This 19-Year-Old Thinks He's Building A Billion-Dollar Company -- And He Wants To Share His Story With You


Photo: Boonsri Dickinson, Business Insider

Gumroad founder Sahil Lavingia is using his own payment system to sell his book, which chronicles what it’s really like to build a startup.He’s so convinced Gumroad is a billion-dollar idea that he quit Pinterest — probably the hottest startup in Silicon Valley right now — to go build it.

Lavingia writes a new chapter on the first day of every month about what he did in the last 30 days. Then he sells the book using Twitter for $1.

He’s doing it so founders can get an inside look at starting a company. In his first three chapters, he talks about stuff that he couldn’t tweet about: how he raised money, why he left Pinterest, and how he dealt with growth in Japan. Next, he will write about SXSW.

“It’s hard to find first-hand information about [building a company]. Normally, the people who do write about it, do it 10 years later. The guys who wrote about PayPal wrote about it 10 years later,” Lavingia said. “It’s easier to be honest [if you do it as it is happening]. Your company isn’t successful yet, so you’re not scared of tarnishing its brand.”

It might not be as dramatic as the movie The Social Network made startup life out to be, but it does give an interesting look at Lavingia’s life.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.