Interviews with designers who took the path of entrepreneurship to create tech startups like Pinterest, Airbnb, Kickstarter, and Path.
Designer Founders is a book series that conducts personal, in-depth interviews with designers who’ve started companies. Founders like Zach Klein of Vimeo, Mike Krieger of Instagram, and Yves Béhar of fuseproject expand the popular notion of what designers can achieve. The goal of the series is for others to find inspiration in role models who’ve demystified the path from designer to founder. The project is Kickstarter backed and comes from the Designer Fund, an angel fund and a community that supports mentorship and networking for entrepreneurial designers.
The book series is put together by a small team from the Designer Fund. I lead the content and editorial portions of the project, which includes managing our transcription service and copy editor. I vet which interviews to include, edit the raw transcripts, and then work with the team to polish them into final drafts. When I edit I cut down interviews to highlight the most powerful and useful stories. I also do light edits of the language for clarity. A surprising amount of massaging is needed to translate a transcript into a pithy interview. It’s a delicate balance of maintaining the voice and authenticity of the interview while getting the stories and takeaways to come through clearly. The project is collaborative, and I also contribute to discussions about our website and messaging, outreach and distribution strategy, events, etc.
I’ve enjoyed being part of this community of entrepreneurial designers and strongly believe in the project’s mission to empower designers. It’s also a thrill to get an insider’s look into these very candid conversations.
We put out our first edition of five interviews in January of 2013 with Evan Sharp of Pinterest, Rashmi Sinha of SlideShare, Yves Béhar of fuseproject, Christina Brodbeck of YouTube and theicebreak, and Scott Belsky and Matias Corea of Behance. The second edition includes interviews with Jeff Veen of Typekit, Alexa Andrzejewski of Foodspotting, Zach Klein of Vimeo, TJ Zark of the Band of the Day app, and Dave Morin & Dustin Mierau of Path. There are 25 more interviews done and we’re in the process of getting other editions ready for release.
Designer Founders website: http://www.designerfounders.com/
FastCo article about the Designer Fund: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665795/silicon-valleys-new-secret-weapon-designers-who-found-startups
Kickstarter project: http://kck.st/u9JvSh