with a business idea, she is plunged into the entrepreneurship bubble with little idea of the highs, lows and adrenaline rush to come.

Despite this being a novel, there’s elements of non-fiction learning in here too, as James and Mara’s mentors impart sound business advice throughout their journey. Although these sessions can seem a little unnatural at times, the book is better for including them.

I’m not going to give away the ending, but let’s just say there’s plenty of twists and turns (some expected, others not) along their startup journey and you are left desperately waiting for book two.

Thankfully, book two has just been released!

As a writer, I’m pleased to see innovation in the field with an author choosing to share advice through storytelling rather than yet another “boring business book”. Expect to learn about developing a business idea, validating customer demand, and the difference between angel investment and venture capital. I won’t go as far as to say it can teach you entrepreneurship, but this is a story you’ll remember, and is therefore the perfect conduit for learning these lessons.

Great job, Eliot!


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