Welcome to Inc.'s Founders Project With Alexa Von Tobel podcast--where we bring you stories of the entrepreneurs building the future. Each week, we dig into a founder's professional playbook, figure out what makes them tick, and uncover tales of guts, inspiration, and drive that define the people and companies at the forefront of technology. Here's this week's episode: 

How to Foster Curiosity with Aghi Marietti of Kong

API requests represent an astounding 83 percent of all web traffic, and Kong on a mission to power these connections. Founded in 2017 by Augusto "Aghi" Marietti and Marco Palladino, Kong's open source API platform has been downloaded more than 220 million times. Marietti and Palladino started out in a garage in Italy and moved to Silicon Valley to pursue their dream, crashing with friends like Travis Kalanick of Uber and Brian Chesky of Airbnb. Now, Kong has raised $171 million and was recently named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies. Marietti shares why a successful startup requires a "good wave, a good surfboard, and a good surfer," how acting as VP of sales for a few quarters taught him empathy, and why seeing the early days of Airbnb made him prioritize design and community.