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Startupland: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business

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The real story of what it takes to risk it all and go for broke. Conventional wisdom says most startups need to be in Silicon Valley, started by young engineers around a sexy new idea, and backed by VC funding. But as Mikkel Svane reveals in Startupland, the story of founding Zendesk was anything but conventional. Founded in a Copenhagen loft by three thirty-something frie The real story of what it takes to risk it all and go for broke. Conventional wisdom says most startups need to be in Silicon Valley, started by young engineers around a sexy new idea, and backed by VC funding. But as Mikkel Svane reveals in Startupland, the story of founding Zendesk was anything but conventional. Founded in a Copenhagen loft by three thirty-something friends looking to break free from corporate doldrums, Zendesk Inc. is now one of the hottest enterprise software companies, still rapidly growing with customers in 150 countries. But its success was anything but predestined. With revealing stories both funny and frank, Mikkel shares how he and his friends bravely left secure jobs to start something on their own, how he almost went broke several times, how they picked up themselves and their families to travel across the world to California and the unknown, and how the three friends were miraculously still together for Zendesk's IPO and (still growing) success. Much like Zendesk's mission itself--to remove friction, barriers, and mystery in order to make customer service easier and more approachable--Startupland removes some of the myths about startups and startup founders. Mikkel's advice, hard-won through experience, often bucks conventional wisdom and entrepreneurial tropes. He shares why failure (whether fast or slow) is awful, why a seemingly boring product or idea can be the most exciting, why giving back to the community is as important as the bottom line. From how to hire right (look for people who are not offended by swearing) to which personas generate the highest response rates, Mikkel answers the most pressing questions from the perspective of someone still in the trenches and willing to share the hard truth, warts and all. While there are books by consultants who tell you how to build businesses, or by entrepreneurs now running billion-dollar businesses, there are few books from people still in the trenches who acutely remember the difficult daily decisions, the thrill (and fears) of the early days, the problems that scale with growing a business, and the reason why they all went on the adventure in the first place. Startupland is indispensable reading for all entrepreneurs who want to make their ideas the next big thing. The book will inspire and empower you to follow your own dream and create your own story.


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The real story of what it takes to risk it all and go for broke. Conventional wisdom says most startups need to be in Silicon Valley, started by young engineers around a sexy new idea, and backed by VC funding. But as Mikkel Svane reveals in Startupland, the story of founding Zendesk was anything but conventional. Founded in a Copenhagen loft by three thirty-something frie The real story of what it takes to risk it all and go for broke. Conventional wisdom says most startups need to be in Silicon Valley, started by young engineers around a sexy new idea, and backed by VC funding. But as Mikkel Svane reveals in Startupland, the story of founding Zendesk was anything but conventional. Founded in a Copenhagen loft by three thirty-something friends looking to break free from corporate doldrums, Zendesk Inc. is now one of the hottest enterprise software companies, still rapidly growing with customers in 150 countries. But its success was anything but predestined. With revealing stories both funny and frank, Mikkel shares how he and his friends bravely left secure jobs to start something on their own, how he almost went broke several times, how they picked up themselves and their families to travel across the world to California and the unknown, and how the three friends were miraculously still together for Zendesk's IPO and (still growing) success. Much like Zendesk's mission itself--to remove friction, barriers, and mystery in order to make customer service easier and more approachable--Startupland removes some of the myths about startups and startup founders. Mikkel's advice, hard-won through experience, often bucks conventional wisdom and entrepreneurial tropes. He shares why failure (whether fast or slow) is awful, why a seemingly boring product or idea can be the most exciting, why giving back to the community is as important as the bottom line. From how to hire right (look for people who are not offended by swearing) to which personas generate the highest response rates, Mikkel answers the most pressing questions from the perspective of someone still in the trenches and willing to share the hard truth, warts and all. While there are books by consultants who tell you how to build businesses, or by entrepreneurs now running billion-dollar businesses, there are few books from people still in the trenches who acutely remember the difficult daily decisions, the thrill (and fears) of the early days, the problems that scale with growing a business, and the reason why they all went on the adventure in the first place. Startupland is indispensable reading for all entrepreneurs who want to make their ideas the next big thing. The book will inspire and empower you to follow your own dream and create your own story.

