© 2007

Founders at Work

Stories of Startups’ Early Days

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Pages 1-16
  3. Pages 17-29
  4. Pages 31-59
  5. Pages 61-71
  6. Pages 73-88
  7. Pages 89-102
  8. Pages 103-110
  9. Pages 111-125
  10. Pages 127-139
  11. Pages 141-151
  12. Pages 153-160
  13. Pages 161-172
  14. Pages 173-190
  15. Pages 191-203
  16. Pages 205-222
  17. Pages 223-232
  18. Pages 233-246
  19. Pages 247-255
  20. Pages 257-264

About this book


Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days is a collection of interviews with founders of famous technology companies about what happened in the very earliest days. These people are celebrities now. What was it like when they were just a couple friends with an idea? Founders like Steve Wozniak (Apple), Caterina Fake (Flickr), Mitch Kapor (Lotus), Max Levchin (PayPal), and Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail) tell you in their own words about their surprising and often very funny discoveries as they learned how to build a company.

Where did they get the ideas that made them rich? How did they convince investors to back them? What went wrong, and how did they recover?

Nearly all technical people have thought of one day starting or working for a startup. For them, this book is the closest you can come to being a fly on the wall at a successful startup, to learn how it's done.

But ultimately these interviews are required reading for anyone who wants to understand business, because startups are business reduced to its essence. The reason their founders become rich is that startups do what businesses do—create value—more intensively than almost any other part of the economy. How? What are the secrets that make successful startups so insanely productive? Read this book, and let the founders themselves tell you.


Google Steve Wozniak business development

About the authors

Jessica Livingston is a founding partner at Y Combinator, a seed-stage venture firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Mountain View, California. She was previously vice president of marketing at investment bank Adams Harkness. In addition to her work with startups at Y Combinator, she organizes Startup School ( She has a bachelor's degree in English from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic information

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