"Startups Open Sourced" Book Writeup

May 30, 2011

What’s the point?
Interviews with startup founders about their experiences and advice they would give. The open sourced part of the title comes from the idea that these founders are opening up and sharing some of their secrets about customer acquisition, hiring and getting funding/bootstrapping.

How was it?
Really liked the book; lots of very candid interviews with people that are famous in the Hacker News crowd. This book is basically Coders at Work for the startup generation. Instead of Knuth and Norvig, its got Tom Preston-Warner (github), Alexis Ohanian (reddit/hipmunk) and more. In the case of Coders at Work, I had only heard of about 1/3 of the people in the book, whereas with Startups Open Sourced I had heard of almost all of the products/founders so I was more interested.

It was interesting to be able to compare and contrast the different companies: how they meet co-founders, how long they work, their backgrounds, etc. Though since each founder is asked pretty much the same question, after like 10 interviews some of the stuff started to blend together. There was also a very heavy YCombinator bias, but overall it was a pretty quick and interesting read.

Who should read it?
If you enjoyed Coders at Work, Founders at Work, or some of the startup interview podcasts (Founder’s Talk, Mixergy, TechZing) then you are probably in the target audience. I personally read it to get psyched up for the upcoming startup weekend at work.

Notes: I read this on my Kindle, it’s on sale for $2.99 until May 31 ($10 regularly) so it is pretty cheap and worth a look.

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