30 review for Startupland: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Herve

    Many of my friends and colleagues tell me that video and movies are nowadays better than books for documenting real life. I still feel there is in books a depth I do not find anywhere else. A question of generations, probably. HBO’s Silicon Valley may be a funny and close-to-reality account of what high-tech entrepreneurship is but Startup Land is a great example of why I still prefer books. I did not find everything I was looking for – and I will give one example below – but I could feel the au Many of my friends and colleagues tell me that video and movies are nowadays better than books for documenting real life. I still feel there is in books a depth I do not find anywhere else. A question of generations, probably. HBO’s Silicon Valley may be a funny and close-to-reality account of what high-tech entrepreneurship is but Startup Land is a great example of why I still prefer books. I did not find everything I was looking for – and I will give one example below – but I could feel the authenticity and even the emotion from Mikkel Svane’s account of what building a start-up and a product means. So let me share with you a few lessons from Startup Land. The motivation to start - “We felt that we needed to make a change before it was too late. We all know that people grow more risk-averse over time. As we start to have houses and mortgages, and kids and cars, and schools and institutions, we start to settle. We invest a lot of time in relationships with friends and neighbors, and making big moves becomes harder. We become less and less willing to just flush everything down the drain and start all over.” [Page 1] No recipe - “Along the way, I’ll share the unconventional advice you learn only in the trenches. I am allergic to pat business advice that aims to give some formula for success. I’ve learned there is no formula for success; the world moves too fast for any formula to last, and people are far too creative—always iterating and finding a better way.” [Page 6] About failure - In Silicon Valley there’s a lot of talk about failure—there’s almost a celebration of failure. People recite mantras about “failing fast,” and successful people are always ready to tell you what they learned from their failures, claiming they wouldn’t be where they are today without their previous spectacular mess-ups. To me, having experienced the disappointment that comes with failure, all this cheer is a little odd. The truth is, in my experience, failure is a terrible thing. Not being able to pay your bills is a terrible thing. Letting people go and disappointing them and their families is a terrible thing. Not delivering on your promises to customers who believed in you is a terrible thing. Sure, you learn from these ordeals, but there is nothing positive about the failure that led you there. I learned there is an important distinction between promoting a culture that doesn’t make people afraid of making and admitting mistakes, and having a culture that says failure is great. Failure is not something to be proud of. But failure is something you can recover from. [Pages 15-16] There are other nice thoughts about “boring is beautiful” [page 23], “working from home” [page 34], “money isn’t only in your bank account, it’s also in your head” [page 35], and an “unconventional (possibly illegal) hiring checklist” [page 127]. I will quote Svane about investors [page 61]: “I learned an important lesson in this experience – one that influenced all of the investor decision we’ve made since then. There is a vast spectrum of investors. Professional investors are extremely aware of the fact that they will be successful only if everyone else is successful. Great investors have unique relationships with founders, and they are dedicated to growing the company the right way. Mediocre and bad investors work around founders, and the company end in disaster. The problem is, early on many startups have few options, and they have to deal with amateur investors who are shortsighted and concerned with optimizing their own position.” [and page 93]: “Good investors understand that the founding team often is what carries the spirit of a company and makes it what it is.” And about growth [page 74]: “Even after the seed round with Christoph Janz, we were still looking for investors. If you’ve never been in a startup this may seem odd, but when you’re a startup founder you’re basically always fund-raising. Building a company costs money, and the faster you grow, the more cash it requires. Of course, that’s not the case for all startups – there are definitely examples of companies that have come a long way on their own positive cash flow – but the general rule is that if you optimize for profitability, you sacrifice growth. And for a startup, it’s all about growth.” In May 2014, Zendesk went public and the team was so extatic, many pictures were tweeted! The company raised $100M at $8 per share. They had a secondary offering at $22.75 raising more than $160M for the company. In 2014, Zendesk revenue was $127M!… and its loss $67M. There was one piece of information I never found neither in Startup Land nor in the IPO filings: Zendesk has three founders, Mikkel Svane, CEO and author of the book. Alexander Aghassipour, Chief Product Officer and Morten Primdahl, CTO. I am a fan of cap. tables (as you may know or can see here in Equity split in 305 high-tech start-ups with founders, employees and investors shares) and in particular studying how founders share equity at company foundation. But there is no information about Primdahl ‘s stock. I only have one explanation: On page 37, Svane writes: “the thing about money is, it’s happening in your head. Everyone processes it differently. Aghassipour adnSvane could live with no salary in the early days of Zendesk, but Primdahl could not. It’s possibly he had a salary against less stock. I would love to learn from Savne if I am right or wrong!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Pooja Ghera saxena

