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Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World (Hardcover)
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Rand Fishkin, the founder and former CEO of Moz, reveals how traditional Silicon Valley "wisdom" leads far too many startups astray, with the transparency and humor that his hundreds of thousands of blog readers have come to love.
Everyone knows how a startup story is supposed to go: A young, brilliant entrepreneur has a cool idea, drops out of college, defies the doubters, overcomes all odds, makes billions, and becomes the envy of the technology world.
This is not that story.
It's not that things went badly for Rand Fishkin; they just weren't quite so Zuckerberg-esque. His company, Moz, maker of marketing software, is now a $45 million/year business, and he's one of the world's leading experts on SEO. But his business and reputation took fifteen years to grow, and his startup began not in a Harvard dorm room but as a mother-and-son family business that fell deeply into debt.
Now Fishkin pulls back the curtain on tech startup mythology, exposing the ups and downs of startup life that most CEOs would rather keep secret. For instance: A minimally viable product can be destructive if you launch at the wrong moment. Growth hacking may be the buzzword du jour, but initiatives can fizzle quickly. Revenue and growth won't protect you from layoffs. And venture capital always comes with strings attached.
Fishkin's hard-won lessons are applicable to any kind of business environment. Up or down the chain of command, at both early stage startups and mature companies, whether your trajectory is riding high or down in the dumps: this book can help solve your problems, and make you feel less alone for having them.
About the Author
Rand Fishkin, aka the Wizard of Moz, is co-founder and former CEO of Moz, host of Whiteboard Friday, co-author of a pair of books on SEO, and co-founder of Inbound.org. This is his first solo book.
"This is a truly courageous book. It's one part business-building guide and two parts Indiana Jones-style adventure memoir. And if you've ever wondered if the 'timeless wisdom' you often hear about startups is bullsh*t, here's the proof." -- Chris Guillebeau, author of SIDE HUSTLE and THE $100 STARTUP
"You won't find a more honest, raw, and helpful look into the trenches of founding a tech startup than this book. Rand Fishkin shares the rare hard-won insight no one else dares tell you." -- Nir Eyal, author of HOOKED
"Most books on founders and entrepreneurship sell a Silicon Valley perspective. Yet the inclusive, egalitarian vision of tech that Rand shares is the one that will truly dent the world." -- Nilofer Merchant, author of THE POWER OF ONLYNESS
"Rand Fishkin is like the industry friend we all wish we had - funny, warm, and refreshingly honest about the rollercoaster ride that is founding your own company." -- Julie Zhou, VP of Product Design at Facebook
"Rand Fishkin is the real deal. This book is an honest, generous and useful look at what actually happens when you build a company, including the downs as well as the ups... I wish I had read it thirty years ago." -- Seth Godin, entrepreneur and author