FounderLY (or “Founder Like You”) is a project that intends to help entrepreneurs through the inspiration of past successes. The website’s goal is to promote and encourage entrepreneurs to experiment and grow. The way FounderLY does this is by presenting the stories of past successful entrepreneurs. This allows users to discover similarities as well as inspiration and possibly to help them understand where these creative, intelligent and determined people originated from. Stories are presented as videos with the entrepreneur who share his or her story directly with the audience. Users can search the site for stories by specific name or keyword. Each video is presented with the entrepreneur’s website, blog and social networking profile so users can discover more about them. The videos are also tagged to make them easier to explore. Entrepreneurs are divided into five main categories, including mobile apps, new media, consumer, enterprise and featured.
Matthew Wise and Andy Saebjoernsen founded FounderLY in April of 2011. Based out of San Francisco, California, the team remains small but focused on building a startup founder story library. It is an open source media project that shares stories through short interviews (usually around 15 minutes in length each). The concept was inspired by the work of author Jessica Livingston at Y Combinator as well as filmmaker Errol Morris.
FounderLY takes a different approach to encouraging entrepreneurs. There are many website out there intended to help entrepreneurs manage their business, but few that are dedicated entirely to inspiration and motivation. FounderLY can help new entrepreneurs make their way with the insight and experiences of those who went before them.
The FounderLY website utilizes a dark back ground that contrasts the bright blue and red log in a way that is very eye-catching. The top of the page includes five small links while five more links appear in white under the large website logo. The bottom five links help users navigate through each category of the available stories. Three small icons in the upper, right hand corner of the homepage allow users to follow FounderLY on Facebook, Twitter or subscribe to RSS feeds.
FounderLY welcomes all visitors as soon as they arrive. Newcomers can begin watching interview videos right on the homepage. There is no login requirement to access the website’s content. In fact the site does not currently offer any kind of registration option to its users. Give the purpose of the site, this seems like a good choice. There are social networking buttons that allow users to share the stories they discover through sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, Stumble Upon, del.icio.us, Google Buzz, Technorati and Hacker News.
Users can register for a FounderLY membership for free. There is no charge for exploring the FounderLY is a project that hopes to help entrepreneurs discover success stories and gain insight into what it takes to be successful. Charging a fee might be counterproductive and would not encourage visitors to stick around and watch interview videos. Luckily, FounderLY is available to all users for free. There are no subscription fees or other charges and the site does not currently offer a premium membership..
FounderLY is an excellent resource for anyone who is or wants to become an entrepreneur. Users can discover others who were successful and may have a very similar story or may have created a product or service that is much like what the user envisions.