Every month I attend Cascade's UX Night to mingle with other UX Designers and hear experts in the field present.
Last night I got to listen to Sahil Lavingia talk about being a Founder with a Design background. http://www.meetup.com/cascadesf/events/216440912/
His current company is called Gumroad:
This is the event description:
Sahil Lavingia went from being the first design hire at Pinterest to the founder of Gumroad, where he raised more than $8 million and built a 20 person team. For this special UXNight, he will share his experience of transitioning from working as a successful designer into the design founder role.
You will learn:
• How to go from product idea to implementation
• How to apply design thinking principles to build a company from the ground up
• How to communicate your vision with the world
• How to delegate design and product decisions as you grow
Sahil is incredibly articulate, has great vision, and is very young (22). His fearlessness, and sense of balance and respect is inspiring.
He had an idea and played with it using only 4 hours of Python programming experience. He used Google's resources such as python files and app engine to prototype out his idea quickly.
He advises to "Build the thing", get something out there, and diagnose/ iterate later.
He is a solo founder and it hasn't been too much of a problem not having a co-founder so far.
He strives to have a company and a product that is transparent and open and feels that strategy will help him in the long run.
The marketplace app Gumroad is not a new concept, but something about this product has attracted funding. Perhaps all the stars aligned with timing of the release into society and the design of the product.