Review: Because Shit Happened by Harsh Snehanshu

July 18, 2013

Author: Harsh Snehanshu
Publisher: Random House India 
Year: 2013
ISBN: 9788184003482
Rating: ★★½☆☆
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Because Shit Happened is the author, Harsh Snehanshu’s fourth book. Having carved a niche for himself, the fourth book was very much awaited and received amidst a lot of appreciation. The book is about what NOT to do in a start-up.  The author has been a founder of his own start-up and the book is a real-life story of the venture that author co-founded in 2010. 

Harsh Snehanshu begins the book on a very sentimental note. He recalls an anecdote about the protagonist, Amol, as a kid, asking his mother if she would leave him and she rightfully denies it. This beginning strikes an instant chord with the reader because the main fear anyone ever has is of ending up alone, isn’t it? And thus begins Amol’s journey, in the big bad entrepreneurial world. Amol is shown to be an intelligent guy, an IIT- Delhi student who acquires a coveted internship and while interning, comes up with an idea to begin his own start-up. He, from the fear of failing alone or not being able to build up a company on his own, ropes in his trusted friend and after lot of cajoling and patience, the company is established. The struggles that have to be faced by amateur businessmen are highlighted and so very true.

This book is not a rule book or a yardstick by which future businessmen will decide their course of action. This is a book about the mistakes, difficulties and problems that have to be faced while starting your own venture to get customers, audience, funding etc. This is a book about interpersonal relationships, love, emotional connect and the inevitable soft side to an entrepreneur.

The book has many witty one liners that are profound yet lucid at the same time. This is what gets the audience to connect to the book and to the sayings.

A few favorite ones would be:

“Knowing when to lose is more important than knowing how to win”
“The best motivational line I have heard is – You can’t do it”

And a few more which I would give the readers a chance to discover and enjoy on their own. The one liners are sprinkled throughout the book and keep the pace of the book light and humorous.  The narrative gets a little saggy in the middle and a little towards the end because we see no ray of shining hope that would rescue the bumbling and tumbling amateur entrepreneurs. As much as the audience is truly hoping that the entrepreneurs do succeed and come out the other side, what happens in the book is a depiction of real life and not the drama that we need to satiate ourselves.

The book is a fun light read during a long air journey or a really boring class, if you get my gist. It can make you remember that there are many more troubles in the world can the current one you are stuck in now while reading the book. A must read for rookie entrepreneurs, so that at least they can learn from the others mistakes.

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