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

Posted on Jun 15, 2009 - 7:00 AM PST

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://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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