The Startup Playbook: Learn the Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups

According to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, more than 565,000 new businesses were created in 2010 in the United States alone. Only a tiny fraction of those startups will be successful, and even fewer will become a household name, like Zappos or LinkedIn. With odds like that, it’d be easy for potential entrepreneurs to shy away from taking the risk on their big idea.

David S. Kidder is a serial entrepreneur, co-author of the New York Times bestselling Intellectual Devotional books, and the recipient of the Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In other words, he’s a founder. He’s walked the hard road of starting a company and he knows the pitfalls others will encounter along the way.

In writing The Startup Playbook, he set out to create a playbook that founders could reference, something that collected the lessons he had learned along the way, but he also wanted to go beyond his own experiences. Kidder profiled 42 of today’s most influential founders, people like Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn, Tony Hsieh of Zappos, Sara Blakely of Spanx, and Elon Musk of Tesla Motors. All of the entrepreneurs share their playbooks for success, their best advice, and their visions for the future. Kidder distills this wealth of information into actionable tips and strategies, empowering the reader to react to unforeseen obstacles and overcome roadblocks.

The result is a must-have manual. The Startup Playbook is full of tips on leadership, talent management, building a culture, hiring, and more—sage advice that would benefit anyone at any stage in their careers, not just founders and CEOs.

Check out this excerpt from the book. In this section, Tony Hsieh shares his story of moving Zappos to Las Vegas.

The Startup Playbook goes on sale today nationwide. Learn more at

Alison Presley

I’m in charge of online strategy at the fabulous Chronicle Books. When not reading, marketing, writing, or thinking about books, I enjoy outdoor adventures. I eat more chocolate than is strictly advised.
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