How They Started Digital – business stories with teeth

New book tells inspirational inside stories of world's hottest digital start-ups

Quite honestly, How They Started Digital is the most revealing book you’re ever likely to read about starting a digital business. How do we know? Because it’s ours and we know exactly what went into writing it. As you might be able to tell, we’re unashamedly pleased with it!

Brought to you by Crimson Publishing, the company behind the UK’s largest and best website for people starting a business, and edited by serial entrepreneur David Lester, How They Started Digital tells the stories of how 25 good ideas became spectacular digital businesses.

We don’t think we’ve just scratched at the surface of what it takes to take the germ of an idea and turn it into a global phenomenon; we’ve ripped the surface clean off by gaining unprecedented access to the people behind some of the world’s most successful digital businesses.

By getting the founders, early employees and original investors to go on-the-record about their biggest fears, failures, mistakes and challenges, How They Started Digital is able to promise the unvarnished, unadulterated stories – and business insights – you won’t read elsewhere.

Through in-depth interviews with the people closest to the businesses, we reveal how they achieved their first sales, the trial and error behind the evolution of their business models, and how the entrepreneurs took their companies from the travails of their first year to global dominance.

The founders of computer gaming giant Electronic Arts, global dating website, and major UK money lending site Wonga gave up their precious time to tell their brutally honest start-up stories. They recall the key milestones and catalytic moments that helped to make their companies the leaders in their field today.

To that list, you can add the founders of Groupon, Etsy, Neon Play,, Trip Advisor, Moneysupermarket, Cheapflights, GoCompare, ASOS and the man behind Moshi Monsters Michael Acton Smith. We also spoke to key people – seed investors and founding team members – who shared the secrets of the rapid rise of international brands Twitter, Spotify and Zynga.

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Spanning the best of the US to the fastest rising digital businesses in the UK, How They Started Digital – also available as an ebook, (obviously) – covers the gamut of sub-sectors within the digital space. From computer games to mobile app builders, search engines to cloud subscription models, movie animation to retail, social networks to content curators, and from price comparison to marketplaces, the book provides rare insights into what made those businesses tick.

This 320-page bible to what it takes to start and grow a digital business is the fifth in the hugely popular How They Started series and is available on Amazon now. We strongly recommend it!


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