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Kern and Burn: Conversations With Design Entrepreneurs is a beautiful two-color book that features candid conversations with 30 leading designers who have founded startups, channeled personal passions into self-made careers and taken risks to do what they love. In this book they share their failures, successes, and perspectives. Our hope is that you can learn from them — not to follow in their footsteps, but to chart your own course in parallel, one that allows you to thrive, add value to the world and love what you do.

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(Includes PDF, mobi, and ePub)

"I think there has been this turn in the collective conscious of designers. We realized that we start these businesses for clients, these businesses go on to be successful, and we think, ‘Why aren’t we starting these businesses?"

—Christian Helms (Page 129)


  • Foreword

    by Keenan Cummings

  • Introduction

    by The Authors

  • Ben Pieratt

    Take Greater Opportunities

  • Randy J. Hunt

    Design and Build

  • Kate Bingaman-Burt

    Fail in Good Spirits  (Read)

  • Elliot Jay Stocks

    Create With Passion

  • Christian Helms

    Always Ask for Advice

  • Wilson Miner

    Be Curious, and Ask Questions

  • Dan Provost

    Give It a Go

  • Andy McMillan

    Build a Community

  • Kyle Sollenberger

    Keep Moving Forward

  • Peter Buchanan-Smith

    Start Making  (Read)

  • Neil Blumenthal

    Change the World

  • Armin Vit

    Provide a Jolt

  • Chris Coyier

    Fall in Love With an Idea

  • Jen Bilik

    Value Your Audience

  • Tad Carpenter

    Love It, or Leave It

  • Don Clark

    Create What You Love

  • Jessica Hische

    Determine Your Own Value

  • Riley Cran

    Dare to Change an Industry

  • Josh Brewer

    Create to Share

  • Enrique Allen

    Learn by Doing

  • Jake Nickell

    Make Work With Friends

  • Katie Kirk

    Design Your Life

  • Dusty Summers

    Stay Restless

  • Scott Wilson

    Make Your Ideas Real

  • Duane King

    Thinking Is Living

  • Aaron Draplin

    Hammer All Night Long

  • Mikey Burton

    Make It Fun

  • Mimi O Chun

    Transcend Your Discipline

  • Joe Gebbia

    Solve Your Own Problems

Printed in the USA at Shapco on Mohawk Via Pure White Smooth.

Featuring twelve full-spread illustrations of our principles of design entrepreneurship.

We owe the success of our Kickstarter campaign to our dedicated, enthusiastic and encouraging readers in the design and entrepreneurial communities. The Kickstarter platform has allowed us to share the journey and reward of creating something meaningful, together.

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For those who kern, those who burn and those who embrace the risk of failure daily.