Who Do You Think I Should Interview For The First Mixergy Book?

pen-paper-fountain-homeThe First Mixergy Book Is Coming

My thoughts on the book

I want to turn some of my past and upcoming interviews with entrepreneurs into a book of startup stories.

I once read a story of how Ted Turner burst into a potential client’s office and made some dramatic gesture to get them to buy ads on his TV station, TBS. That story inspired me when I started out in business and was desperate to make a sale. I popped into Rosalind Resnick‘s office with a check for all the money I had at the time (about $2,000). I told her that if she didn’t like the ads I sold her, she didn’t have to pay me for them AND she could keep my check. She bought the ads and we did business for years.

Other entrepreneurs’ experiences can inspire us and give us ideas for how we can build our own companies. That’s why I want to put together a collection of the stories I hear in my interviews on Mixergy.

About the book

– It’ll be a collection of past and upcoming interviews with entrepreneurs

– Each chapter will be a different interview about a different company

– Stories in the book will be covered in more depth than the posts on Mixergy.com

– The interviews in the book will be edited more than on the site so the stories will flow better

– I’ll post each interview on Mixergy so I can get your feedback before adding it to the book

– I expect to finish the interviews in 2 months

How you can help

I’ve never written a book before. (Frankly, even this small blog post took me over an hour to write.) But I’ve slowly built an audience of smart entrepreneurs on Mixergy. With your feedback, I can write a book that will help you build a business you can be proud of.

Help me find people to interview

In the comments, could you please suggest internet entrepreneurs for me to interview? I’m looking for people whose companies and success you admire. Jimmy Wales of Wikipeidia and Alexis Ohanion of Reddit are good examples.

Give me feedback on my interviews

I’ll post my interviews on Mixergy before I put them into the book. Let me know what you think. Mixergy is still a small site. Your opinion won’t get lost here. I read and respond to my emails and comments. So if you feel something needs to be improved, let me know.

Giving you credit

I want to give credit to people give me helpful feedback. When you leave a comment on an interview I post, use your name as you’d like me to include it when I thank you in the book.

  • http://http:www.wikihowl.com wikiHowl

    We would like to see the Adam Coomes story. Co-founder of Infegy. http://www.infegy.com/ @adamcoomes.

  • jtillery

    I would like to see a story of someone who absolutely has no relation to our industry, but started out with barely two nickels to rub together and didn't have overnight success.

  • http://eventzi.com/ Scott Purdie

    My numero uno would be for more depth into Seth Godin's ideas on being remarkable. I just love hearing about the different ideas to get people talking about a business, its valuable and easy reading!

    Looking forward to it!

  • jeremycampbell

    That's great Andrew, I wish you all the best in writing your 1st book and you can be sure I will be buying a copy for myself and others as well to share with my entrepreneurial friends.

    My favorite interviews of yours came from Jason Calacanis, Matt Mickiewicz, Chance Barnett, and Guy Kawasaki's was really interesting as well. I do agree with jtillery below that you need to find others who really built an empire from the ground up with very little capital on a bootstrapper's budget.

    For my recommendation I would say you should interview some of the prominent authors located here http://www.bootstrapper.com/bloggers/ and perhaps most notably Richie Hecker.

    I look forward tracking your progress, and I think you are taking a very intelligent collaborative route in writing the book's content, all the best of luck Andrew!

  • tp

    The WOZ!

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Thanks. Infergy seems too new. I'm looking for companies that became big
    successes.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Me too!

    I'm going to interview James Hong of HotorNot soon, but his story may have
    been covered so much that it may not be a good fit.

    I'll keep looking. And hopefully someone on Mixergy will have a good
    suggestion for us.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    I'd like to know more about how to make a “purple cow” too.

    For this book though, it might be better to ask him about how he built
    Squidoo. I think it should be a book of 'how they did' stories.

    I'll email Seth soon though.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Thanks Jeremy. I'm looking him up right now.

    I agree with you on the need for bootstrappers. The “then I got funding and
    built an empire” story is hard to relate to.

    And I love the guys you mentioned.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Great guy.

  • Paul

    From the Interviews you've already done I like the ones with Amit Gupta and Baron Reichart Von Wolfsheild the most. But maybe they are not a good fit for the book.
    A story I really like to hear is the one of woot's Matt Rutledge. Mark Pinkus of Zynga seems intresting as well.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Great suggestions Paul.

