SOURCE: John Wiley & Sons


December 08, 2014 11:47 ET

Zendesk Founder and CEO Mikkel Svane Provides Entrepreneurs With an Insider's Look Into Myths and Challenges of Building Startup Success in New Book

Revealing Stories and Wisdom Shared From an Unconventional Business Journey

HOBOKEN, NJ--(Marketwired - December 08, 2014) -

"… you also shouldn't even try to time when you go public. You should optimize for the right time for you to go public. Maybe there will be a correction, but the stock market always goes up and goes down… You have to focus on your company, your stock and your performance."

- Mikkel Svane at TechCrunch's Disrupt Europe 2014, London

Wiley announces the release of a new book for entrepreneurs, Startupland: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business available at bookstores and online booksellers today. 

The startup industry is filled with fascinating stories that reflect risk, failures, unexpected turns and huge successes. Entrepreneurs are looking for real-world insight and strategies to build a successful business. With their new book Startupland: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business (978-1-118-98081-1, Wiley, December 8, 2014) co-authors Mikkel Svane, founder, chairman, and CEO of Zendesk, Inc. (ZEN) and Carlye Adler reveal unconventional wisdom for how entrepreneurs can find startup success without following the traditional paths to building a business. As an entrepreneur who moved to Silicon Valley from Denmark, Svane shares the story of how he and his two co-founders took Zendesk from a Copenhagen loft to a stellar IPO on Wall Street.

Startupland chronicles the entrepreneurial journey of Mikkel Svane, Morten Primdahl and Alexander Aghassipour from the first internet bubble to the current period of exuberance. Speaking at Techcrunch's Disrupt Europe 2014: London, Mikkel reminded startups that luck takes a lot of work. "Being lucky is just so much work. As an early startup, there is no way around trying to open all the doors," he said, "and that's exhausting work."

Zendesk is one of the hottest companies in Silicon Valley with customers in 150 countries. With revealing stories both funny and frank, Mikkel shares how he and his friends bravely left secure jobs to start something on their own, how he almost went broke several times, how they picked up themselves and their families to travel across the world to California and the unknown, and how the three friends were miraculously still together for Zendesk's IPO and (still growing) success. Much like Zendesk's mission itself -- to remove the friction, the barriers and the mystery in order to make software easier and more approachable -- this book aims to remove some of the myths about startups and startup founders.

Here's how Startupland aims to inspire would-be and budding entrepreneurs on their path to success:

  • Mikkel's story inspires and empowers you to follow your own dream and create your own story.
  • Mikkel's advice, hard-won through experience, often bucks conventional wisdom and entrepreneurial tropes. He shares why failure (whether fast or slow) is awful, why a seemingly boring product or idea can be the most exciting, and why giving back to the community is as important as the bottom line.
  • From how to hire right (look for people who are not offended by swearing) to which personas generate the highest response rates, Mikkel answers the most pressing questions from the perspective of someone still in the trenches and willing to share the hard truth, warts and all.

Startupland: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business is indispensable reading for all entrepreneurs who want to make their ideas the next big thing. Mikkel agrees that the recipe for business success requires a dose of ambition and dedication, and a healthy portion of perseverance.

About the Authors

MIKKEL SVANE is founder, chairman, and CEO of Zendesk, Inc., 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, or follow Mikkel on Twitter via @mikkelsvane.

CARLYE ADLER is an award-winning journalist and co-author of several bestselling books. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages. 

The following files are available for download:

Contact Information

  • Sadhika Salariya
    Professional Development
    T 1 201 748 6782
    F 1 201 748 6817