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Blurb CEO Eileen Gittins started her own publishing company, giving individuals the power to self-publish books.
Blurb 4,829.6% Three-Year Growth Revenue: $45 Million Employees: 68 CEO: Eileen Gittins Founded: 2005 Overall RANK: No. 47 San Francisco blurb.com
In 2003, having led two tech companies to acquisitions, Eileen Gittins was doing some consulting and pursuing what she calls a self-assignment, which was to photograph entrepreneurs from the Internet boom. She wanted to turn her photos into a book to give to her subjects, but couldn't find a press that would print only 40 copies at a reasonable rate. So Gittins decided to build one: an Internet-powered, geographically distributed press that would turn digital photo albums and blogs into beautiful books. It took a year to find investors willing to buy in. 'We were putting digital assets back into analog,' she says. 'To most people, it looked like I had two heads.' Once Blurb's service launched in 2006, however, the company quickly grew, and it became profitable after two years. Last year, the company published 350,000 titles.
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