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My Interviews with Airbnb, Dropbox, Posterous, Reddit, Weebly and Wufoo (foundersatwork.posthaven.com)
252 points by wasd on Mar 26, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments



If you haven't read it yet, Founders At Work is, IMO, the most informative book I've ever read as far as what the early days of a startup are like.

The most fascinating part to me is realizing that few, if any, of the founders realized they were really on to something. I'm sure they all had plenty of self doubt and wondered if they were crazy at times. They believed in what they were doing, of course, but there's a period of time before a company becomes a breakout success that isn't sexy enough for most people to pay attention to. We tend to skip past the whole "working and building" part to the "look at how successful they are." That, in my opinion, can be dangerous.

I'm very grateful that Jessica is going through all of the work documenting these stories for us. Thanks, Jessica.


At least once per week, I have an hour or two where my idea seems hopelessly stupid. You just have to power through it.

Like doing heavy squats. You don't have to like doing them, you just have to do them. A fun game is to think of as many excuses as you can to not do the next set. The next set is one rep for each excuse on your list. Unless you don't have any excuses, in which case you do the set (there's no excuse not to, right?)

Observe/acknowledge the emotion and get back to work.


Good analogy, when I'm walking up to a heavy bar I still get nervous and think "Do I really have to do this?". But when I'm not squatting I miss it. The endorphins probably explain this a bit.


@mlrtime: That's not nervousness, that is your body preparing to do something difficult, i.e. physiological arousal. Of course it has a cognitive component.

let your thoughts do whatever they want. You are not your thoughts. Recognize that this is how you prepare to do the squat. Then do it.

You of course know that heavy lifting builds strong bones. Ever realize that building bone strength increases mental strength? Bones are an important part of the endocrine system, they produce lots of interesting chemicals.


> I'd like to find the time to do more (and work on improving my on-camera interview style).

For anyone interested. There is a great breakdown of how this works, gear, lighting, interview style, sound, etc @ https://vimeo.com/101128416 (interview section starts at 2:30). The guys entire channel is packed with useful bits about photography, how to get exactly what you need out of the scenes, sounds quality, etc. Could literally spend hours and hours getting tips and tricks in there. If you are at all interested in this type of stuff, well worth checking out, and the quality of advise pretty much speaks for it self.


I would LOVE to see a Founders at Work 2.0 - so many incredible companies have been built since that book was published. The iPhone had just been released, for instance.


It's not exactly Founders at Work 2.0, but I'm working on a book that's been heavily influenced by Founders at Work, as well as pg's "Do Things That Don't Scale" essay.

It's called Unscalable: https://www.inkshares.com/projects/unscalable

</shamelessplug>


Yes!!!


Anyone who looks at this style show and wants to do it, please let me know. We're looking for beta testers for a new product that makes these style of shows much simpler.


As a side topic to this, can anyone recommend "interview style" podcast from the startup world other than Mixergy or the TWIT podcasts?

I have recently discovered From Scratch [1]. I really like this as it also discuss the person as well as their startup. More human..

[1] - http://www.fromscratchradio.org/show/


It may not be exactly what you're looking for, but I have a show interviewing people in tech and design. The focus is on longform copy, but I produce a podcast and video with each interview. http://signaltower.co/

It might be worth checking out. I've got interviews with VP of Design, Cap Watkins and Telescope Creator, Sacha Grief in postproduction right now.


Thanks for hint. I subscribed.


It would be great to have this in interview transcript form, like the Founders at Work book. I push that onto all sorts of people. Founders at Work 2.0 is definitely a must-do project, even if it's just a blog series and not a dead-tree publication.


These are great. I would of loved to see the end of the Reddit one before it got cut out.


Wanna AMA about the founding of reddit? Go for it.


Thanks Jessica, I added these to a timeline I created of your interviews and speeches: http://newslines.org/jessica-livingston/


Thanks, Jessica, listening to founder stories is a huge help


In dropbox video, 13:30 Jessica Livingston in on mute.


Yes, there were so many technical snafus with my set-up that I eventually wound up giving up on these.


Awesome! Thank you! No doubts that will help a lot!


This is great. The Mixergy stuff she's referring to, though, is incredibly badly delivered. No I don't want to subscribe to a newsletter to receive a mp3 file in my inbox and then move that file to my phone so that I can listen to it. Why not a podcast feed?


Part of what inspired me to dig these up today was the spamwall.


Thanks for posting these JL!


Mixergy, while very successful and full of great content, is terrible at the whole "don't look like spammy Launch Coach garbage" thing. But it obviously works for them.


I am just surprised that it is apparently still going. I last listened to a Mixergy interview in 2011 I think. A big life change at the end of that years makes me reasonably confident that 2011 was the last time I heard Andrew Warner's name.

I can't say that I really thought about him in the intervening years but I am surprised that he is still interviewing away.




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