How to Start a Startup: The Book

Ultimate insider playbook based on the Y Combinator course

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BookGolden Kitty 2015



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Lydia Sugarman
Lydia Sugarman@lksugarman · CEO/Founder
Those of us who live and work in SV have the great advantage of being able, on any given day or evening, to hear experts speak on these topics. But, whether you're in SV or on the other side of the world, there's always something to learn from the people who have mentored, advised, and founded start-ups. This looks like a great compendium of lessons.
Tarun Agarwal
Tarun AgarwalMaker@tarunonair · CEO, @ThinkApps
@lksugarman Thanks for the comment and feedback. Yes, these starting-up lessons are generally universal. That was one of our motivations to create this book and make this knowledge widely available and easy to reference.
Mikael Löwgren
Mikael Löwgren@mikaellowgren · Founder RemindMeAt
This book looks nice from the little I've read from it so far. Perfect reading for me to find inspiration to what I do. Will be something to go back to often and use as reference. Thanks for making it!
Tarun Agarwal
Tarun AgarwalMaker@tarunonair · CEO, @ThinkApps
@mikaellowgren Thanks @mikaellowgren . Glad you liked it so far!
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Services for startups
@kalivia @tarunonair @beckyloveshugs @hrvojebielen - looks awesome :) Would love to know more about the writing process? How did you go from idea to here? What were some of the biggest challenges you faced? What would you like to get from the PH community?
Tarun Agarwal
Tarun AgarwalMaker@tarunonair · CEO, @ThinkApps
@bentossell Thanks Ben! This is our first book. We learned a lot in the process of writing and publishing it, which has taken the better part of this year. At ThinkApps (@thinkapps), we work with lots of startup founders and also many who are considering starting up. We have been writing on these topics on our blog for a long time. When the Y Combinator course by Sam Altman (@sama) came up at Stanford, we were hooked. We began presenting lessons from the course on our blog. There was immediate resonance and the early feedback motivated us to write a whole book! The general idea still took many iterations before we arrived at a clear structure of the book. At 206 pages, the book ended up being much longer than we had initially imagined. It turns out that covering the entire gamut from incorporation, fundraising, hiring, product building, marketing to scaling does necessitate a substantive book. Each chapter went through several rounds of writing, rewriting, editing and integration with the rest of the book. We also went through a few complete redesigns of the whole book, in terms of the internal layout and formatting. We have ensured that the book works great on iPhones, iPads, Kindles, laptops or whatever devices people might use. The book is separately formatted for each of these devices. As for the cover of the book, several people, both designers or otherwise, suggested 10+ different cover styles. We ultimately narrowed down to a couple and then built on that direction for a few days to arrive at what we have now. A startup is a tender sapling that has the potential to be an oak tree one day! Hope everyone enjoys this book! We are eager to hear feedback. I want to give a shout out to @beckyloveshugs, @kalivia and @hrvojebielen for making this happen.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · Services for startups
@tarunonair thanks for your reply!! LOVE this "A startup is a tender sapling that has the potential to be an oak tree one day!" It seems that writing a book is much like a startup project, building (writing) and iterating over and over. Did any of the team at @ycombinator get to take a look at the book?
Tarun Agarwal
Tarun AgarwalMaker@tarunonair · CEO, @ThinkApps
@bentossell Some people in the @ycombinator community saw it. Happy to engage with others!
Read this over the weekend - phenomenal work from the team @thinkapps!
Tarun Agarwal
Tarun AgarwalMaker@tarunonair · CEO, @ThinkApps
@ganin60seconds Thanks for the feedback Garrett!
Julie Fredrickson
Julie Fredrickson@almostmedia · CEO & Co-Founder Stowaway
I don't doubt that this book rocks but man oh man that is a list of just straight up 12 white guys as you scroll through the what's inside blurb
Corley@corleyh · COO @ Product Hunt
@almostmedia That is great feedback. @kalivia @tarunonair @beckyloveshugs @hrvojebielen it might make sense to change some of the pictures out on the website. You have a more diverse set of people that are featured in the table of contents. FWIW, I think making some minor adjustments to the first page would be reflect more of the diverse contributors.
Becky Cruze
Becky CruzeMaker@beckyloveshugs
@corleyh @almostmedia Yep, that's great feedback, and we're working on updating the landing page as we speak. Thanks!