Stripe Press

Working in Public cover

Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software

Nadia Eghbal

About the author

Open source software has undergone a significant shift over the past 20 years. Today, often unseen solo operators maintain code used by millions. In Working in Public, Nadia Eghbal takes an inside look at modern open source software development and its evolution over the last two decades—and its ramifications for an internet reorienting itself around individual creators. She examines GitHub as a platform; the structures, roles, incentives, and relationships of open source projects; and their heretofore unexplored maintenance, via the work that software requires of its creators and the costs of production that must be maintained. Open source offers us a model through which to understand the challenges faced by online creators on all platforms.

Nadia Eghbal is a writer and researcher who explores how the internet enables individual creators. From 2015 to 2019, she focused on the production of open source software, working independently and at GitHub to improve the open source developer experience. She is the author of Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor Behind Our Digital Infrastructure, published by the Ford Foundation, where she argued that open source code is a form of public infrastructure that requires maintenance.

Praise for Working in Public
Nadia writes from a unique perspective at the intersection of open source, economics, and poetry. This is the definitive book on the dynamics of online creative communities.” Nat Friedman CEO of GitHub
Nadia is one of today's most nuanced thinkers about the depth and potential of online communities, and this book could not have come at a better time as the ways we relate to each other has become sharply more mediated by the internet.” Devon Zuegel director of product, communities at GitHub
In the age of information abundance, we're all maintainers now. Working in Public is an anthropological dive into the stories of real developers, providing us a lens of open source with which to ask new questions. Nadia presents us with a book not focused on just money, licenses, or code but for all of us who make, as creators of all kinds.” Henry Zhu open source maintainer, Babel
Working in Public is the fantastic follow-up to Roads and Bridges, and shows how Nadia's scope has widened and thoughts have evolved since the first book. A must-read for anyone interested in open source software communities.” Mike McQuaid engineer at GitHub and Homebrew maintainer
The Art of Doing Science and Engineering cover

The Art of Doing Science and Engineering

Richard Hamming

About the author

Richard Hamming inspired a generation of engineers, scientists, and researchers in 1986 with "You and Your Research"—an exhortation to seek out important problems, establish comfort with ambiguity, and be unapologetic in the pursuit of excellence. The Art of Doing Science and Engineering is the full expression of what "You and Your Research" outlined. It's a book about thinking; more specifically, a style of thinking by which great ideas are conceived. Adapted from a course that Hamming taught at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and with a new foreword by Bret Victor, The Art of Doing Science and Engineering is a reminder that a childlike capacity for learning and creativity are accessible to everyone.

Richard W. Hamming was a scientist and mathematician who is best known for discovering mathematical formulas that allow computers to correct their own errors, a fundamental function of modems, compact disks, and satellite communications. Born in Chicago in 1915, he provided crucial programming support as a member of the Manhattan Project. After World War II, he joined Bell Labs, where over the next 15 years he was involved in nearly all of its most prominent achievements. Throughout his career, Hamming received many awards for his work, including the Turing Award in 1968, the highest honor in computer science. He died in 1998.

Praise for The Art of Doing Science and Engineering
Hamming was always as much a teacher as a scientist, and having spent a lifetime forming and confirming a theory of great people, he felt he could prepare the next generation for even greater greatness. That’s the premise and promise of this book.” Bret Victor founder of Dynamicland, designer, and engineer
Hamming is here to tell you about excellence. His lessons unfold through personal stories of discovery and failure—life as an extraordinary scientist. But Hamming demands that you do extraordinary work, too, and for that he offers the best advice I know.” Andy Matuschak software engineer, designer, and researcher
Your last chance to read the words of thinking of one of the major intellects that the USA has produced.” Eugene N. Miya NASA researcher
The Making of Prince of Persia cover

The Making of Prince of Persia: Journals 1985-1993

Jordan Mechner

About the author

Before Prince of Persia was a best-selling video game franchise and a Disney movie, it was an Apple II computer game created and programmed by one person, Jordan Mechner. Mechner's candid and revealing journals from the time capture the journey from his parents’ basement to the forefront of the fast-growing 1980s video game industry—and the creative, technical, and personal struggles that brought the prince into being and ultimately into the homes of millions of people worldwide. In The Making of Prince of Persia, on the 30th anniversary of the game’s release, Mechner looks back at the journals he kept from 1985 to 1993, offering new insights into the game that revolutionized and redefined a genre.