    Do you know Matt or Mark? Or should I reach out to them myself?

  • http://www.MyBrainCandy.com jeremycampbell

    I agree that interviewing Seth Godin on how he built Squidoo.com would be really great because I don't believe there is much information online about that incredible story. That would be worth the price of the book alone.

  • Paul

    No Sorry. No personal connection here.

  • http://scottpurdie.com scottpurdie

    Ah right, another great one is the guys at 37signals, but maybe their story has been heard too much but they are always good for a tip.

    To be honest it would be cool to hear about people i havent heard of before, thats why i like Mixergy so much.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    No problem. I can reach out myself.

  • http://www.monocat.com monocat

    I'm trying to find my place in the internet through couple of ecommerce websites I'm working on. The ecommerce platform I'm utilizing is Magento Commerce, which is fast becoming the best Open Source eCommerce platform.

    I would like not only see an interview with Roy Rubin of Varien, company behind http://www.magentocommerce.com, but I believe it would also be a good addition in the book.

    I had the pleasure of meeting him few times and have seen a 4min clip on Mixergy. I believe a full interview with Roy about his company and ecommerce in general would be a good fit.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Magento is an incredible product. I really should interview Roy. He's a good
    friend. I'll email him now. Thanks.

  • http://www.monocat.com monocat

    Tell him Mosses at http://www.monogiggle.com says hi.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    I just emailed him. I'll let him when interview him. I'll also link to
    monogiggle.com when I thank you for suggesting this interview!

  • http://www.monocat.com monocat

    I'll reply to you here, since it seems reply doesn't work beyond 3rd level.

    ” I just emailed him. I'll let him when interview him. I'll also link to
    monogiggle.com when I thank you for suggesting this interview! “

    Thanks Andrew. Looking forward to the interview.

  • http://www.planetc1.com/ chiropractic

    I was impressed by Tim Ferriss when he spoke at WordCamp, and notice he's been interviewed so that may be good. I like the idea from jtillery to include those we'd never think of. You may sell more books by including the usual suspects, but with some research, you may find there are far bigger stories in unsuspecting places.

  • http://www.monocat.com monocat

    @chiropractic Such as yourself. Maybe it's time to spill out some of the secrets of your SEO successes. :)

  • http://twitter.com/steveeq1 Steve Quezadas

    Someone you should interview for your first book is “Ben Casnocha”. Started a company at 14, wrote a book himself and now at 21 is a silicon valley entrepeneur. he also writes a good blog: http://ben.casnocha.com/

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Thanks Mike.

    I'll try to get a good balance of both people you heard of and want to know
    more about and people who I introduce you to for the first time. Great
    point.

  • daniellicht

    Interview Michael! Arianna Huffington, guys from threadless, allen blue, stewart butterfield

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    He turned me down before, which is cool.

  • Bryan

    Joel Spolsky

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    I feel like you and I are on the same wavelength. These are great
    suggestions.

    - I just emailed a friend to ask for an introduction to Huffington.

    - Jeffrey from Threadless will be on Mixergy soon. I'll write up a post
    about it today.

    - I hadn't heard of Allen Blue till you mentioned him. I was thinking Reed
    Hoffman, the other co-founder of LinkedIn. I just need an intro.

    - Steward Butterfield is interesting, but his company was in Founders At
    Work, and I'm concerned about duplicating that book's work.

    - As for Michael, do you mean Michael @chiropractic? I interviewed him, but
    I don't think he's willing to do another interview and reveal his best stuff
    (yet).

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Great suggestion. I'm concerned about duplicating Founder At Work, a similar
    book that he was in. But I'd like to interview him here any way. I'll reach
    out!

  • http://www.3e-lab.com roberto

    Brian & Lisa Sugar. First ever? 3 person interview on Mixergy.
    They really are dominating in their domain.

  • http://www.3e-lab.com roberto

    I am looking forward to Jefferys interview. He seems like such a level headed and savvy person.

  • Randy Merritt

    Scott Painter, CEO of Zag (founder of CarsDirect, ideaLab CEO)
    http://www.brighth.com/people.html
    Super charismatic and he's local.

