Books aren’t written in a vacuum. While the advice and ideas in this book are centered on my experience with Sifter, it was the countless conversations with other founders over the years that helped those ideas become fully-formed. Words can’t express my gratitude for what they’ve shared.
None of this would have ever happened if Keith Jacobs and Dan Benjamin hadn’t nudged me out of my comfort zone to try and build a business long before I felt ready. Similarly, Adam Keys, Wade Winningham, and Ryan Schwartz provided extensive education in running the technical operations of Sifter. Their patience while I learned on the job was incredible. When it came to valuing and selling the business, David Newell and FE International played a huge role as well. None of this experience and knowledge would have happened without these individuals.
Beyond building and running Sifter, I owe a huge thank you to JD Graffam for giving Sifter a good home when life led me in a different direction. Knowing that Sifter is in good hands makes it easier to sleep at night.
Beyond the people directly involved in Sifter, many of the topics in this book would have been half-baked if not for others with a belief in openness and a willingness to share their time and experience through formal and informal conversations over the years. They have helped both knowingly and unknowingly through their writing, Twitter streams, feedback, and conversations. As a sole founder, I’m grateful that these incredible people have contributed in their own way to help me share this knowledge.
I owe a debt of gratitude to Natalie Nagele, Chris Nagele, Amy Hoy, Thomas Fuchs, Joelle Goldman, Matt Goldman, Rachel Andrew, Tracy Osborn, Josh Williams, Nathan Barry, Ian Landsman, Courtland Allen, Ruben Gamez, Allan Branch, Richard Felix, Drew Wilson, Josh Pigford, Tyler Rooney, Giacomo (Peldi) Guilizzoni, Pat Allan, Anthony Eden, Mike Perham, Chris Coyier, James Deer, Nick Francis, Todd Garland, Dave Greiner, Matt Wigham, Jason Fried, and David Heinemeier Hansson.
If it wasn’t for the focused contributions from Nathaniel Talbott and Justin Benson of Spreedly, the payment processing chapter would be painfully less informative. And Jason Hoffman of Joyent offered insights that dramatically helped strengthen the chapter on servers and architecture.
I also want to explicitly acknowledge all Sifter’s customers who taught me more about the business and process of software development over my years running Sifter than I had learned in the entire decade of my career before Sifter. If you’ve ever been a customer of Sifter, thank you.
Finally, a huge thanks to those that had a role in bringing the book to life. Joelle Goldman contributed a couple of great chapters with her extensive knowledge of churn and dunning. Brad Frost helped show that writing a book in the open can work and pointed me in the direction of a great editor willing to work through Git. That brings us to editing. Owen Gregory was an incredible editor and really helped make the words work.
Thank you to everybody.