Designer Founders is a book series of interviews exploring the path designers take to create tech startups like Pinterest, AirBnB, and Kickstarter. Our goal is for every design student in the world to be able to read these interviews for free and find inspiration in role models who’ve demystified the path from designer to founder.

Why are we doing this and why should you care?

We hope these firsthand stories will inspire the next generation of designers to create tech startups with positive social impact.

Building and leading companies should become a regular part of what being a designer can mean. This book exemplifies what’s missing from more traditional design curriculum and role models.

Now, more than ever, we face complex problems that designers are uniquely capable to solve by integrating technology, business and human values. No longer can design just be an outsourced add on, limited to putting “lipstick on a pig.”

As the tech space becomes more crowded, one of the key ways a companies can differentiate themselves is through design. Therefore, we believe design should be part of the DNA of companies from the beginning. Designer founders are needed to champion the user experience and create a company culture that fosters design innovation for the long run.

Finally, we imagine a future where more designers are taking the path of entrepreneurship. And when they do, these designers work on the world’s most meaningful problems in spaces like education, energy and the environment, food and health. This book series is just the first step in generating more awareness about designer founders.

How are we creating the Designer Founders book series?

This isn’t a how-to guide or an instructional manual with any top ten tips. This is a book series of personal conversations, recorded live and published with minimal editing, filled with humble stories we can all empathize with. We are grateful to all of our interviewees for opening up and hope you walk away filled with confidence to create your own story.

How you can help?

We’re particularly interested in creative ideas that help us finance getting our book to design students all over the world. Consider helping by:

  • Sponsoring our Designer Founders to speak at schools, companies and workshops
  • Integrating our book into class curriculum at schools
  • Buy the book series for your whole company or team
  • Suggesting designers we should include in our future book editions


About the team

The Designer Founders Book Team is a collaboration of volunteers.

Contact the team

Want to get involved? Suggest a designer we should interview? Interested in a speaking engagement, partnership or sponsorship? Contact us using the form on the right and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.