I’ve been reading a lot of business and entrepreneurship books lately. I’m especially interested in ones that deal with internet companies. One book that has been sitting in my queue for a while is this one called: “The Dream: How I Learned the Risks and Rewards of Entrepreneurship and Made Millions”. I saw that it was cheaper than the usual 9.99 on the Kindle and immediately bought it. It’s a fairly small book but I literally read it in 3 sittings. i can’t say that with many books.

The book is the story of how Gurbaksh Chahal, who dropped out of school at the age of 16 and at the age of 18 sold his first internet company ClickAgents, an ad network, to ValueClick for $22 million in stock and then at the age of 25 sold his second internet company BlueLithium, another ad network, to Yahoo for $300 million in cash.

Gurbaksh, a Sikh Indian who’s family emigrated to the US when he was 4, was amazed at the opportunities of the Internet from a very young age. His family struggled to provide for him and his 3 other siblings. Both his parents worked double shifts. His story is an inspiring true story of rags to riches.

What is amazing is that while many of the internet companies during the dot com bubble didn’t even have business models, this 16 year old’s company was keeping it real and posting profits. He had over $100,000 in his bank account when he decided to go to his father to ask his permission to drop out of school. If you aren’t from an Asian family, it is probably impossible to understand how hard that must have been and how disappointed his parents must have felt.

His book has a good mix of life story and business wisdom. You’ll also learn a lot about south Asian tradition, especially Sikh. I’ve read many business books a most are pretty dry. This one was a great read and I honestly wish it hadn’t ended so soon. I give it 5 stars.

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