  • http://www.andydang.com/ Andy Dang

    Devil's advocate: I wouldn't want another book packaging a bunch of success stories. There are lots of those already. For example,

    http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/771/video-

    Perhaps, you can use the same materials, but package it in a different perspective. Maybe the common thread that runs through all the stories. Maybe categorize several stories into a different business concept or lesson. Success stories are great to read, but I'm thinking if you're gonna do it all the way, might as well put a twist on it (you don't have to make it a purple cow, just put a purple tail on it)

  • josemariagil

    My Suggestions:

    Joel Spolsky (Fogcreek)
    David Heinemeier Hansson (37 Signals)
    Jeff Bezos (Amazon)
    David Grainer (Campaign Monitor)
    Kevin Rose (Digg)
    Aaron Patzer (Mint)
    Gary Vaynerchuk (Winelibrary)

  • http://krmmalik.com/ Khuram Malik

    Hi Andrew,

    I have to agree with Andy Dang. There's alot of material on successful startup stories, and a fair number of books, but none of them grab the common thread between them or package them in the right way. They expect the person reading to piece it altogether, but it takes years of experience to piece it altogether.

    Also, they only talk about the end result of how they got somewhere. What about the failures? How they dealt with the failures?

    What they're working on right now, and what do they think of the way online business is changing?

  • ernestwarner

    Jeff Bezos and Aaron Patzer

  • http://releasedatez.com/ Jeff

    What about Jack Dorsey from Twitter?

  • Matt Carter

    An interview with Sam Morgan would be amazing and is exactly the type of interview that would be great for Mixergy.

    Sam created http://www.Trademe.co.nz an internet auction site for New Zealanders. The website is New Zealands most visited website and has over 2 million active members, thats over half the population of NZ. He sold the company a few years ago for 700 million NZ dollars. New Zealand is one of the few countries that ebay did not succeed in.

    Here is an article about him: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entrepreneurship/news

    I imagine it could be difficult to get an interview with him but defiantly worth the effort if you do.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    I love their work. Thanks for the suggestion! I'll reach out to them. (Let
    me know if you know them directly and can make an introduction.)

    I appreciate this suggestion Roberto. Thanks!

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    I interviewed him on stage at a conference about communities. Like you said,
    he's a very level headed and savvy guy.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Thanks Randy. I just sent an email to Ben Kuo asking for Scott's email
    address. I've talked to Scott a few times, but can't find his contact info
    for some reason.

    I appreciate this suggestion. Thank you.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Andy, this is one of the most helpful comments I've ever gotten. I love this
    kind of input.

    I feel like I can read stories about successful entrepreneurs all day, but
    you're right that it's not enough to get other excited. I'll need to look
    for a compelling angle here.

    Thank you.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Thanks for this list. It's very helpful.

    I just talked to Gary Vee's brother. He's going to come on Mixergy in a
    couple of weeks. Great suggestion!

    I'll reach out to some of the other entrepreneurs on this list. And of
    course, if anyone reading this can help with a connection, I'd appreciate
    it.

    Thank you for this.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    I've been thinking of doing a few stories of failed companies. Great
    suggestion. I'll hunt some of those down!

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Thank you. I think Aaron and I have a friend in common. I'll ask for the
    introduction.

    Jeff Bezos might be harder. I'll see what I can do.

    Thanks!

  • http://how2livelife.blogspot.com/ NewWorldOrder

    Peldi Guilizzoni (Balsamiq)
    Jason Fried & DHH (37Signals — I state both b/c Jason started it, and DHH joined later)
    Marc Andreessen
    Reid Hoffman (and anybody else from the “Paypal Mafia”)
    Michael Arrington (say what you will about the guy, he created a pretty powerful blog & brand with TechCrunch)

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Great suggestion Matt. And it helps me with a big issue on Mixergy: not
    enough entrepreneurs from outside the US.

    I'll see what I can do. I don't know many people in NZ. Maybe someone
    reading the comments on Mixergy can help.

    Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/matejj Matej

    I would definitely like to listen someone from http://napkinnights.com/

  • JenniferCabala

    It's so funny Andrew, I was thinking exactly what Andy said. When I downloaded the interviews, I put them in theme playlists for my I-pod. Separating it out into blogging, marketing, social media, nomading. . . There are some recurring themes in the stories. It would be great to take their best tips, and flush them out with a little story on how the best in the business utilized those techniques to become great.

  • http://www.kontacs.com/ Gary Dhaliwal

    Forward or first chapter should definetly be about yourself, get into as much detail as you get the interviewees get into..

  • skotzko

    Andrew,

    Been a Mixergy fan for a few weeks now, love what you're doing, especially as a young would-be SoCal entrepreneur.

