The cofounder of Blip.tv started having panic attacks walking down the street. Tony Hsieh snoozed six times one morning because he hated working at the company he had created. Groupon was called “offensive” and “racist” for one of its commercials. Cheek’d lost $30,000 in sales because they forgot to store credit card information. These are the “harsh reality” stories you’ll find in Startup Mixology: Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, & Celebrating Startup Success .
“There are thousands of hopeful entrepreneurs with good ideas, but most of them don’t know where to start,” says author Frank Gruber. “And because they’re familiar with only the ‘overnight’ success stories the media highlights, these newbies jump into the startup game with unrealistic expectations and insufficient knowledge and often pay devastating consequences.”
David Cohen, cofounder of TechStars, says, “Tech startups are hyped up and glorified lately, and Startup Mixology gives us a reality check: This isn’t easy! The sections on what can go wrong help entrepreneurs avoid getting blindsided when reality doesn’t live up to fantasy.” In the book, you’ll hear about the early struggles, stumbles, bootstrapping, and breakthroughs of entrepreneurs like Hsieh of Zappos, Bre Pettis of MakerBot, Matt Mullenweg of WordPress, Laura Fitton of HubSpot, and many more. Amid the obstacles and uncertainty, you’ll also learn how entrepreneurs stay sane and motivated by celebrating positive moments along the way. Think cake baking, workations, and (Gruber’s favorite) llama parades.
Many of these stories come from entrepreneurs whom Gruber and his team at Tech Cocktail have met over the past eight years as they put on hundreds of events in over 40 cities. Gruber is a serial entrepreneur who left his job at AOL to pursue the startup dream and learned lots of lessons the hard way. As of today, Tech Cocktail has received $2.5 million in funding from Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project and has grown to a team of 13.
Frank Gruber grew up in the Midwest heartland and is an entrepreneur, new media journalist, and investor. His alma maters include Purdue and Northwestern respectively. He cofounded Tech Cocktail in 2006, which has grown into a hub for the creative class, offering tech startup-focused news, events, and resources. Frank has built and launched products for the masses while at AOL, Tribune, and Classified Ventures along with startup efforts like Thankfulfor, Splog Reporter, and more. As a journalist his works have been featured in a number of top media publications. He was named by Forbes as one of the most connected people in tech. Frank is also a venture partner with Crystal Tech Fund.