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Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World by Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin is the founder of SparkToro and was previously cofounder of Moz and He’s dedicated his professional life to helping people do better marketing through the Whiteboard Friday video series, his blog, and his new book.

When Rand’s not working, he’s most likely to be in the company of his partner in marriage and (mostly petty) crime, author Geraldine DeRuiter. If you feed him great pasta or great whisky, he’ll give you the cheat code to rank #1 on Google.

And interesting fact: he proposed marriage to his wife Geraldine with a television commercial!

The Host’s Perspective:

In the world of tech startups, there’s a mythology of the young “startup founder” that is powerful and pervasive.

You know, the entrepreneur who pulled themselves up from nothing and created jobs, wealth, and world-changing tech despite their meager beginnings.

And the idea that anyone can succeed in the gold rush of tech startups, right?

It’s a mirage.

Fishkin is a tech startup founder who grew his business to $45 million a year in revenue, raised millions in venture capital, hired hundreds of people, and made a product that people love and use and pay for.

He also racked up a ton of debt, ruined his credit, pissed off his parents, disappointed his investors, laid people off, lost close friends, and eventually stepped down as CEO.

The book lays bare the truth about the startup fantasies that are amplified by the tech and startup press.

But more importantly, Fiskin describes the book as one long “cheat code” for tech startup founders so that they can avoid the mistakes that he made and leapfrog the wasted months, the wasted cash, and the heartache that too many startups needlessly endure.

If you work for a startup company, run one or are thinking about starting, joining or investing in one, you owe it to yourself to read this book to avoid the common mistakes, bad advice and flawed thinking that is so prevalent. It will be one of the best investments you make in yourself and your future.

Listen to the Interview:


Show Notes

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Powerful by Patty McCord

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Venture Deals by Brad Feld

Lost and Founder Website

Rand Fishkin’s Website

Rand Fishkin’s Twitter

Rand Fishkin’s Linkedin

Rand and his Grandparents!



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