    I would love to hear more of the story behind 37Signals (Basecamp, Highrise, etc.) and Automattic/Wordpress created by Matt Mullenweg.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Skotzko

  • http://www.aboutresultsmarketing.com/ David – LA Internet Marketing

    LOL, Seconded

  • http://www.pharmahelper.com/ PiarasM

    I would love to see you interview Max Levchin, co founder of Paypal and founder of Slide. He also had his hand in setting Yelp up. The guy is an inspiration.

  • josemariagil

    Thanks to you Andrew! As you know I love the idea of the book, but I also agree with Andy, you have to give it a different angle. You have to make it the “purple cow” of the entrepreneurs stories book (which is tough). I would love to help you in any other way with the book, so, if I can do something just let me know.

  • http://www.romrack.wordpress.com/ Roman Rackwitz

    I would suggest to interview Chris Anderson as the Curator of TED. TED became an incredible institution for smart, intelligent, crazy and effevtive people. The most of his guests during a TED event would be great as guests at your 'show' as well. So, both of you are responsible for interesting new thoughts that are inspiring a lot of people all over the world. I think an interview between both of you (perhaps both ask and respond) would match.
    Thanks for the great support with every single post. It's valuable in Germany as well. Bye, Roman

  • Krzysztof Dró?d?

    Hey,
    maybe you could interview someone from envato.com. They're not so big now, but they're growing really fast and providing really good content.

    Another interesting person is Joel Spolsky and his last child StackOverflow.com. It's fantastic, that you get answer in a couple of minutes and it is a real answer (not that bull* you get on forums and GoogleGroups).

  • kareem

    +1 for envato (collis is also nomadic) and spolsky or jeff atwood re: stackoverflow. SO launched 9m ago and is already doing 3.5M monthly visitors.

    Chris Anderson RE: TED would be excellent – i know *so* many people who've been affected by TED talks. he's really helped build an incredible platform for raising awareness about all the amazing things people are doing in this world! plus IIRC they're a non-profit so that's an interesting angle too.

    Also, Charlie Munger and Richard Branson would be awesome :)

  • http://www.gotorque.com/ George

    Hi Andrew,
    I think Markus Frind, founder of PlentyOfFish.com would be a great interview. He built a site that is changing the Dating site concept. I'm interested in his marketing methods.
    Thank You

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Great suggestion George. A reader who I've become good friends with is
    making the introduction. I'm looking forward to that interview.

    Andrew Warner
    (sent from my mobile)

  • http://netzoo.net Andy Sternberg

    aim high! Marc Andreesen… Richard Branson… Rupert Murdoch

  • tkstohlman

    Hi Andrew –

    You are about leaving a legacy with Mixergy. Why don't you interview people who are successful in business AND who are giving back and leaving a legacy? Here's a good person with which to start:

    Truett Cathy – Founder of Chick-fil-A

    Let me know if I can help. You are doing a killer job!

  • Michael_Schaecher

    Pete Cashmore – I would love to know how a 23 year old built one of the worlds most popular and successful tech blogs in the world.

    Paul Graham – Enough said.

  • http://www.KATG.com/ Chemda

    Me! I should be in your book!

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Great suggestion!

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    I would especially love to interview Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn. I wonder how I could meet him.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    I don't know anything about napkinnights.com. My first impression is that they seem too small, but I'll check them out. Thanks Matej.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    I agree, but I think that needs to be the second book. I've never written a book before, so I want to be careful not to take on more than I'm ready for.

    But the second book will take a single subject and show how a mix of entrepreneurs tackled it. It might be how they built a tribe online or how they found a business model that charged or something similar.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Thanks for offering Chemda. I love your story.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    I'd love to interview both. I know Pete Cashmore, so I'll email him a request. For Paul Graham, I'll reach out to one of the guys he funded and ask for an intro.

    Great suggestions.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Yeah. I'll add my own story to the book. It would be unfair to ask others to be open about their companies but hide what we did @ B&R.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Someone who worked at WordPress reached out to me and offered to help with the site. I'll ask him for an intro to Matt. You're dead on about him.

    I was going to interview Jason from 37signals again, but I realized that he's already in Founder At Work. I don't want to duplicate that book's work. Stinks, because I love their story.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Thanks. I'd love to get him on Mixergy. I think his PayPal story was already covered in two books though: Founder at Work & Once You're Lucky.

