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Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days 1st ed. 2007. Corr. 2nd printing 2007 Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Jessica Livingston has written an amazing book. If you want to read the stories behind some of the most well known software companies in the last 30 years, you will find it in this book. But Livingston hasn't just covered the usual suspects (Google, Microsoft), she has included a diverse collection from Steve Wozniak (Apple) to David Heinemeier Hansson (37 Signals), Dan Bricklin (Visicalc) to Blake Ross (Firefox). It covers a lot of ground from the early 80's software boom to the Web 2.0 starts ups. But there is more than just stories about starting companies, there is real advice from the frontline trenches of software start-ups. Keep your post-it notes and highlighter handy, if you are like me you will be annotating and highlighting a lot!
If you have ever considered a start-up you should definitely read this book. It's like picking the brains of some very experienced entrepreneurs. Anybody that has already tried their hand at start-ups will recognize the value of this book. Most will probably feel like I did, and wish that they had had this book before they started their first company. It could have saved me many painful lessons (both financially and personally). Reading these interviews is like having 32 mentors.
Like many people I am always a little skeptical of `success stories'. Just because someone did x, y and z, doesn't mean that I could follow these very steps and be as successful. Just because Aunt Ethel, who lived to be a 100, attributes her long life to drinking a glass of whisky every day, doesn't mean I can drink a glass of whisky every day and live to be a 100.Read more ›
From the great introduction right through the final interview, this book is packed with great anecdotes, advice, and information and inspiration. Makes you wonder as to what the story is behind the story - how did Jessica get unfettered access to such a broad array of the founding fathers?
I've included some illustrative quotes from the book below. Give them a read and then go pick up this book. The printed copy is a bargain and the e-book version is a steal. It may turn out to be one of the best investments you ever make.
* "You guys are nuts. Throw out your business plan. Your customers--or potential customers - are telling you what your business should be. The business plan was only used to get you the money. Why don't you rewrite a business plan that is focused just on providing what your customers want?" - Q.T. Wiles advice to Charles Geschke (Cofounder, Adobe) on the real purpose of a business plan
* "There were some warning signs. Consider McKinsey, which holds itself out as one of the world's leading repositories of knowledge on how to manage a business.Read more ›
You end up reading these real-life, down-to-earth stories about the early days at Apple and Yahoo and PayPal, and you're seeing you and your co-founder right there. Hey! I code in a towel sometimes too! They aren't telling you the glorified stories their PR guys tell them to say. This is the real deal. It's awfully inspiring.
I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of starting, or is currently running a startup.
This book's easily twice as long as it could be if these interviews were edited down to a few really useful pages each. Or better: rewritten as short essays.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. Nice stories on how all the technologies and companies were starting and growing.Published 26 days ago by Andrey Sergienko
It was all about people that developed software or e.com., businesses. I was hoping that it would be about people that started manufacturing companies.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
An excellent collection of stories that should not be forgotten. -1 star because this book needs a new edition! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great stories, if the audio exist, I would buy that instead to listen during commute.Published 4 months ago by Louis P.
Great lessons to be learned from all the stories. Companies profiled are a little dated though. Would love to see an updated version with new startups and founders.Published 5 months ago by Thomas Belhumeur
It is really good book expect printing quality. But reading experiences of startup founders is very helpful. I advice this book.Published 5 months ago by Canbey Bilgili
Really enjoyed this. Brings insight down to a realistic level of what truly inspires creative people and their expectations through the process. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Reader