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on 23 October 2016
Are you an entrepreneur? Are you about to launch a startup? Then this book is for you.
You will learn to ignore all conventional business rules and follow your instinct. You will read of numerous idiotic mistakes the most sucesful companies on the planet did when starting up, thus you will become more confident.
If they managed to become so successful after all these mistakes, then you actually stand a chance after all.
Did Adobe truly got it's name after a random map choice???
Did Yahoo operate from a flooding basement for a few months???
Was Paypal unable to make a simple transaction at it's first VC presentation???
Then I can make it.
Then you can make it.
Then we all stand a fair chance for success.

More than providing me with knowledge, this book gave me confidence. Confidence that I can can overcome my mistakes.
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on 29 December 2010
I agree with most of the rave reviews about the contests of the book. It is filled with inspiring geek-epics and is the foremost collection of its type.

Having said that, I my score reflects the overall quality of the book. The print quality is terrible. The book looks like it has been produced with a prototype print-on-demand printer. Although it is full of vintage stories from the early days of tech, maybe it shouldn't look like it's come through dot-matrix printer, anyway? Combine this with the font being very small and the ink used not black, but grey, the reading experience becomes very difficult.

I have contacted Apress about this over Twitter and over email, to no avail.

Do not buy this edition (Paperback, ISBN 9-781430-210788) if your eyes are dear to you.
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Good book that contains some fantastic interviews that will help motivate and inspire anyone who runs a business.

Lots of useful lessons to be learnt, from initially starting up right through to selling your company. The founders are very candid and freely admit to the many mistakes they made between them, so the book contains lots of advice to help readers avoid making the same errors.

It also talks nicely about the highs and the lows that the founders faced, which as a fellow 'founder' is great to hear about.

The big disadvantage to this book is that it's very American focused, it would be nice to have a version with more stories from UK/European founders.
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on 30 January 2017
Don't waste your time on this book. Livingston writing style is amateur at best. Most of the companies interviewed are small or have since failed, example ViaWeb, Lycos or Excite. The book is out of date and has little relevance to the start up environment after 2008. She even goes so far as to interview herself. I only wish I could get a refund.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 25 October 2007
What we have here are interviews of 32 founders of start-up companies, interviewed by Jessica Livingston. To most readers, few of the names are familiar (e.g. Steve Wozniak and Apple Computer) and the interviews will often seem rambling, poorly edited, etc. That is a fair reaction. However, they have the value of being extemporaneous rather than "sanitized." However different the start-ups' circumstances were and however different their founders' perspectives on those circumstances may be, there are common themes: naiveté, almost unlimited enthusiasm, little (if any) fear of failure, and especially, a rock-solid faith in what could be accomplished. Those with an ability to read between the lines will also develop a sense that most of the founders do not second-guess themselves when recalling their blunders.

To me, the greatest single value of this book is that we are learning about 32 start-ups from eyewitness accounts provided by those centrally involved. True, human memory can often be selective and on occasion self-serving. Nonetheless, these founders (with few exceptions) seem to be making a sincere effort to "tell it like it was" without aid of a ghostwriter or even an editor with special talents for clarity and (especially) concision.

Of special interest to me are the interviews of Craig Newmark (Craigslist), Blake Ross (Firefox), Paul Buchheit (Gmail), Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail), Mitchell Kapor (Lotus Development), Max Levchin (PayPal), Mike Ramsay (TiVo), and Tim Brady (Yahoo). Of course, each reader must determine for herself and himself which interviews are most interest and, perhaps more to the point, which interviews are most valuable to those who about to launch a new company or have only recently done so.
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on 1 November 2017
A very inspiring book.
After reading this you'll want to quit your job and start your own company.
Full of different perspectives, proving that there are a hundred ways to innovate, and to run a successful startup, and the only common theme is perseverance.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 August 2015
An inspiring read of the passion and perseverance of some of the Internet's most influential people on how they started up and inadvertently moulded the Web. An in-depth read in Q&A format with the founders of household names such as PayPal, Yahoo, Hotmail and (just to name a few) started out and became behemoths from simple beginnings and sometimes different paths.
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on 17 April 2007
For anyone who is, or is about to become an entrepreneur, you probably should read this book. However, I'm applying such faint praise because the book itself is OK, but fails to include any real analysis in its text.

The 32 chapters are made up of verbatim interview with founders of various companies (some big and some small) and many of those interview contain real gems - actual applicable lessons for would-be entrepreneurs. But there's a whole of lot text which isn't really that interesting which the reader needs to work their way through to get to those lessons.

All in all, worth the money, but would really have benefitted from some analysis.

I've blogged about this at [...]
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on 22 February 2017
Delivery was a tad slow but this was in line with the indicated timeline. The book was in great shape...brand new as described.
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on 12 January 2017
I always tell anyone who will listen that this is the book that made me fall in love with the tech industry ten years ago and it still stands true. An amazing compilation of fantastic interviews with hugely inspiring founders and innovators. A must-read for anyone in, or interested in, the industry.
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