Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days

This book is a collection of interviews, so it’s impossible to summarize as one might with a “big idea book”, however, we’ll try and extract some of the best insight and anecdotes here.

  • Nearly all the companies had a team of founders, rather than an individual.

  • Technical skills and backgrounds actually differ in many ways.

  • Some started with a very clear idea and stuck to it, but many others did not.

  • Persistance is important. In hindsight, if you succeed, it’s called “persistance”, but if you fail it’s “blindly following the wrong idea”.

  • Live cheap, and spend money like it’s your own.

  • Many of the interviewees mention a sense of feeling “bipolar” - you have moments when you feel like you can conquer the world, and others when you think “who am I kidding… this will never fly”.

  • Paul Graham - “make something people want”.

  • Steve Wozniak (Apple): “All the best things I did at Apple came from (a) not having money, and (b) not having done it before, ever.”


9 lessons learned from founders at work

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