How I Did It

Personal and sometimes emotional entrepreneur stories.

'Why Did I Stay In When Everything Was Pointing Me to Get Out?'

Stephen McDonnell, founder of Applegate, an organic meat producer, explains what happened after the original bacon smokehouse he bought burned down in 1988.

'Go Spend $2 Million as Fast as You Can'

Serial entrepreneur Frank Addante knew everything at his latest venture, the Rubicon Project, must scale from the very start.

ZocDoc's Cyrus Massoumi: 'I Was Not Exuding Huge Amounts of Confidence'

On one day Cyrus Massoumi went door-to-door hawking ZocDoc, the doctor-appointment scheduling site, security guards kicked him out.

'A Company That Starts in Crisis Gets a Head Start'

GoodData founder Roman Stanek explains what happened when he started to seek financing on September 15, 2008, the same day Lehman Brothers collapsed.

Yelp's Jeremy Stoppelman: 'What the Hell Am I Doing?'

When Yelp launched in 2004, Jeremy Stoppelman and his co-founder thought they were super geniuses. But the site flopped.

How John Borthwick Tries to Reinvent Digg

Earlier this year, John Borthwick's Betaworks acquired the lagging social news website Digg. Here he talks about how Digg became a start-up again.

Ray Kurzweil: 'Users Should Be Passionately Involved in Every Stage of an Invention'

Inventor Ray Kurzweil talks about how he created the first print-to-speech reading machine so blind people would use it. Also an author, Kurzweil's most recent book, How to Create a Mind, was published in November.

How Rick Smolan Launched His A Day in the Life Photo Books

If not for Australia's then Prime Minister, and an open approach to sponsors, photographer Rick Smolan may not have started the $100 million photo book series.

Atavist Almost Pulled the Plug Before It Raised Money From Eric Schmidt & IAC

Atavist CEO and editor Evan Ratliff explains how Atavist navigated the early years.

'We Made a Product Nobody Wanted'

After buying Excel Dryer, entrepreneur Denis Gagnon realized he had to build a better product. The company spent three years (and almost went bankrupt) creating this new product that would save the company.

How Education Entrepreneur Chris Whittle Disproved Skeptics

The same guy who created Channel One and Philadelphia's Edison Schools has a new obsession: a global private school he calls Avenues.

When Gangsters Tried to Extort Brooklyn Brewery

Steve Hindy wanted to avoid corrupt business dealings. But he was tested as construction wrapped up on his Brooklyn Brewery.

How Brooklyn Bowl's Founder Took Over the Capitol Theater

Peter Shapiro negotiated for two years to land the lease to the Port Chester, New York-theater famous for Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Pink Floyd concerts.

Long Before the IPO: Shutterstock's Formative Decision

To sustain a business, Shutterstock CEO Jon Oringer had to balance his price for photos with his payment to photographers.

How I Did It: Stephen McDonnell of Applegate Farms

Stephen McDonnell took a tiny smokehouse and turned it into a $200 million meat company. Co-Founder: 'I Wanted to Transfer Empathy Directly to the Engineers'

How Paul English motivates the programmers at his travel site to respond to customer complaints.

OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter: 'We Agonized & Overthought It'

In 2010, OMGPOP had a million loyal users playing games on its website. But it had to go after Facebook to make a huge hit.

'As Soon As the Site Is Down, Nothing Matters'

Last year, hackers took down music distribution site SoundCloud for 36 hours. Co-founder Alex Ljung explains how SoundCloud responded to millions of infuriated users.

How I Did It: John Bogle of the Vanguard Group

"Saint Jack" picked a fight with an industry--and created a mutual fund powerhouse.

Entrepreneur Ben Lerer: 'I Realized I Had Been Going to Work the Wrong Way'

When his father, Ken Lerer, sold The Huffington Post, Ben Lerer realized it's not all about the exit.

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