Tom MacWright

I read Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin on


I don’t read many business management or founding books. I find them intimidating or distracting from what I’m doing right now, which is attempting to create a successful business. They tend to leave a lot unsaid: the effect of larger macro forces on success or failure. And enshrine whatever things some founder did that worked once as a repeatable, proven strategy.

Lost and Founder, on the other hand, risks going in the other direction: it risks you losing faith in Rand. He’s really, really honest about his mistakes. And not in the self-effacing way that founders will talk about their failures on the way to great success: the Moz story is not a “rocketship” or a “unicorn”, it’s a successful company that has not been successful in startup terms.

The advice is mostly good, though, and Rand’s writing style is quick and digestible. It’s not just a cautionary tale, and it’s not just Rand’s perspective, he consults other founders to get more context and test his theories.

If you’re going to read a business book about some of the risks and gotchas of leading a company, this is a good one.