How I Did It

Personal and sometimes emotional entrepreneur stories.

The Story of a Social Media Disrupter: 2 Hackathons, a SXSW Conference, and the Boston Marathon Bombing

Damien Patton, founder of Banjo, explains the series of events that led him to create a social media software that knows what is happening all over the world--immediately.

How Chocolatier Jacques Torres Doubled His Business to $10 Million in One Year

Jacques Torres, the founder of Jacques Torres Chocolate, talks about how he opened a 40,000-square-foot chocolate-making facility and quickly expanded his business.

How Beating Cancer Inspired This Entrepreneur to Launch a Company

Marty Weintraub was a digital marketing executive when he was diagnosed with stage three Hodgkin's lymphoma. He beat the disease, and launched his own agency.

How a Hacking Stunt at the Academy Awards Launched a Mobile-Security Startup

John Hering and his friends discovered a security vulnerability in early bluetooth technology in 2004. They proved what kind of mobile device breach was possible at the 2005 Academy Awards--and turned the concept into a company called Lookout.

How a $3 Million Rebranding Campaign Changed a 40-Year-Old Music Company

In 2012, third-generation CEO Jim D'Addario hired a branding agency to create new packaging for D'Addario guitar strings. But the firm suggested an overhaul of the entire D'Addario brand.

How This Entrepreneur Found Inspiration in Living Through a War

After enduring the front lines of the Bosnian War, Aleksandra Scepanovic moved to America and created a thriving real estate business that is reviving some dilapidated parts of Brooklyn.

Why Gina Bianchini Keeps Creating Social Network Startups

After she co-founded and led Ning, Gina Bianchini co-founded and continued iterating Mightybell, a new kind of specialized social networking company. Here's why.

How Ticketfly Raised Money During the Financial Crisis

When Andrew Dreskin, the first person to ever sell tickets online, co-founded Ticketfly, he thought raising money was going to be easy--until the financial crisis hit.

After 'Survivor' Star Brendan Synnott Sold Bear Naked in 2007 for $80 Million, He Was Depressed

It took Brendan Synnott years--and lots of convincing--to agree to sell Bear Naked, the granola company he co-founded, to Kellogg's. Even when he signed the deal, he was still coming around to the idea.

Sub-Zero Almost Lost It All--Until It Expanded Beyond Refrigerators

Jim Bakke became the third-generation CEO of Sub-Zero in the early 1990s, amidst a recession and new, aggressive competition. Here's how he turned the company around.

Founders Brewing Company Almost Went Bankrupt But Bounced Back

Mike Stevens describes the desperate pivot that saved the beer company.

How to Be Entrepreneurial at a Multigenerational Family Business

When Omaha Steaks was passed down to Todd Simon and his cousin Bruce, they realized that it was their responsibility to grow the brand. Here's what they did.

How Julia Hartz Made Eventbrite Strong Enough to--Literally--Weather a Storm

Julia Hartz explains how she grew Eventbrite to 450 employees and still maintained a family-like company culture.

How Upworthy Grew to 50 Million Readers

Eli Pariser co-founded Upworthy to take content about social issues viral. Along the way, even he wondered if Americans would be interested.

What Really Happened After Tequila Avion Appeared on HBO's "Entourage"

Ken Austin thought that landing his spirits brand Tequila Avion a part of the story line on HBO's "Entourage" would instantly accelerate the business. Turns out, it was a little more complicated.

How I Did It: Bre Pettis of MakerBot

In less than five years, Bre Pettis grew MakerBot into a $400 million company and sparked a 3-D printing revolution.

What Happened After the September 11 Attacks Destroyed Century 21's Flagship Store

Eddie Gindi, Century 21's executive vice president, tells the emotional story of their decision to rebuild in midst of uncertainty and fear.

How Lyft Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Pivot

John Zimmer explains how he turned his fledgling campus carpool service into Lyft.

Barnana CEO: 'We Weren't Ready to Launch, But We Had to'

Caue Suplicy spent all his savings developing Barnana snacks. Here's how he just avoided going broke.

Inkling CEO: 'We Had to Make the Decision to Win Big'

After five years growing an e-textbook business, Inkling founder Matt MacInnis decided to pivot and pursue an entirely different business model. Here's why.

How I Did It: Inc.'s 35th Anniversary Edition

Michael Dell, Diane von Furstenberg, Richard Branson, and 13 other legendary entrepreneurs offer their insights and personal stories

How Diane Von Furstenberg Persevered to Build a Fashion Legacy

DVF founder shares her advice for entrepreneurs: Stay true to yourself.

The CEO's Most Important Job, According to Panera's Ron Shaich

A great CEO values 'discovery,' says founder Ron Shaich--not becoming more efficient.

Dany Levy: What It Feels Like to Cash Out--Then Watch Your Company Die

DailyCandy founder Dany Levy sold at the peak of the market. But now the company is no more.

ModCloth Founders on Their Biggest Blind Spot

Eric and Susan Gregg Koger carefully weighed nearly every decision. Except one.

An Entrepreneur At Heart, Debbi Fields Misses Running the Show

After selling Mrs. Fields, founder Debbi Fields learned to deal with the entrepreneurial version of empty-nest syndrome.

Staples' Tom Stemberg Advises Businesses to Avoid the 'Amazon Effect'

Now a VC investor, Tom Stemberg has a warning for entrepreneurs thinking about competing with Amazon.

Patagonia's 100-Year Plan: Yvon Chouinard to Elevate Social Mission

After a recession nearly killed Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard decided to build the company to last.

The Princeton Review's John Katzman On The One Thing He Did Right (And What He Did Wrong)

John Katzman reflects on his best and worst moves in the early days of his first startup.

Tony Hsieh Tells Competitors What They Should and Shouldn't Take From Zappo's Company Culture

Culture is important, says Zappos founder Tony Hsieh. But make it your own.

Why Samuel Adams Supports Its Competitors

Founder Jim Koch explains why he gives money, materials, and advice to other craft brewers.

Richard Branson on His Love/Hate Relationship With Government

What Virgin Group's founder has learned about working with regulators.

Ben Lerer: My Make or Break Decision

Thrillist co-founder Ben Lerer took a big risk by buying a company in a completely different industry.

Gordon Segal: My One-Page Business Book

Crate and Barrel founder Gordon Segal boils down his successful approach to retail.

Michael Dell: How I Became an Entrepreneur Again

Twenty-five years after Dell went public, Michael Dell took it private in 2013. Now, he aims to transform the business.

What Went Wrong After DailyCandy's $125 Million Sale

When Dany Levy sold her email newsletter DailyCandy to Comcast for $125 million, she thought she was fortifying the future of the company. This is what happened next.

How Jake Bronstein Got the Nerve to Start Flint and Tinder

Jake Bronstein, the founder of Flint and Tinder U.S.-made apparel, had nothing to lose by testing a product on Kickstarter. The response he got was overwhelming.

How Jason Fried Decided to Focus His Company on One Product

Jason Fried talks about why he got his whole team to work entirely on his flagship product, Basecamp, even if it meant abandoning some other great ideas.

The Entrepreneur Disrupting Wall Street

The story of how Brad Katsuyama--a former RBC trader featured in Michael Lewis' book Flash Boys--started his own stock exchange.

How Scott Borchetta Discovered Taylor Swift

Scott Borchetta, the founder of Big Machine Label Group, tells how he signed on Taylor Swift and launched his own country music record company.

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