Book: Hot Seat

hot seat - dan shapiroI’ve been talking to Dan online for a while now, mostly about women in tech stuff, and I have frequently thought that he (being a 4x startup CEO, and having made this really cool game) is the kind of person who I could get a lot of useful advice from… if I knew what to ask.

Thing is, I didn’t know what to ask. So I had this vague idea that eventually I would stop by Seattle again, grab coffee and hopefully pick up a bunch of insight.

But thankfully he wrote a book! And sent me a preview copy! So now I don’t need to go to Seattle. Because it contained all the wisdom and answers to questions that I didn’t know to ask.

So the book is Hot Seat (Amazon). And it’s about being a startup CEO, although I think it’s useful for anyone who wants to understand what goes on in the startup world, or who works at a startup.

It’s really good. So good that I read it in a 6 point font (PDFs on Kindle – ai!) in about a week. It’s full of information – like what is a cap table? Where should you incorporate? (DELAWARE) What is convertable debt? What does a CEO actually do? Most of all it is full of stories, some of them Dan’s, some about other people. And, I love this, many of these stories are about women.

I loved the Hard Thing About Hard Things (Amazon) [my review], and noticed the effort that was gone to to use “she” throughout, but also noticed that almost no women featured in the book, and then not in a professional context (e.g. he writes a bit about his wife). Dan included some wisdom from his mom about communicating (and it’s really good) but also a ton of stories of female founders, and co-founders, and CTOs, doing their thing and being awesome.

Finally, masterful use of footnotes. I was so inspired by this that I have actually started using them.

The best book I have read in quite some time, I totally recommend it, and you should absolutely buy it and read it. Unless you’re on the long list of people I have made a note to buy it for…


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