Super Founders Book Summary - Super Founders Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Super Founders summary

Ali Tamaseb

What Data Reveals About Billion-Dollar Startups

4.5 (233 ratings)
18 mins
Table of Contents

    Super Founders
    Summary of 5 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 5

    Don’t let preconceptions and myths hold you back from your dreams.

    For most people, the idea of a successful startup is synonymous with the rise of Mark Zuckerberg, who started Facebook from his college dorm room. Or with Steve Jobs, who started Apple out of his garage. But these kinds of stories can also be discouraging to aspiring entrepreneurs  – who might think that maybe they’re not smart enough because they didn’t go to Harvard or that they’re already over-the-hill by age 25.

    So let’s clear up some misconceptions. 

    First off, Tamaseb’s data shows that age does not matter. The median age for billion-dollar founders was actually thirty-four. And there are countless success stories of unicorns run by older founders – Eric Yuan, for example, was forty-one when he founded Zoom.

    A second myth that needs busting is the superstition around the number of cofounders. In Silicon Valley, this notion has become so deep-seated that some venture capital firms will avoid investing in solo founders. The rationale being that having two minds is better than one and it helps divide the workload. But, according to Tamaseb, 20 percent of unicorns were founded by solo founders. And here’s another nugget: power struggles and arguments about vision are two common pitfalls of many startups – problems that don’t exist when there’s only one founder.

    Lastly, even though the founders of Facebook, Dell, Wordpress, Snapchat, and WhatsApp are all college dropouts, they’re actually in the minority. Among unicorn founders, 36 percent held a bachelor’s degree, 22 percent an MBA, and about 33 percent held some other advanced degree. Similarly, while many founders went to top notch schools – like Stanford, Harvard, and MIT – just as many graduated from schools that weren’t nationally ranked in the top 100. 

    So, ultimately, age, education, and number of cofounders are not predictors of a startup’s success.

    But one significant predictor of success that Tamaseb did find was that roughly 60 percent of unicorn founders had previously launched startups. Some of the reasons they were able to eventually achieve success is because their previous experience left them with industry contacts from which to find employees and investors to help get their startups off the ground. And, most importantly, they were more likely to have learned from their mistakes.

    Finally, a majority of unicorn founders were natural born builders. Even before college, they were already tinkering. For instance, back in high school, Mark Zuckerberg got together with his classmate Adam D’Angelo to build Synapse, a desktop music player. While they passed up an opportunity to sell the app, both men went on to great success – D’Angelo founded the billion dollar company Quora and Zuckerberg, as you know, launched Facebook.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Super Founders?

    Key ideas in Super Founders

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Super Founders about?

    Super Founders (2021) offers an in-depth analysis behind the success of billion-dollar startups. After crunching over 30,000 data points, it unravels the multitude of false notions surrounding tech unicorns and reveals what it really takes to make it in Silicon Valley. 

    Who should read Super Founders?

    • Investors seeking to sharpen their eye for opportunities
    • Entrepreneurs looking for actionable advice
    • Startup veterans hoping to learn from their mistakes

    About the Author

    Ali Tamaseb is a Silicon Valley VC veteran. His firm, DCVC, holds investments in more than ten startups valued at over a billion dollars. Tamaseb sits on multiple corporate boards and his work has appeared on BBC, TED, the Guardian, and Forbes.   

    Categories with Super Founders

    Books like Super Founders

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    27 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial