Curious about how Uber and Airbnb grew from seedlings to internet juggernauts worth tens of billions of dollars?
The Upstarts covers the history of Uber and Airbnb, from their founding in 2008 to present day of 2016. Learn how each company started as just a side project, gathered inexorable momentum, and infiltrated cities around the world. Learn how neither Uber nor Airbnb was the first idea of its kind, but through strategy and will, they came to dominate their industries. Also learn how Uber and Airbnb attracted the ire of government, incumbents, the collaterally damaged, and its own customers.
Shoe Dog is the story of how Nike was founded, written by Nike’s founder, Phil Knight. Nike is now a global brand – go pretty much anywhere in the world, and you’ll see someone wearing Nikes.
But Shoe Dog starts you over 50 years ago in 1962, when Phil Knight is 24 years old, has just earned an MBA from Stanford, and doesn’t know what to do with his life. You travel the next 18 years with Phil Knight, through continuous adversity, self-doubt, and never-ending financial uncertainty.
Shoe Dog is a refreshingly candid entrepreneurial account. Phil is clear about his shortcomings and about how tough it was to keep Nike running year after year. Shoe Dog is also well-written, with poetic phrasings and philosophical musings, unlike the straightforward clip of most business biographies.
Read the Shoe Dog summary here for the main history of Nike and Phil Knight, but read the real book for a visceral account of how one of the world’s biggest companies got started.
Dropbox is now a technology giant, valued at $10 billion in a 2014 funding round. It’s a very complex product, honed over a decade of development and hundreds of millions of dollars of investment.
But Dropbox didn’t start with the slick, seamless product you use today.
So let’s go back to the beginning, before Dropbox had a polished product and thousands of employees. Back to Dropbox’s original Minimum Viable Product (MVP). If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, be emboldened by the idea that Dropbox started with just about as much as you have right now.