Pattern Breakers: Why Some Start-Ups Change the Future (Hardcover)

Pattern Breakers: Why Some Start-Ups Change the Future By Mike Maples, Jr, Peter Ziebelman Cover Image

Pattern Breakers: Why Some Start-Ups Change the Future (Hardcover)


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Based on extensive research and real-world examples, this book upends accepted wisdom about how to achieve success when launching a startup or creating a new product.

The breakthrough concepts of Pattern Breakers come from the observations of Mike Maples Jr., a seasoned venture capitalist, who noticed something strange. Start-ups like Twitter, Twitch, and Lyft had achieved extraordinary success despite their disregard for “best practices.” In contrast, other startups deemed highly promising often failed, even when they seemed to do everything right.

Seeking answers, Maples and coauthor Peter Ziebelman set out to discover the hidden forces that drive extraordinary start-up success. Pattern-breaking success, they reveal, demands a different mindset and actions to harness developments others miss or that may, at first, seem crazy.

Pattern Breakers is filled with firsthand storytelling about initial interactions with some of the most transformative start-ups of recent times. Maples and Ziebelman challenge us to rethink how to transcend the ordinary and achieve the extraordinary.  

Mike Maples, Jr is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, podcaster, and the co-founder of FLOODGATE, a leading seed stage fund in Silicon Valley that invested in companies like Twitter, Twitch, Okta, and Outreach at the very beginning of their startup journeys. An eight-time member of the Forbes Midas List of Top Venture Capital investors, he was one of the pioneers of the seed investing movement, which started in the mid-2000s and now is a mainstream part of startup funding. Mike has 79,000 Twitter followers and a popular podcast, Starting Greatness (

Peter Ziebelman splits his time between academia and the business world. He  teaches entrepreneurs as a lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where he is the principal instructor for the popular graduate school course on entrepreneurship and venture capital. He has also lectured for the Wharton School and the University of Chicago. He started his career as part of the innovative start-up team for speech synthesis semiconductors at Texas Instruments and then later he was a systems software entrepreneur at a venture-backed start-up. In 1996 he co-founded, Palo Alto Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm. He consults with Fortune 500 companies on entrepreneurship, and advises start-up companies as an independent board member.

Product Details ISBN: 9781541704350
ISBN-10: 1541704355
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication Date: July 9th, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English
“A useful, accessible package for those seeking a revolutionary path… The authors make their case with conviction and intelligence, bringing new thinking to an old problem.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Luck in a start-up might actually be a strategy hiding in something others haven’t seen clearly enough. Pattern breaking often involves the hard work of seeing inflection points before others do.”
 —Seth Godin, author of This Is Marketing

“Mike Maples Jr. and Peter Ziebelman explain what founders need to know to build billion-dollar businesses: how to break through patterns of conventional thinking and spot the biggest ideas. Told through entertaining case examples based on their firsthand experience working with some of the most innovative tech companies, Pattern Breakers is an indispensable guide to start-up success.”
 —Safi Bahcall, author of Loonshots

Pattern Breakers flips the narrative on uncertainty, transforming it from a daunting obstacle to an offensive weapon. This strikingly different book reveals how elite founders don’t just navigate uncertainty—they harness it to redefine what's possible.”—Annie Duke, author of Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts

“Straightforward advice on launching a startup… aspiring entrepreneurs will find some sensible suggestions.”
 —Publishers Weekly

"The most important start-up book of the last ten years."—Steve Blank, co-creator of the Lean Startup movement

"Mike Maples and Peter Ziebelman are on a relentless pursuit to understand start-up outliers beyond anyone else."—Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram

"Pattern Breakers shows why the only path to breakthrough results is to break the mold and be non-consensus, not just right. Maples and Ziebelman offer concrete examples from some of the most impactful start-ups of our time and practical advice that founders can use in their own efforts to change the future."
 —Andy Rachleff, co-founder of Benchmark Capital and Wealthfront