    Very easy read and some good lessons for start-ups overall

  3. 5 out of 5

    Yee

    An inspirational true story of how Zendesk starts from nothing and reaches to this far. Business related books are never my cup of tea because most of the authors telling the readers on how miracles happened to them, how they create miracles or only people with similar level with them can achieve what they had achieved. This story is more realistic as it involves the story of the difficulties that he experiences when building his business. The most important thing is he gave the impression to us An inspirational true story of how Zendesk starts from nothing and reaches to this far. Business related books are never my cup of tea because most of the authors telling the readers on how miracles happened to them, how they create miracles or only people with similar level with them can achieve what they had achieved. This story is more realistic as it involves the story of the difficulties that he experiences when building his business. The most important thing is he gave the impression to us that he is just an ordinary person like us with variety of weaknesses such as lacking of communication skills, negotiation skills and other skills which he slowly obtained during the process of building the product. This makes the story more believable comparing to other business stories which are more focusing on their successes. Also, the story never trying to indicate you need to be smart or need to think like him in order to succeed. He is just an ordinary person with strong determination to achieve his goal and passion in building a product that can change our lives for the better.

  4. 4 out of 5

    deleted d

    average cool startup story Building a start-up is all about developing new ideas and taking risks, so there’s no one formula for success. Get a strong team together, watch out for disingenuous investors, be prepared to make mistakes and adapt your strategy when things don’t go as planned. You’ll hit roadblocks you can’t prepare for, just like the author did when he built up Zendesk. But like the author, you can also grow your start-up if you stay flexible and committed to your vision.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vignesh

    A short interesting read on how a small gang of ambitious Danish techies formed one of the successful businesses of the decade. Mikkel Svane keeps you engaged in his lucid writing which is devoid of contemporary business mumbo-jumbo. & the book feels like a well articulated medium article in itself. There are quite a handful takeaways like how being people-centric will be a game changer & other things that I wish I could mention here without spoiling the crux of the book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    inspiring and sobering for anyone building their business. great advice on staying true to yourself, your business & your customers.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl3007

    A random find turned out to be a great find. I ran (literally - as I ran 6K to the library) into this book at Queenstown library, Singapore and chose it over the book about Twitter. I hadn't really expected much as I had indeed thought "Zendesk? A bit boring business", just as Mikkel admitted in the book. But it is in those fields where people find "boring" or mundane that you may have a good startup idea. The book turned out quite interesting and I completed within a weekend. I feelt that Mikke A random find turned out to be a great find. I ran (literally - as I ran 6K to the library) into this book at Queenstown library, Singapore and chose it over the book about Twitter. I hadn't really expected much as I had indeed thought "Zendesk? A bit boring business", just as Mikkel admitted in the book. But it is in those fields where people find "boring" or mundane that you may have a good startup idea. The book turned out quite interesting and I completed within a weekend. I feelt that Mikkel has shared with us an honest and "down-to-earth" account of his and his co-founders' journey in building Zendesk, with mistakes and learnings along the way. It is also interesting to learn about the Startupland, the Silicon Valley from the perspective of an outsider and later a newcomer. The Danish "we'll figure it out" mentality and the Scandinavian "Law of Jante" mentality (which urges people to be modest), which Mikkel and his co-founders demonstrated on several occasions, also very resonate with me. And since Zendesk is the company that disrupts customer service industry, it would be a miss if Mikkel did not share with us any thoughts on building relationships. Of course, he didn't make that mistake. Instead, he shared the lesson he learnt from experience that "the best product would be worth nothing without the right relationships."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Simon Eskildsen

