Michael's Reviews > Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days

Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston
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's review
Dec 26, 08

it was amazing

it's interviews with founders of well-known startups. Apple, Hotmail, Firefox, hotornot, etc... most of the interviewees describe the process in the same way writers describe writing their first books... doing something most certain to fail... loneliness... shame you feel from your friends and family... driving in the dark... In this way, I enjoyed the book. They highlight doing something simply because you must.

it's also fun because some/most of them are clearly batshit.

Some of the best are Wozniak, who essentially would have preferred continuing at HP in their then-burgeoning calculator division over starting Apple, and Max Levchin, who didn't really mean to start PayPal, but wanted to create some geek-ware which enabled geeks to send money to each other on their palm pilots, and Philip Greenspun, who sounds like kind of a prick to work for but was also kind of interesting, like most people, in his passion. After his company, ArsDigita, blew up--partly at his hand--he became an aircraft pilot.

They all seem to hate or distrust VCs.

I suspect that more than a few budding entrepreneurs pick this book up looking for inspiration just when they're getting hot and heavy with their idea and then get derailed for 2 weeks reading... which has kind of a fun irony because every single 'founder' sings the mantra about staying focused.

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Andrew Hey I saw you read founders at work and thought you might be interested in my newer version based off Kickstarter - Check it out here:

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