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Table of Contents

Foreword by Alexia Tsotsis ix Introduction: The Pursuit of Happiness 1 1 The Honeymoon 7 Believing that what you're doing is great and knowing nothing of what's to come 2 The Salad Days 31 Keeping it together when things should be falling apart 3 Going for Broke 57 How to turn down money and keep your company (and your soul) 4 The Bubble Redux 69 Battling circumstances beyond your control 5 The Game is Not Over 81 Getting investors and getting along with your partners 6 Coming to America 97 Chasing the dream-and dealing with the reality 7 Go West 115 Leveraging location and upending our lives 8 Growing Up 133 Going from building a product to building a company-and messing up along the way 9 Innocence Lost 151 From idealist to realist, and the uncomfortable journey in between 10 Going to the Show 167 Becoming a public company and remembering where we came from Epilogue 179 A Few More Thoughts 185 It's all about relationships Notes 189 Acknowledgments 191 About the Authors 193 Index 197

About the Author

MIKKEL SVANE is founder, chairman, and CEO of Zendesk, Inc. (ZEN), a global software company with a beautifully simple web-based customer service desk, loved by tens of thousands of organizations in 150 countries including Uber, Adobe, Red Bull, and Pinterest. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and children. For more information, please visit www.zendesk.com, or follow Mikkel on Twitter via @mikkelsvane. CARLYE ADLER is an award-winning journalist and coauthor of several bestselling books. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages. She lives in New York. For more information, please visit www.carlyeadler.com.


Mikkel Svane s Startupland is a refreshingly honest and provocative account of his journey building Zendesk, complete with the hard choices, unexpected turns, and sheer terrors involved in running a startup. Svane blends practical advice with deeply personal reflections on the company, the industry, and Silicon Valley as a whole. A must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs. Aaron Levie, cofounder and CEO, Box Mikkel Svane is a great founder who wrote a great book about some of the not-so-great moments throughout his entrepreneurial escapades. With honesty, humor, and humility, Startupland shows what it s really like. Paddy Cosgrave, founder, the Web Summit and F.ounders I read Startupland over one weekend. I laughed, I cried, and mostly I was so happy I was on the other side. Mikkel Svane knows what it s like and tells it as it is. A must-read. Julia Hartz, cofounder and president, Eventbrite, Inc. Startupland is a refreshingly honest and humble inside look from Mikkel Svane, a Silicon Valley outsider. Startup founders will want to keep it as a reference for whenever things aren t going according to plan (which is all the time). Ben Chestnut, cofounder and CEO, MailChimp

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