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Publisher's Summary

Super Founders uses a data-driven approach to understand what really differentiates billion-dollar start-ups from the rest - revealing that nearly everything we thought was true about them is false!

Ali Tamaseb has spent thousands of hours manually amassing what may be the largest dataset ever collected on start-ups, comparing billion-dollar start-ups with those that failed to become one - 30,000 data points on nearly every factor: number of competitors, market size, the founder’s age, his or her university’s ranking, quality of investors, fundraising time, and many, many more. And what he found looked far different than expected. Just to mention a few: 

  • Most unicorn founders had no industry experience
  • There's no disadvantage to being a solo founder or to being a nontechnical CEO
  • Less than 15 percent went through any kind of accelerator program
  • Over half had strong competitors when starting - being first to market with an idea does not actually matter

You will also hear the stories of the early days of billion-dollar start-ups firsthand. The book includes exclusive interviews with the founders/investors of Zoom, Instacart, PayPal, Nest, Github, Flatiron Health, Kite Pharma, Facebook, Stripe, Airbnb, YouTube, LinkedIn, Lyft, DoorDash, Coinbase, and Square, venture capital investors like Elad Gil, Peter Thiel, Alfred Lin from Sequoia Capital and Keith Rabois of Founders Fund, as well as previously untold stories about the early days of ByteDance (TikTok), WhatsApp, Dropbox, Discord, DiDi, Flipkart, Instagram, Careem, Peloton, and SpaceX.

Packed with counterintuitive insights and inside stories from people who have built massively successful companies, Super Founders is a paradigm-shifting and actionable guide for entrepreneurs, investors, and anyone interested in what makes a start-up successful. 

©2021 Ali Tamaseb (P)2021 PublicAffairs

Critic Reviews

“This is perhaps one of the most comprehensive and well researched studies by an insightful venture capitalist ever done on startups and investments. I highly recommend it to all MBA and business students as well as everyone interested in startups and venture capital.” (Ilya Strebulaev, Professor of Finance, Stanford Graduate School of Business)

"Super Founders dissects startups from every single angle, just like the best investors do. It provides an unparalleled lens for angel investors, VCs, and startup founders to analyze startups, and includes riveting exclusive interviews for anyone interested in understanding how billion-dollar companies happen." (Keith Rabois, general partner at Founders Fund, investor in YouTube, Airbnb, Palantir, Lyft, Yelp, and LinkedIn)

"Ali debunks myths and misconceptions of great founders. His work encourages us to play our own game on our way to becoming the next Super Founder." (Alfred Lin, Partner at Sequoia Capital, investor in Airbnb, DoorDash, Houzz, and more)

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What listeners say about Super Founders

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Helping to build the next gen of Super Founders

Excellent study based on quantitative and objective analyses. Highly recommended for entrepreneurs, especially the entrepreneurs that have reached that first exit of 10 million in valuation or annual revenue to drive them to the next level. Useful stories from a wide variety of super founders.

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Excellent book -

I enjoyed learning from what the data shows about building great companies. This book will help founders, investors and venture builders.

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wow!

Great book. I highly recommend it. I will listen to this book over and over.

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review

cool concept for a book what the content was sub par. felt the delivery was a bit boring and the content not very revealing of anything I would actually be looking for.

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Great Read for Aspiring Founders

As an aspiring startup founder, I found this book to contain a lot of great, applicable information and inspiring stories, especially the last chapter where you learn what to focus on when pitching to VCs.

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Summation of various insights

This book is not so much about super founders as an overview of the current investment market. Many of the insights have been known for several years. Does not touch on founder birth order, or VC follow on funding impact or hiring culture at the growth phase.

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Refreshingly current and worthy of a second read

Great facts, real stories and 2021 publish date makes a relevant read for anyone with an idea or business who wishes to shoot for that billion dollar unicorn status.

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Insightful!

Tamaseb presents a number of original and helpful insights about the characteristics of startup founders who built billion dollar businesses. The findings are based on an extensive data set but elucidated by the stories of individual Super Founders and Super Investors that Tamaseb personally interviewed.

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Phenomenal

The interviews with the super founders are so in-depth, and the knowledge shared is priceless. Love it. Would recommend it to any entrepreneur.

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A clear-eyed analysis of the data around founding unicorn startups

If you intend to found a startup, and you're worried about whether you are too old, have appropriate industry experience etc., read this book. It conclusively demonstrates that most of our preconceptions about the founding a successful startups are incorrect.

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  • edanesh
  • 08-15-21

highly recommended!

Super Founders by Ali Tamaseb is truly a fantastic myth-buster about unicorn startups...the audiobook is well narrated and enjoyable too.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-23-21

Great book

Highly recommended read.
Informative and helpful, especially the sections with interviews from various founders. Excellent.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-15-21

Alexis review

Get it! Read it! Study it! If you are involved in any way in a tech startup or other, this is your resource for pure facts and knowledge on all aspects. This book changes the game! And puts you in it!