Gumroad Founder and Viral Sensation Sahil Lavingia Riffs on the Future of Work, Failure, and How to Build an Audience

Pinterest hired Sahil Lavingia to build its iPhone app in 2010. He was 19, a college dropout and a self-taught coder. His stock options would end up being valued around $40m. 

In 2011, Lavingia, then 26, quit to start Gumroad, an ecommerce tool for selling creative products. He thought it was a billion-dollar idea, but the path to success has not been nearly as smooth as it was at Pinterest. Though Gumroad has helped over 40k creators make a total of $213m, Lavingia has lately been getting attention for getting specific about the difficulties of building a startup.

Every month, Lavingia publishes Gumroad’s financials on Twitter. Recently, he gained greater fame for a viral Medium story, publishing in February the Medium post Reflecting on My Failure to Build a Billion-Dollar Company. More than 700k people have read it.