Jordan Mechner is a game designer, screenwriter, graphic novelist, and author. Widely considered a pioneer of cinematic storytelling in the video game industry, he created Prince of Persia, one of the most successful and enduring video game franchises of all time, and became the first game creator to successfully adapt his own work into a feature film with Disney’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. He also created the games Karateka and The Last Express. Jordan’s books include the Eisner Award-nominated graphic novel Templar (a New York Times bestseller); his 1980s game development journals, The Making of Karateka and The Making of Prince of Persia; and his recent sketchbook journal, Year 2 in France.

Praise for The Making of Prince of Persia
Prince of Persia was the first computer game I ever fell in love with. Mechner’s journey is a universal one for anyone creating something brand new, and it brought me back to the early, crazy days of building Instagram.” Mike Krieger co-founder of Instagram
Mechner’s journals are a unique record from the birth of an industry. The Making of Prince of Persia is also an unvarnished window into the creative process, with all its excitement, toil, setbacks, doubts, and triumphs. A fantastic read.” D.B. Weiss writer and co-creator of HBO’s Game of Thrones
Probably my favorite book on game development.” Neil Druckmann writer and director of The Last of Us and Uncharted 4
When an industry is brand new, its innovators are generally so busy creating the future that they rarely have time to document the present. Luckily, Jordan Mechner did. For anyone aspiring to create a game or any endeavor that takes months and man-hours Jordan’s journal is sobering and inspiring.” John August screenwriter, author, and host of Scriptnotes podcast
Mechner’s journals are a time machine that takes us back to an era when ambitious young creators were making strange new video games all by themselves and making up the rules as they went. It is a humbling and inspiring record of what it was like to make one of the best video games of all time. I love these journals.” Adam "Atomic" Saltsman game designer and creator of Canabalt
Get Together cover

Get Together

Bailey Richardson, Kevin Huynh, Kai Elmer Sotto

About the authors

Although communities feel magical, they don't come together by magic. Get Together is a guide to cultivating a community—people who come together over what they care about. Whether starting a run crew, helping online streamers connect with fans, or sparking a movement of K-12 teachers, the secret to community-building is the same: don’t fixate on what you can do for people (or what they can do for you). Instead, focus on what you can do with them. In Get Together, the People & Company team provides stories, prompts, and principles for each stage of cultivating a passionate group of people. Every organization holds the potential to build and sustain a thriving community. Get Together shows readers how companies and customers, artist and fans, or organizers and advocates, can join forces to accomplish more together than they could have alone.

Bailey Richardson, Kevin Huynh, and Kai Elmer Sotto comprise People & Company, an agency that helps organizations build communities. They’ve supported the creation and ongoing care for communities of investors, entrepreneurs, teachers, caregivers, dog-walkers, power users, runners, surfers, and more. Bailey brings her expertise as a storyteller and researcher. She helped shape the communities around Instagram, IDEO, and Pop-Up Magazine. Kevin breathes strategy and structure. He advises groups that build empowered communities and in the past operationalized CreativeMornings, rolling out events to 100 cities. Kai focuses on how true communities fuel growth for companies. He helped pioneer Facebook’s growth discipline and launch Instagram’s business internationally.