    A good story, a non-pretentious tone, the butt-ugly truths, personal dramas, and honest personal pontification. The story of how Zendesk was built in a loft in Copenhagen, how Denmark failed them, not through talent, but through availability to venture funding. How the three founders made their way to the New World and found the Promised Land in San Francisco in its hey-day (when San Francisco was still cool) of 2009. Clearly not written by someone who's written a lot, but it doesn't matter, bec A good story, a non-pretentious tone, the butt-ugly truths, personal dramas, and honest personal pontification. The story of how Zendesk was built in a loft in Copenhagen, how Denmark failed them, not through talent, but through availability to venture funding. How the three founders made their way to the New World and found the Promised Land in San Francisco in its hey-day (when San Francisco was still cool) of 2009. Clearly not written by someone who's written a lot, but it doesn't matter, because it just gives it such a personal feel that it's easy to fly through. There are some good nuggets of wisdom in here, if you're wiling to dig them out—they're single sentences, nothing elaborate, but worth noting and putting somewhere more permanent to think about. Can't really tell if the 4th star (that makes it better than average) is because of that, or because I can relate so deeply to their observations of North American versus Danish culture.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Utkrisht

    More like a 3.5 Having used Zendesk in our startup, Startupland was an enriching read to understand how Zendesk shaped up. It is a very engaging read on the Danish guys who redefined customer support as we know it. Mikkel documents not only his early struggles with the product but also the personal challenges encountered in relocating to Boston and then Bay area. The perspective of a Danish founder and his rendezvous with the Silicon Valley challenges makes this book a must read. This book is bi More like a 3.5 Having used Zendesk in our startup, Startupland was an enriching read to understand how Zendesk shaped up. It is a very engaging read on the Danish guys who redefined customer support as we know it. Mikkel documents not only his early struggles with the product but also the personal challenges encountered in relocating to Boston and then Bay area. The perspective of a Danish founder and his rendezvous with the Silicon Valley challenges makes this book a must read. This book is bit of "Delivering Happiness" and "Shoe Dog" but unlike these two books, most of Startupland skims through the most interesting parts. This is where it probably falls short of becoming an intense and a detailed read. Nevertheless, a great read to understand the philosophy and the passion behind the best customer support SaaS company of today.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dozo

    Zendesk is a popular cloud-based helpdesk software which was revolutionary when it was released. I was interested to hear from the founder. Each section in the book contains a short story detailing the progression of the company and a few "tips" at the end. Unfortunately, this book feels like a pure cash in - it's like someone said to the author "you could make a lot of money writing a book about this" and he took it literally. It's one of the only books I can say I feel genuinely cheated out of Zendesk is a popular cloud-based helpdesk software which was revolutionary when it was released. I was interested to hear from the founder. Each section in the book contains a short story detailing the progression of the company and a few "tips" at the end. Unfortunately, this book feels like a pure cash in - it's like someone said to the author "you could make a lot of money writing a book about this" and he took it literally. It's one of the only books I can say I feel genuinely cheated out of the purchase. It's also not really detailing - the book is exceptionally short for the price (it took me only around 2 hours to finish it) and the most interesting tips are the blurb on the back.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Diogo Ferreira

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really enjoy reading the story of Zendesk. It's full of good anecdotes. Like firing DHH ( Ruby on Rails creator ), I found that connection to be very nice. The founders are Danish and they started the company in Copenhagen and later moved to San Francisco. “To be successful business today, you must understand how relationships actually work and how to build them.” I loved this quote and I think it was the key of the book. That relationships are the heart of a good business. I really enjoy reading the story of Zendesk. It's full of good anecdotes. Like firing DHH ( Ruby on Rails creator ), I found that connection to be very nice. The founders are Danish and they started the company in Copenhagen and later moved to San Francisco. “To be successful business today, you must understand how relationships actually work and how to build them.” I loved this quote and I think it was the key of the book. That relationships are the heart of a good business.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dian Perdhana

    My favourite quotes in this book: “If you want to make something look easy, you have to put a lot of effort into it. Only by embracing the fact that nothing is easy and that the most important things are so incredibly hard can you approach work (and life) with the right humility that can set you up for success.”

