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How I Did It

Personal and sometimes emotional entrepreneur stories.

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.

Too Sexy? 'No VC Wanted to Touch Me With a Barge Pole'

Cindy Gallop, founder of MakeLoveNotPorn, explains how every obstacle she encounters only proves why she must launch her "real-world" sex sites.

Path co-founder Dave Morin: 'Why Are We Doing This?'

Adoption was slow when Path--now a fast-growing mobile social network--first launched. Here's how it turned around.

When Joe Bastianich Bet It All on Babbo

Restaurateur Joe Bastianich and his business partner, chef Mario Batali, took on a massive debt before their first restaurant together--they now have 23--took off.

Risky Business: How the Arab Spring Changed an Investigations Firm

The protests in the Middle East tested Jeremy Kroll, son of investigations entrepreneur Jules Kroll, and his expansion of K2 Intelligence into the region.

Hacker Alert: When You Know It's Time to Hire Employees

Anthony Casalena's Squarespace was a one-man operation when, late one Friday night, hackers shut down thousands of sites the company hosted.

'Freaking Out': What Happened the Day Joe Cohen Launched Lore

First-time entrepreneur Joe Cohen talks about what to do when Launch Day inevitably doesn't go according to plan.

How Thrillist Co-Founder Adam Rich Learned to Cope With Highs and Lows

First-time entrepreneur Adam Rich describes a time when leading Thrillist, his men's lifestyle site, seemed too emotionally fraught to sustain.

When to Say Goodbye to a Founding Partner

Pressured to grow, AfterCollege CEO Robert Angulo chose his company over friendship.

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