Praise for Get Together
Get Together tells the stories and reveals the insights of community building. Don’t start one without reading this book.” Robert Wang Founder of Instant Pot
As a leader of a social impact organization, I found Get Together to be helpful in thinking about how we could do better at building and cultivating the community around IDEO.org. I’d recommend Get Together to anyone organizing or participating in communities, personally or professionally.” Jocelyn Wyatt CEO of IDEO.org
Get Together is a generous, practical and heartfelt guide to creating community in the digital age. With no jargon and no nonsense, Bailey, Kevin, and Kai lay out simple, practical steps for helping people come together in meaningful and powerful ways.” Dave Isay Founder of StoryCorps
Get Together is a book about our most valuable resource—people—and how to get them together. Sounds simple; but then all great ideas are.” Craig Pearce Co-writer of Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, and The Great Gatsby
I highly recommend Get Together for anyone who’s looking to crack the code on building a community.” Alisha Ramos Founder of Girls’ Night In
An Elegant Puzzle cover

An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management

Will Larson

About the author

There's a saying that people don't leave companies, they leave managers. Management is a key part of any organization, yet the discipline is often self-taught and unstructured. Getting to the good solutions of complex management challenges can make the difference between fulfillment and frustration for teams, and, ultimately, the success or failure of companies. Will Larson's An Elegant Puzzle orients around the particular challenges of engineering management—from sizing teams to technical debt to succession planning—and provides a path to the good solutions. Drawing from his experience at Digg, Uber, and Stripe, Will Larson has developed a thoughtful approach to engineering management that leaders of all levels at companies of all sizes can apply. An Elegant Puzzle balances structured principles and human-centric thinking to help any leader create more effective and rewarding organizations for engineers to thrive in.

Will Larson has been an engineering leader and software engineer at technology companies of many shapes and sizes including Yahoo!, Digg, SocialCode, Uber, and, as of 2016, Stripe. He grew up in North Carolina, studied Computer Science at Centre College in Kentucky, spent a year in Japan on the JET Program teaching English, and has been living in San Francisco since 2009. An Elegant Puzzle draws from the writing in his blog, “Irrational Exuberance,” that he has been updating since graduating from college. It is currently, and will always be, a work in progress.

Praise for An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management
An Elegant Puzzle is a masterful study of the challenges and demands of the discipline of engineering management viewed through the prism of systems thinking. Readers can expect an actionable template for addressing complex problems with finesse, creativity and fairness.” Cindy Sridharan Cindy Sridharan, Distributed Systems Engineer and author of “Distributed Systems Observability”
Software engineering is evolving faster than ever before. In An Elegant Puzzle, Will Larson captures the timeless spirit of creative problem-solving that draws us to software engineering while also providing concrete strategies for modern organizations.” Jeffrey Meyerson Host of Software Engineering Daily podcast
Engineering Managers can often feel like they are struggling to keep their heads above the water. Our technical training is missing the frameworks and tools needed to build healthy and productive teams. The insights and step-by-step approach covered in An Elegant Puzzle will become your favorite go-to resource.” Oren Ellenbogen VP Engineering at Forter, Curator of Software Lead Weekly newsletter
The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium cover

The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium

Martin Gurri

About the author

In the words of economist and scholar Arnold Kling, “Martin Gurri saw it coming.” Technology has categorically reversed the information balance of power between the public and the elites who manage the great hierarchical institutions of the industrial age—government, political parties, the media. The Revolt of the Public tells the story of how insurgencies, enabled by digital devices and a vast information sphere, have mobilized millions of ordinary people around the world. Originally published in 2014, this updated edition of The Revolt of the Public includes an extensive analysis of Donald Trump’s improbable rise to the presidency and the electoral triumphs of “Brexit” and concludes with a speculative look forward, pondering whether the current elite class can bring about a reformation of the democratic process, and whether new organizing principles, adapted to a digital world, can arise out of the present political turbulence.

Martin Gurri is a geopolitical analyst and student of new media and information effects. He spent many years working in the corner of CIA dedicated to the analysis of open media. After leaving government, Gurri focused his research on the motive forces powering the transformation and has churned out countless articles, studies, and blog posts on the topic including co-authoring Our Visual Persuasion Gap (Parameters, Spring 2010). His blog, The Fifth Wave, pursues the themes first elaborated in The Revolt of the Public.

