This book by Jessica Livingston is a collection of interviews with the founders of various technology companies during their startup days. Each chapter is an interview with a founder. There’s a blurb at the beginning of each chapter detailing the company. This is probably one of my favorite startup books of all time. The insight and advice the founders dispense in this 450 page book is worth it’s weight in gold. These are not just dot com success internet companies. Some of these companies predate the dot com crash such as Adobe, Apple and Lotus. You also have Internet darlings such as 37signals, Blogger, Craigslist,, PayPal, and Flickr.

I bought this book wanting to learn from these founders. Stuff like their pain points, what to watch out for, things to focus on, what not to do. For the most part, the book does that. However, some of the founders were such tech geeks that most of their interview dealt with technical minutia that I had no interest in whatsoever.

Some of my favorite chapters were:

  • Max Levchin – PayPal
  • Sabeer Bhatia – Hotmail
  • Evan Williams – Blogger
  • Mike Lazaridis – Research In Motion
  • Steve Perlman – WebTV
  • Caterina Fake – Flickr
  • David Hansson – 37signals
  • James Hong – Hot Or Not
  • Mina Trott – Six Apart

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