    If you're looking for books to read, those are both inspiring.

  • MatejJ

    I dunno Andrew, maybe you're right, I'm not exactly from US to know which site is the biggest one out there about clubbing, night life … They seem interesting, and most of people referred me from Twitter when I was asking.

    What I want to listen is how to build community around sites like these, how to promote clubs, collect guest lists, make money, arrangements with clubs … There's a healthy dose of offline work as well so I believe it should be interesting to learn more about that side as well. During your interviews with social sites like Reddit, SitePoint … there wasn't much talk about community aspect, how to build first user base. Isn't that the hardest part …

  • JenniferCabala

    I get it Andrew. You always learn so much from a first attempt at anything. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

  • Dennis Mancini

    Blatant self promotion here. Last Fall I wrote a 40 page chapter for Cisco Press on Web 2.0, focused on Second Life. I never submitted the final draft because I couldn't agree with the 'Web 1.0' terms in the contract. That being said I have been writing on the Cisco Blog about several big things coming to the web such as The Internet of Things and the Spime Design Workshops. Hopefully giving some insight how new disruptive 100 billion dollar market may impact us in the future. You might be interested in seeing what I have had to say so far.

    I think your Website is terrific and can completely relate to your guest. Having grown up in a family who has started several businesses. One of the best known in Northern California is Mancini's Sleep World, which my brother Randy now owns.

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  • Krzysztof Dró?d?

    Another interesting person is Gary Vaynerchuk from Winelibrary.

  • daniellicht

    Interview Matt Mullenweg!!

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  • hajrice

    Hi Andrew I've been enjoying your site for two months now. I'm raising a startup of my own and would love to tell you who I think would be good as an interviewee:
    Neil Patel – I find him very resourceful not only on brand building but on how he made his startup successful.

    Thanks and best wishes,
    Emil Hajric.

  • http://mixergy.com AndrewWarner

    Good suggestion. So good in fact that I anticipated it and already had
    him on Mixergy. I'm on my mobile now so I can't link you to it, but
    you can search for his name on the Mixergy search bar. Let me know if
    you can't find him.

    And now that we discovered how alike we think, keep you suggestions
    coming.

    Andrew Warner
    (sent from my mobile)

  • chrisleis

    A compelling angle maybe: “Learn from great successes how to invent+build the next big thing”

  • http://cnlifeasitis.com Chung Nguyen-Le

    Hiya Andrew

    Not so much suggestions on who to interview, but more of a suggestion on a format for the book.

    My personal thoughts would be for the book to take a different route, than to being the same information which can already be found on the website, albeit in a little more detail.

    Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely business, as not many people understand us and our motivations. Mixergy makes it less 'lonely' by making other entreprenuers feel close and accessible.

    So personally, I think rather than showcasing successful companies, it could focus on the people.

    A book which I can imagine working, is a book made up of lots of little segments, each segment profiling a different entrepreneur. It could start with a powerful quote, background to the person, startup history of that person, major difficulties etc. It could then end the profile, by summarising their 'tips for success'.

    How the book could be used? Almost like a wiki of fantastic entreprenuers – in a book proud to stand on any bookshelf.

    Sorry for such a long comment here, but let me know if you like the idea, I could whip up an example profile and email it to you.

    :)

  • http://cnlifeasitis.com Chung Nguyen-Le

    Hiya Andrew

    Not so much suggestions on who to interview, but more of a suggestion on a format for the book.

    My personal thoughts would be for the book to take a different route, than to being the same information which can already be found on the website, albeit in a little more detail.

    Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely business, as not many people understand us and our motivations. Mixergy makes it less 'lonely' by making other entreprenuers feel close and accessible.

    So personally, I think rather than showcasing successful companies, it could focus on the people.

    A book which I can imagine working, is a book made up of lots of little segments, each segment profiling a different entrepreneur. It could start with a powerful quote, background to the person, startup history of that person, major difficulties etc. It could then end the profile, by summarising their 'tips for success'.

    How the book could be used? Almost like a wiki of fantastic entreprenuers – in a book proud to stand on any bookshelf.

    Plus it makes great bedtime reading, as the thought we go to sleep on, as those fantastic quotes, tips and advice, would work their magic during sleep – so next morning we probably wake up buzzing and charged to take on the world lol

    Sorry for such a long comment here, but let me know if you like the idea, I could whip up an example profile and email it to you.

    :)

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