My reading philosophy (if such a thing can exist) is to try and get a single idea from a book that could help me. Whenever I able to do that from a book, I feel justified in having spent the time to read it. “The Launch Pad” is not a book where I have struggled to find ideas that can help me. I have been riveted to listening to the audible version for the last week while exercising.
The thought that has kept circling in my thoughts since one of the early chapter is: “Software is eating the world”, this was referenced in the book after an article by Marc Andreessen appeared in the Wall Street Journal in August 2011. The book gives a wonderful account of the start-ups that goes through Y Combinator’s summer class of 2011. And many of the start-ups seem to be proof of the idea that software is eating the world.
Randall Stross had the privilege of being invited to the inside of what otherwise seems to be a programme run mostly behind closed doors to the outside world. In Paul Graham, Y Combinator has its own inspiration founder and leader. Stross provides great insight into how Graham interviews, interacts, helps as well as get frustrated in dealing with the start-up founders.
I have really looked forward to every time I could get on the exercise bike to listen to more of this amazing story. I have found it hugely insightful and motivating. What amazed me is that the ideas don’t start out as being the next Facebook, twitter or the like. But target specific niches and then with help from Graham seems to grow and evolve into bigger ideas.
This was a great read (or listen in my case), and is really well worth the time needed to follow it from cover to cover. Make sure you get it and read it if you have any interest in the start-up ecosystem.
And remember: “Software is eating the world” in a great and exciting way – not a doomsday movie type of way.