Praise for The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium
All over the world, elite institutions from governments to media to academia are losing their authority and monopoly control of information to the broader public. This book has been my #1 handout for the last several years to anyone seeking to understand this unfolding shift in power from hierarchies to networks in the age of the Internet.” Marc Andreessen co-founder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz
Martin Gurri saw it coming. When, without fanfare, he self-published the first edition as an e-book in June of 2014, he did not specifically name Donald Trump or Brexit… But he saw how the internet in general and social media in particular were transforming the political landscape.” Arnold Kling @klingblog
We are in an open war between publics with passionate and untutored interests and elites who believe they have the right to guide those publics. Gurri asks the essential question: can liberal representative democracy survive the rise of the publics?” Roger Berkowitz Founder and Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center, Professor of Politics and Human Rights at Bard College
Stubborn Attachments cover

Stubborn Attachments

Tyler Cowen

About the author

If we want to continue on our trends of growth, and the overwhelmingly positive outcomes for societies that come with it, every individual must become more concerned with the welfare of those around us—and in the world at large and most of all our descendants in the future. So, how do we proceed? Cowen, in a culmination of 20 years of thinking and research, provides a roadmap for moving forward. Stubborn Attachments: A Vision for a Society of Free, Prosperous, and Responsible Individuals argues that our reason and common sense can help free us of the faulty ideas that hold us back as people and as a society. Cowen’s latest book, at its heart, makes the contemporary moral case for economic growth and in doing so engenders a great dose of inspiration and optimism about our future possibilities.

Tyler Cowen is the Holbert L. Harris Professor of Economics at George Mason University and also Director of the Mercatus Center. He received his PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1987. He was recently named in an Economist poll as one of the most influential economists of the last decade and several years ago Bloomberg Businessweek dubbed him “America’s Hottest Economist.” Foreign Policy magazine named him as one of its “Top 100 Global Thinkers” of 2011. He also cowrites a blog called Marginal Revolution, runs a podcast series called Conversations with Tyler, and has co-founded the online economics education project, MRUniversity.com. He has published several books including the New York Times best-seller, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better, and The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream.

Praise for Stubborn Attachments
Most of Tyler’s books will change how you see the world in myriad of small ways. Stubborn Attachments might well change the way you see the world in one very big way... Whether you agree or disagree (with Tyler’s argument), I think you’ll find that following the logic in Stubborn Attachments is as fun as it is intellectually provocative.” Cardiff Garcia cohost of the NPR podcast, “The Indicator from Planet Money”
Tyler Cowen is a national treasure, and Stubborn Attachments is brimming with deep insights–about the immense importance of economic growth, moral obligations, rights, and how to think about the future. It’s a book for right now, and a book for all times. A magnificent achievement.” Cass R. Sunstein Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University, and author of “The Cost-Benefit Revolution”
Stubborn Attachments is a deeply honest accounting of what matters, and the process by which we can determine what matters. Assumptions are laid bare from the outset, counter-claims are provided. The book invites you to fight it.” Mason Hartman @webdevmason
Tyler Cowen is one of the most intriguing and eclectic thinkers on the planet–like many people, I read something by him every day. In Stubborn Attachments he combines economics and philosophy in a truly important achievement. His best, most ambitious and most personal work.” Tim Harford author of “The Undercover Economist”
The complexity of the modern world makes it difficult to know what’s worth caring about... [but] onto this landscape of paralyzing uncertainty strides Tyler Cowen with a bold solution. He argues there is one goal we should promote above all else: maximizing the sustainable rate of economic growth. The message of Stubborn Attachments is needed now more than ever.” Coleman Hughes @coldxman
The Dream Machine cover

The Dream Machine

M. Mitchell Waldrop

About the author

At a time when computers were a short step removed from mechanical data processors, Licklider was writing treatises on “human-computer symbiosis,” “computers as communication devices,” and a now not-so-unfamiliar “Intergalactic Network.” His ideas became so influential, his passion so contagious, that Waldrop coined him “computing’s Johnny Appleseed.” In a simultaneously compelling personal narrative and comprehensive historical exposition, Waldrop tells the story of the man who not only instigated the work that led to the internet, but also shifted our understanding of what computers were and could be.

