© 2020

Startups in Action

The Critical Year One Choices That Built Etsy, HotelTonight, Fiverr, and More


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. JP Silva
    Pages 1-12
  3. JP Silva
    Pages 13-24
  4. JP Silva
    Pages 25-40
  5. JP Silva
    Pages 41-56
  6. JP Silva
    Pages 57-71
  7. JP Silva
    Pages 73-84
  8. JP Silva
    Pages 85-97
  9. JP Silva
    Pages 99-109
  10. JP Silva
    Pages 111-121
  11. JP Silva
    Pages 123-133
  12. JP Silva
    Pages 135-138
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 139-141

About this book


The growing pains of a startup’s initial year in business require a keen awareness of uncertainties and a willingness to adapt in order to survive. Today’s new founders greatly benefit from taking a behind-the-scenes look at successful companies such as Etsy, HotelTonight, Fiverr, and more in regards to how they overcame the challenges of their first year. Startups in Action is your curated source for critical insights and inspiration from those who have been there before.

This book documents the month-to-month journeys of these companies in their first year, zeroing in on key decisions that helped them recover from missteps, and adapt to complications, to eventually grow and succeed. Were the founders full-time from the beginning? How long did it take them to build a working prototype? How many end-users did they have in the first year? The answers to these questions are of interest to those who are just starting out and want to learn by example. Collected from interviews with the founders themselves, author JP Silva answers these questions and reveals how each of the startups charted their paths to success. Startups in Action is equal parts inspirational and practical, providing guidance through a foundation of relatability to help cope with situations and surprises experienced during a startup’s first year.

Startup discourse is rife with myths and oversimplification. Cut through the noise and learn the events, actions, and counteractions only attainable from the founders themselves. As more and more aspiring entrepreneurs are about to start their journeys, the value of knowledge about difficult choices and obstacles that companies face in their first year is critical. With Startups in Action, you will benefit from the invaluable knowledge of experience and be prepared to face the challenges of building a successful startup.


High-growth startups technology founders entrepreneurship Despegar Shazam StubHub PlentyOfFish Etsy SlideShare Heroku Yammer Fiverr HotelTonight

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.TorontoCanada

About the authors

JP Silva is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. He has a PhD from the University of Cambridge, where he spent several years researching the development of several technology startups based in the UK and the US. When he is not learning from successful technology startup founders, you can find him working with early stage entrepreneurs, another of his strongest passions.

Bibliographic information