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Dear Founder: Letters of Advice for Anyone Who Leads, Manages, or Wants to Start a Business

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The Los Angeles Times and USA Today bestseller!

Wise, practical, and profitable letters to entrepreneurs, leaders, managers, and business owners in every field--from a leading executive, investor, and business founder

More than 600,000 new businesses are launched each year. How can a start-up find the funding it needs to survive? When, if at all, should a company go public?
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  148 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Jason Orthman
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really good book on leadership from a tech industry veteran. Transparency and communication is crucial.
Martynas Petkevičius
I rarely consider business or management books useful or interesting, but Dear Founder has hit an all-time low. It's supposed to give you advice on how to deal with situations commonly faced by start-up founders, but instead it just lists things to consider. For instance, when talking about raising funding, Webb casually mentions the importance of understanding terms like cap, pro rata and liquidation preference, but never explains them. Similarly, the chapter titled "When you need to focus on w ...more
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dear Founder is Maynard Webb's delightful second book. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Each chapter engaging and easy to follow, dealing with a common challenge along the founders journey. It's a refreshing reminder that you're not alone in the journey and the universality of so many of the challenges. It makes what is a very hard thing seem far more tractable and accessible, hard but not impossible. I highly recommend, even if you're not a founder or consider being one. Many of th ...more
Kevin Leung
Apr 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: work
This book is not meant to be read cover-to-cover. Despite that fact, I more or less tried to read it cover-to-cover, though I had several large gaps and stops in-between.

It’s hard to rate this book because it’s intended to be used situationally when you need advice on a certain issue. I imagine that each roughly 2 or 3 page letter is more or less what Maynard would say to you if you admaked his advice on a situation.

I didn’t particularly pick out notable takeaways, but maybe I just don’t need
Mar 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: economy, biz
Not useful at all.
Dec 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a pretty good business book. Maynard Webb, who was COO of eBay under Meg Whitman and later CEO of LiveOps and a bunch of other operating roles plays spiritual uncle (or more accurately, Polonius to your Laertes) to startup founders and would-be start up founders with a series of letters with bits of advice and inspiration.

It's well-organized into sections corresponding to the lifecycle of a company: (1) getting started; (2) finding product/market fit and building a team; (3) growing and
Dora Okeyo
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I love this book! If there's one book that's going to be handed down to generations to come in my home library, it's this one.
If you're starting up a venture, a business, or you are an investor, manager and even if your wheels are turning about starting out a venture, this book will not only inspire you, it'll guide you along the way. Thank you Netgalley and the Publisher for the eARC.
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, netgalley
Every early stage founder should have this book on their bookshelf as it is an excellent reference manual as you encounter the wild assortment of issues facing startup founders, many of which you may not have seen before.

Choosing to write each piece of advice as a letter was innovative and I appreciate the brevity of each letter. Unfortunately that means some of the advice may appear more simplistic or superficial than one may want; however, minimally each will help you figure out the questions
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: management
Maynard Webb’s Dear Founder is a different kind of startup story, told through the letters an active investor might share with a founder struggling, failing, persisting, and triumphing in their quest to build a sustainable business. It isn’t a retrospective history of the latest tech IPO, nor fawning Silicon Valley hero-worship—just candid, objective insight into the moments that can make or break a fledgling venture.

The letters are each written for moments ranging from the good (“When you have
Emanuel Vass
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
If you’re starting a company, own a company, or even work(!) for a company – it’s important not to make preventable mistakes. And that’s what Dear Founder is at its core: a way of avoiding potential catastrophes by addressing them, using the wisdom of one of the world’s greatest businessmen. Maynard teaches everything from how to begin a company, how to fund a company, who to hire, who to fire, how to deal with crises: how to promote, compensate, give feedback to, and lead your team: how to deal ...more
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is like a bible for founders. I love the way Maynard chose to structure the book into letters that convey a single message. It is very effective and easy to follow. A must read for any founder. I know I will be reading this book several times!
Jul 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Sound, practical advice from someone who has clearly had a broad range of experience in starting up and managing companies. Certainly applicable to start-up founders, but plenty of applicable advice for those leading teams and working in larger established companies as well.
Greg Kaplan
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I borrowed it from the library and will now buy it to keep as a reference. It’s written in simple nuggets (letters to founders) about each stage of growth.
Fatima-Zahra I’ltaf
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just wow 🤩
Sumeet Mahendra
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some very valuable teachings. A sort of must read for every #Founder & #Entrepreneurs ...more
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