M. Mitchell Waldrop is a freelance writer and editor. He earned a PhD in elementary particle physics at the University of Wisconsin, and a Master’s in journalism at Wisconsin. He was previously a writer and West Coast bureau chief for Chemical and Engineering News and senior writer at Science, editorial page and features editor at Nature, and worked in media affairs for the National Science Foundation. He is the author of Man-Made Minds (Walker, 1987), a book about artificial intelligence and Complexity (Simon & Schuster, 1992), a book about the Santa Fe Institute and the new sciences of complexity. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Amy E. Friedlander.

Praise for The Dream Machine
When people ask me about Xerox Parc, I always tell them about JCR Licklider—“Lick”—and how he… started the great research funding for interactive computing and pervasive worldwide networks that has resulted in most of the technology we use today… The top book I recommend to read about this large process that stretched over 20 years is “The Dream Machine” by Mitchell Waldrop.” Alan Kay
A sprawling history of the ideas, individuals, and groups of people that got us from punch cards to personal computers… comprehensive… impressive… [and] compelling” The New York Times Book Review
The Dream Machine works admirably as an exploration of the intellectual and political roots of the rise of modern computing. It’s an ambitious and worthwhile addition to the history of science.” San Francisco Chronicle
A masterpiece! A mesmerizing but balanced and comprehensive look at the making of the information revolution- the people, the ideas, the tensions, and the hurdles. And on top of that, it is beautifully written.” John Seely Brown former director of Xerox PARC, coauthor of The Social Life of Information
Waldrop’s account of [Licklider’s] and many others’ world-transforming contributions is compelling.” John Allen Paulos mathematician and professor at Temple University
High Growth Handbook cover

High Growth Handbook

Elad Gil

About the author

High Growth Handbook is the playbook for turning a startup into a unicorn and navigating the most complex challenges that confront leaders and operators in high-growth startups. It covers key topics like the role of the CEO, managing the board, recruiting and managing an executive team, M&A, IPOs and late-stage funding rounds, and is interspersed with over a dozen interviews with some of the most influential leaders in Silicon Valley including Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Marc Andreessen (Andreessen Horowitz), and Aaron Levie (Box).

Well-known technology executive and angel investor Elad Gil has worked with high growth tech companies like Airbnb, Twitter, Google, Instacart, Coinbase, Stripe, and Square as they’ve grown from startups into global brands.

Praise for High Growth Handbook
Elad Gil is one of Silicon Valley’s seriously knowledgeable and battle-tested players. If you want the chance to turn your startup into the next Google or Twitter, then read this trenchant guide from someone who played key roles in the growth of these companies.” Reid Hoffman cofounder of LinkedIn, coauthor of the #1 NYT bestsellers “The Alliance” and “The Startup of You,” and host of the podcast Masters of Scale
Elad eschews trite management aphorisms in favor of pragmatic and straight-shooting insights on complex topics like managing a board of directors, executing functional reorganizations with as little trauma as possible, and everything in between.” Dick Costolo former CEO of Twitter and serial entrepreneur
Elad first invested in Airbnb when we were less than 10 people and provided early advice on scaling the company. This book shares these learnings for the next generation of entrepreneurs.” Nathan Blecharczyk cofounder of Airbnb, Chief Strategy Officer, and Chairman of Airbnb China
Elad jam-packs every useful lesson about building and scaling companies into a single, digestible book. My only gripe is that he didn’t write this when we were in the early days of Box as it would have saved my ass countless times.” Aaron Levie cofounder and CEO of Box
Armed with observations gathered scaling some of the most successful and important companies of Silicon Valley, Elad has no-nonsense, highly applicable advice to any operator transitioning a company from the proverbial garage to the next stage and beyond.” Max Levchin cofounder and CEO of Affirm, cofounder and CTO of PayPal

Why are we doing this?

Stripe partners with millions of the world’s most innovative businesses—organizations that will shape the world of tomorrow. These businesses are the result of many different inputs. Perhaps the most important ingredient is “ideas.”

Stripe Press highlights ideas that we think can be broadly useful. Some books contain entirely new material, some are collections of existing work reimagined, and others are republications of previous works that have remained relevant over time or have renewed relevance today.

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