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Joel on Software

Founders at Work

by Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Jessica Livingston, a partner at Y Combinator, has just published a book of interviews with 32 high tech company founders called Founders at Work.

She posted a couple of chapters online, including the interview with me, which is probably the most complete story of the early days of Fog Creek Software in print.

“There's a bunch of people out there doing certain types of things and they seem to be pretty incompetent, but they're getting huge valuations. Surely if I did those same things, knowing that I am less incompetent—merely semi-incompetent as opposed to extremely incompetent—I should be able to achieve at least their level of success.”

I haven't read the book yet... still waiting for my copy to arrive from Amazon, which appears to be beyond semi-incompetent with regards to what "overnight shipping" might mean when you order something on Thursday. Check out the list of interviews, though: virtually everyone starting a high tech company will be all over this book like senators on cake.


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

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About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, insanely simple project management, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracker designed to help great teams develop brilliant software, and Kiln, which simplifies source control. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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