We would be lying if we said this was an easy book to write. Before we wrote this book, both of us had searched for the seminal book on startup communications, and realized that there was little structured, timeless advice out there for founders, especially for the post-seed years that make or break a company. We then both independently had the urge to write that book ourselves. When we met for coffee in the summer of 2021, we decided to do it together. You have now seen the result of that endeavor. Jag comes from the world of startups and investing and has brought plenty of strategic communications experience. Oliver is an entrepreneur, communications expert and author with two decades of startup, scaleup and post-IPO experience. We have brought different perspectives, and our hope is that this unique combination has made this book and its principles more valuable to you.
Writing a book is a team sport, and this book would have never seen the light of day without the support of an incredible group of people who contributed their insights and expertise throughout the genesis of Message Machine. A massive thank you goes to our book-writing mastermind gang, our friends Gerrit McGowan, Rebecca Schween and Christian Poensgen. Their feedback throughout the whole process ensured that we didn’t lose motivation, momentum or direction while writing this book.
A huge thank you goes to our editor Gabriella Williams, as well as Beatriz Saab, Diane Vitry, Katja Vogel, Sarah Fuchs and Sophie Sternberg who all helped to turn seventy thousand words into a coherent text. We always thought that this book deserved a strong design language in line with our message, and we are indebted to Bianca Amorim for the visual identity of this book, as well as to Dan Iowe who designed the striking cover.
Our first readers provided priceless feedback and were instrumental in whipping the manuscript into shape. Thank you Akash Bajwa, Bettina Hausmann, Catherine Thomas, Chelsea Blacker, Chris Murphy, Declan Kelly, Deepali Nangia, Fabian Leipelt, Francis Goodenday, Desi Tech Mafia, Diljit Singh, Georgiana Ghiciuc, Hilary Klassen, Holger Weiss, Julia Singh, Katia Yakovleva, Konstanty Sliwowski, Linda Broschkowski, Liz Stefan, Madeline Lawrence, Margaux Wehr, Marie Fabiunke, Michael Kirch, Niraj Dattani, Peter Botting, Pranav Ahuja, Rani Singh, Robert Ermich, Ren Yi Hooi, Sameer Singh, Simon Stodieck, Shilpika Gautam, Swarnali Mitra, Vera Montacuti! We feel very privileged that such an accomplished group of investors and founders gave us their unfiltered advice on how to turn the text from good to great, or at least mediocre to decent.
Most importantly, our heartfelt gratitude goes to our partners in life and crime, Linda Broschkowski and Julia Singh. Their insights, contribution and no-holds-barred feedback at various stages of the manuscript proved invaluable. Their love and support kept us going even if that meant many early mornings, late nights and weekends spent writing rather than with our families. Thank you! We could never have done it without you.
In the spirit of full disclosure, we would also like to mention that we have or had personal ties to a number of startups mentioned in the book as either investors, advisors or mentors. These are Eversend, Ratepay, SALT Global, Twilio, Urban Sports Club and Zenhomes. To be clear: This is not the reason we chose to highlight them in the book. We gave these companies and their founders shout-outs and included their quotes and stories because they deserve it.
Finally, we would like to thank you. We do not take it for granted that you have chosen to explore book. We sincerely hope that Message Machine will be a valuable guide on your journey that you keep close to your desk. The world needs you to innovate, solve problems and improve lives. Now more than ever. Let’s venture forward.
Oliver & Jag ❤️