Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin:
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 an 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, makers 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.