  13. 5 out of 5

    Manas Saloi

    Origin story of Zendesk, and how they transformed an industry which is not "sexy". I am not giving this a 5 stars because I expected to learn a little more about the difficulty in growing a saas business while this book just focussed on the beginning of Zendesk. Origin story of Zendesk, and how they transformed an industry which is not "sexy". I am not giving this a 5 stars because I expected to learn a little more about the difficulty in growing a saas business while this book just focussed on the beginning of Zendesk.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Arant

    Heartfelt story of an entrepreneurial journey This is a really inspiring story about a small company from Denmark creating a global product company. Recommended for all startup enthusiasts

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ken Hamner

    This book explains, better than maybe any I’ve read, the stresses and challenges of growing an entrepreneurial venture, not only from things that go wrong, but even challenges that come from growth and success. Well worth reading.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jas Hothi

    I've read this a couple of times now, an awesome telling by Mikkel Svane of his going from a Copenhagen basement with two friends, and balancing family life and the stresses of early startup days, through to moving to the US and ZenDesk becoming listed. I've read this a couple of times now, an awesome telling by Mikkel Svane of his going from a Copenhagen basement with two friends, and balancing family life and the stresses of early startup days, through to moving to the US and ZenDesk becoming listed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Annette Erdozaincy

    I thought this was such an interesting and fun read. It was very insightful reading about how Zendesk started and how it grew into such a successful company. It's written with some humor too. I found it hard to put down! I thought this was such an interesting and fun read. It was very insightful reading about how Zendesk started and how it grew into such a successful company. It's written with some humor too. I found it hard to put down!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robert Fire

    An Amazing book, i felt It was my life, I'm the combination of the founders, but I don't have an IPO yet, but I swear by Elvis I will. Robert Fire www.robertfire.com @irobertfire (US) @frobertfire (ESP) An Amazing book, i felt It was my life, I'm the combination of the founders, but I don't have an IPO yet, but I swear by Elvis I will. Robert Fire www.robertfire.com @irobertfire (US) @frobertfire (ESP)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Adán Galván gonzález

    from garage to IPO, nice story about building products with love and passion.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Saqib

    Very inspiring and filled with great advises. Being a startup owner myself, I could relate to many of the stories mentioned.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lex Krishnadath

    An amazingand unconventional story

  22. 4 out of 5

    Interface Mirror

    I liked the book because of its simplicity in describing what challenges are met to launch a real product used by thousands. The idea of the book was conveyed beautifully by the end of the book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Masato

