Morgan James Publishing's New Book 'The Titanic Effect' Helps Startups Stay Afloat

Indiana University Kelley Professors and Indianapolis entrepreneur collaborate on a business book aimed at helping entrepreneurs avoid common pitfalls.

Titanic Effect Press Release Graphic

When the RMS Titanic set sail, no one on board had any inkling of the complete failure it would become. Likewise, the founders of most startups think that they will beat the odds – yet, 70% of startups do fail. 

Morgan James’ new business book release, The Titanic Effect: Successfully Navigating the Uncertainties that Sink Most Startups by Todd Saxton, M. Kim Saxton and Michael Cloran, is a guide that helps new businesses avoid the “icebergs” blocking their path to success. The Titanic Effect was written for founders, startup employees, investors and entrepreneurship enthusiasts.

The tragic fate of the Titanic was caused not only by the iceberg it collided with but also due to a series of small decisions along the way. Similarly, many startup businesses sink due to unanticipated consequences or “hidden debts” they incur in their early stages of development. The Titanic Effect was written to help entrepreneurs and investors learn from these common errors so they do not repeat them in their own business. It includes helpful navigation tips and an iceberg Index startups can use to assess their own strengths and weaknesses.

The Titanic Effect combines the experience of business professors Todd and Kim Saxton with serial entrepreneur Michael Cloran of DeveloperTown. These professionals apply lessons from the Titanic, as well as case studies of both successful and unsuccessful startups, to help entrepreneurs and investors navigate the challenging early steps of a new business. In The Titanic Effect, individuals find practical advice to identify dangerous hidden debts and sail ahead to success.

“The idea for this book came from a conversation about ‘technical debt,’ often used in a software development context, in which shortcuts taken early in a startup’s life limit potential later,” said Todd Saxton. “But this challenge isn’t unique to product development; it applies to other domains as well. That led us to broaden the idea to a more holistic one — what we call in our book ‘hidden debt,’ or debts that are beneath the surface but can limit growth or sink even the most promising startup.”

“Most books about entrepreneurship and startups are ‘how-to’s,’ detailing all the things you have to do to succeed when creating your own venture. Our book tells you what not to do, and it shows you how to identify the potential issues that could keep you from being successful,” said Michael Cloran.

The Titanic Effect explains that taking on these hidden debts is inevitable, but startups must be careful to recognize that debt and take steps to mitigate the risks. 

“Over our more than 20 years of working with student, alumni and venture community startups — and helping launch and investing in them as well--we have seen the same patterns of mistakes repeated over and over again,” explained Kim Saxton. “We made a list of the most common startup mistakes, and that’s the main focus of this book. Our goal is to bring these so-called ‘icebergs’ — or ‘debt-bergs,’ as we call them — out of hiding. Debt is not necessarily bad as long as you recognize, measure and manage it.”

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Todd Saxton, M. Kim Saxton or Michael Cloran, please call Nickcole Watkins at 516.900.5674 or Kim Saxton at 317.413.6860.

About the Authors:

Dr. Todd Saxton is a professor, author and businessman. Saxton is an Associate Professor and Indiana Venture Faculty Fellow at the IU Kelley School of Business, where he has won many awards for his teaching on strategy and entrepreneurship. Saxton has also written many articles and book chapters containing effective corporate strategies. Saxton currently lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, but has also lived in New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, the D.C. area, and Bloomington, Indiana.

Additional information about Kim Saxton and Michael Cloran is available at the book’s website

More About This Title: 

The Titanic Effect: Successfully Navigating the Uncertainties that Sink Most Startups by Todd Saxton, M. Kim Saxton and Michael Cloran will be released by Morgan James Publishing (New York) on June 11, 2019. The Titanic Effect—ISBN 9781642792140—has 254 pages and is being sold as a trade paperback for $17.95.

About Morgan James Publishing: 

Morgan James publishes trade quality titles designed to educate, encourage, inspire, or entertain readers with current, consistent, relevant topics that are available everywhere books are sold. (


Nickcole Watkins


Source: Morgan James Publishing


Categories: Entrepreneurship

Tags: Angel Investor, Business Planning, Emerging Businesses, Entrepreneurship, Founder, Startup, Startup Books, Startup Failure, Startup Life, Titanic, Venture Capital

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