Designer Founders is a book series that interviews designers about the path they took to create tech startups. Our first edition features the designers who founded Pinterest, Behance, fuseproject, Slideshare, and theicebreak.
Our goal is for designers around the world to find inspiration in role models who've taken the journey from designer to founder.
PDF, Kindle, Nook, and iPad versions available.
Meet a few of our Designer Founders in Book #1
“Work with really nice people whose goal it is to make things and not to take things. Because there are people out there who just want to take things.”
While in architecture school in 2009, Evan Sharp started Pinterest with two friends as a fun side project. He later left Facebook to lead the design and front-end engineering of Pinterest full time. Their website and mobile app enables users to collect and share their favorite images. In large part due to its simplicity and beautiful execution, Pinterest has quickly skyrocketed to success with more than 30 million users globally and a $1.5 billion valuation.Read this interview
“The work of design is not to skin stuff. It’s not to put a nice dumb box around whatever is inside. It’s the whole conception. Design should deliver the whole ecosystem.”
Yves Behar, an industrial designer from Switzerland, came to Silicon Valley during a time of immense technological innovation and had a front row seat at the subsequent dotcom bubble. Over the past decade, his design studio fuseproject has produced a remarkable track record of products and brands as diverse as the Herman Miller SAYL task chair, the XO laptop for One Laptop per Child, Jawbone and its line of headsets and Jambox, and recently Ouya and its video game console. Fuseproject has also pioneered a unique approach to working with startups through a design venture business model.Read this interview
“What I really fell in love with is doing design that has a purpose beyond just being pretty, something that could instruct people.”
Christina Brodbeck came to Silicon Valley determined to make her way in tech. With a master’s degree in instructional technologies and multimedia design, she worked her way up from a job at a bookstore to become a founding team member at YouTube. She was their first UI designer, responsible for the majority of the site’s early design, and then led YouTube’s mobile design. She has since co-founded theicebreak, an app and website that helps couples enjoy and make the most of their relationship.Read this interview
“I understand what’s possible with the technology so I can push the envelope. And I also understand what people want and how to use design to give them that.”
After growing up in India and earning a PhD in psychology, Rashmi Sinha went to UC Berkeley for a postdoc where she switched her focus to human-computer interaction. She then left academia to start her own user-experience consultancy and developed MindCanvas, a game-like tool for user research. Simultaneously, Rashmi and her husband built SlideShare, a site for people to share presentations online, in just six months. Since its launch in 2006, more than 9 million presentations have been uploaded to SlideShare, helping professionals connect through content. LinkedIn acquired SlideShare for over $100 million in 2012.Read this interview
Thank you to our supporters
This book is made possible through generous support by our sponsors and backers through Kickstarter.
The Designer Fund
Sponsor the Designer Founders Book Project.
Darius A. Monsef IV