    Startup Land Mikkel Svane “Startup Land” by Mikkel Svane is a book about how three regular guys took big risks and turned an idea into a successful global business. The book is nonfiction and it talks about the struggles and the triumphs of starting a global business. The aim of this book is to pass along knowledge the author was able to gain after going through this experience and to give an inside look at how modern businesses grow from the startup stage forward. Mikkel Svane was one of three m Startup Land Mikkel Svane “Startup Land” by Mikkel Svane is a book about how three regular guys took big risks and turned an idea into a successful global business. The book is nonfiction and it talks about the struggles and the triumphs of starting a global business. The aim of this book is to pass along knowledge the author was able to gain after going through this experience and to give an inside look at how modern businesses grow from the startup stage forward. Mikkel Svane was one of three men who founded Zendesk, an enterprise software company. Originally from Copenhagen, the three men started the company in an old loft. The move to the US brought great success, but at the same time there were many hardships. This book shows readers the ups and downs that a tech startup faces at every turn. Being resilient and overcoming obstacles are very common in this book and readers can relate to this from their own experiences. The strengths of this book are numerous; from the detailed explanations of business topics to the personal stories that touch the heart, this book has it all. Personally, I struggled to find any weaknesses with this book. My favourite part of this book was when the company moved to the US and started talking with investors. The behind the scenes look at how small businesses and investors interact was really quite interesting. “Startup Land” was one of my favourite books I have ever read. It was one hundred percent worth reading in my opinion. A reader who enjoys a success story would definitely enjoy this amazing book written by Mikkel Svane. The book is relatively short so a reader with a short attention span would have no trouble reading this book. I would suggest this book to anyone who is in search of an overall wonderful book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Mikkel Svane is a rare bird -- a Dane who started a "cloud" company in Copenhagen, together with two partners, and then moved it to California and took it public at a billion dollars. While it's not a rag to riches story, Startup Land does take the reader on a very unusual journey. The subtitle refers to the face that the three partners risked everything (as every entrepreneur does) and turned an idea into a global business. Most of us have never been privy to what is involved in growing a busin Mikkel Svane is a rare bird -- a Dane who started a "cloud" company in Copenhagen, together with two partners, and then moved it to California and took it public at a billion dollars. While it's not a rag to riches story, Startup Land does take the reader on a very unusual journey. The subtitle refers to the face that the three partners risked everything (as every entrepreneur does) and turned an idea into a global business. Most of us have never been privy to what is involved in growing a business to that scale, especially in just a few years, and Svane and his co-writer Carlye Adler do a fine job of explaining the highs and lows of that process. There are lessons included for those who want to attempt to follow their path, but I am not that reader. I picked up the book because I was curious about how these three Danes ended up in San Francisco with a wildly successful business that even has an office here in Madison. And thanks to Startup Land, I feel that I know a great deal about Zendesk and its Danish origins. Please note that I don't use the star rating system, so this review should not be viewed as a zero.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    A high level overview of Zendesk and its origins. Very insightful and beneficial to the community - thanks to Mikkel for taking the time to share with us. It reads like fiction, although it is very much nonfiction. A worthwhile read for any person interested in the startup culture and mindset. Zendesk has done well, and this is a classic story of why entrepreneurship is so praised today. Good: Fast read, pages turn. Provides an inside look at Zendesk. Inspirational and motivational for those in the A high level overview of Zendesk and its origins. Very insightful and beneficial to the community - thanks to Mikkel for taking the time to share with us. It reads like fiction, although it is very much nonfiction. A worthwhile read for any person interested in the startup culture and mindset. Zendesk has done well, and this is a classic story of why entrepreneurship is so praised today. Good: Fast read, pages turn. Provides an inside look at Zendesk. Inspirational and motivational for those in the industry. Bad: Not much detail on the challenges they face, and how they overcame them. Not much insight on how they validated their idea and confirmed their thesis.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sukanta Maikap

    This book is a bit different from many others in the same genre. It’s very personal and narrated as a diary rather than as straight out gyans from the exercise. That has helped with depicting the more human side of the author. In my opinion this book stands out in terms of profiles of the founders, in there early 30s, not some prodigy dropping out of Phd to start a company. This book is a must read for all wannabes, and probably can act as “it is never too late” catalyst.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kaspars Koo

    A simple, honest and genuine story about Danish start-up Zendesk. It is refreshing to read about a European company for a change. Not just because the main characters of the book are not Americans, but also because the story itself is delivered differently - with a fresh Danish modesty and sincerity and without usual American boasting and over-exaggeration. Not too many useful business tips, but a quick and entertaining read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marc Palucci

    Zendesk continuously strives to make their product offering better. They were focused on building a product for an industry they believed needed changing. Their original vision was to provide a beautifully customer service desk service thats simple. Today, they are publicly traded and operate in over 130 countries. Mikkel shares what they discovered along the way and the adversity that he had to endure.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    It's interesting getting to know Mikkel a bit more and the struggle he had with the company. I think this is a good read for anyone who's interesting in becoming an entrepreneur or who uses Zendesk and would like to know about the humble beginnings of it's founder. This isn't a bad book by any means, it's just not up my alley. It's interesting getting to know Mikkel a bit more and the struggle he had with the company. I think this is a good read for anyone who's interesting in becoming an entrepreneur or who uses Zendesk and would like to know about the humble beginnings of it's founder. This isn't a bad book by any means, it's just not up my alley.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Pasinski

    Mikkel Svane writes with humility and humor while providing a valuable window into the trials and triumphs of building a startup, especially one that begins outside of the United States and its robust VC ecosystem. He also provides practical business and relationship-building advice while retaining the grace to acknowledge that each startup's life cycle will be different. Mikkel Svane writes with humility and humor while providing a valuable window into the trials and triumphs of building a startup, especially one that begins outside of the United States and its robust VC ecosystem. He also provides practical business and relationship-building advice while retaining the grace to acknowledge that each startup's life cycle will be different.

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