“Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup” by Bill Aulet

Bill Aulet is an accomplished entrepreneur, educator, and author. Here’s a brief overview of his background along with a synopsis of his acclaimed work “Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup”.



Bill Aulet’s “Disciplined Entrepreneurship” is a comprehensive guide for aspiring entrepreneurs, providing a systematic, step-by-step framework to help them take their ideas from concept to successful startup. Aulet, with his vast experience from the MIT Sloan School of Management and as an entrepreneur, lays out 24 steps divided into six distinct themes.

  1. Who is your customer?
    • Step 1: Market segmentation
    • Step 2: Select a beachhead market
    • Step 3: Build an end-user profile
    • Step 4: Calculate the total addressable market size for the beachhead market
    • Step 5: Profile the persona for the beachhead market
    • Step 6: Full life cycle use case
  2. What can you do for your customer?
    • Step 7: High-level product specification
    • Step 8: Quantify the value proposition
    • Step 9: Identify your next 10 customers
  3. How does your customer acquire your product?
    • Step 10: Define your core
  4. How do you make money off your product?
    • Step 11: Chart your competitive position
    • Step 12: Determine the pricing framework
    • Step 13: Design a business model
  5. How do you design and build your product?
    • Step 14: Set the MVP and get started
    • Step 15: Design a prototype
    • Step 16: Test the prototype
  6. How do you scale your business?
    • Step 17: Design the business deployment plan
    • Step 18: Calculate the required resources, time, and money
    • Step 19: Develop a product plan
    • Step 20: Develop a sales plan
    • Step 21: Develop a marketing and sales plan
    • Step 22: Plan operations
    • Step 23: Manage the company
    • Step 24: Scale the business

Critical Analysis

Bill Aulet’s “Disciplined Entrepreneurship” is a rigorous and meticulous guide that aims to bridge the gap between the art and science of entrepreneurship. Here are some pros and cons:


  1. Structured Approach: The 24 steps provide a clear roadmap, helping entrepreneurs avoid common pitfalls and ensuring that essential factors are considered.
  2. Practicality: The book is filled with practical exercises and real-world examples, making it immediately applicable.
  3. Depth: Aulet delves deeply into each step, ensuring readers understand the nuances and significance of each process.
  4. Focus on Customer: Emphasizing understanding the customer right from the start helps to build products that genuinely meet market needs.


  1. Overwhelming for Some: The detailed nature might make it overwhelming for absolute beginners or those looking for a more high-level overview.
  2. Not One-Size-Fits-All: While the 24 steps can be applied to many ventures, not every step might be equally relevant to all types of businesses.
  3. Requires Commitment: The book demands a high level of engagement and dedication to get the most out of it.

Who is Bill Aulet?

Overview of his background.

  1. Entrepreneurial Experience: Before his academic career, Aulet had a successful entrepreneurial journey, starting and working at various companies, including co-founding SensAble Technologies.
  2. Academic Role: Bill Aulet is notably associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He serves as a Senior Lecturer and the Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. Under his leadership, the center has been instrumental in fostering innovation and entrepreneurial activities at MIT.
  3. Authorship: Aulet is the author of “Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup,” a widely acclaimed book that offers a comprehensive guide for aspiring entrepreneurs.
  4. Thought Leadership: Beyond his book, Aulet has contributed significantly to the field of entrepreneurship through various articles, talks, and thought leadership. His perspectives often revolve around systematic and disciplined approaches to entrepreneurship, rather than relying solely on intuition or “gut feelings.”
  5. Education: Bill Aulet holds degrees from Harvard University and MIT.


In essence, Bill Aulet combines practical entrepreneurial experience with academic insights, making him a respected figure in the world of startup entrepreneurship and education. “Disciplined Entrepreneurship” offers a valuable blueprint for entrepreneurs, especially those seeking a deep dive into the startup-building process. However, it’s essential for readers to adapt the principles to their unique circumstances and not treat the 24 steps as a strict formula for success.