A female founder's (wild) journey through the (hyper-masculine) tech startup world

Most of the founder stories we hear are the successful ones — the ones with a happy ending. This is not that kind of story.

In This Better Work, I share the true stories of my fifteen-year journey through the hyper-masculine tech startup world — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

This Better Work by Lynsie Campbell

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This Better Work

by Lynsie Campbell
Cover and illustrations by Christina Lee

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Lynsie CampbellDots

A little bit about me

I'm the founder of two tech companies: ShowClix and Lanespotter. One was acquired. The other, not so much. I'm also a general partner of The Fund Midwest.

Before tech, I worked in the entertainment industry doing stints at The Rosie O'Donnell Show and as a music publicist in Los Angeles. My work has appeared in NPR, CNN, Forbes, Billboard, and WSJ.

Book Chapters


Getting Acquired

Very few founders make it this far.  I should’ve been excited. I should’ve been proud. Instead, I was fucking pissed.


Chasing Dreams

Before tech, I spent a bunch of years chasing dreams from New York to Los Angeles and back. I actually worked with David Bowie!


Meeting Josh

He made me laugh, possessed the same level of drive and passion, and wasn’t afraid to take a whole bunch of risks with me.


Planting the Early Seeds

Early partners who have a genuine interest in where you're from, what's was driving you, and your vision for the future are the key to success.


Learning All the Jobs

No founder wants to do accounting, but we have to. It's time to learn all of the jobs (and become be a better founder because of it).


Hiring the First Crew

Hiring people is scary. Especially the first few people. It feels so “make or break.” Because for startups, it really is.


Landing the Pivotal Deals

The risks were starting to pay off. We were finally in the perfect position to sign a client that would (hopefully) change everything.


Surviving the Epic Fuckups

We knew it wasn't going to be all rainbows and ponies, but damn, we didn't know it could get this bad.


Picking (the Wrong) Investors

This decision doesn't just change the company, it changes your life. Do not underestimate the ramifications here.


Losing a Co-Founder

It’s hard to talk about everything falling apart. Our relationship, as co-founders and as BFFs, unraveled slowly. There was no seismic shift.


Taking a Fucking Break

I’d become the burned-out startup founder. I felt inadequate in every possible way. I knew something needed to change.


Starting Another Startup

I’m always coming up with really dumb business ideas. Always. I can’t stop. I own a lot of domain names. This was bound to happen.


Being a Woman in Tech in PGH

Nothing about being a founder is easy, and being a woman compounds the difficulties. If we don't speak up, nothing will change.


Building Great Partnerships

Transportation Alternative was progressive & tech-savvy. They were willing to try new stuff. They were everything I wanted in a partner.


Braving the Accelerator

I said yes to a single meeting that set a chain of events in motion. And once the ball was rolling, there was no turning back.


Wearing Blinders

I knew something wasn't right, but there was no Plan B. So I forged ahead with a stupid plan, bullheaded determination, and fake optimism.


Choosing to Fail

How the fuck did this happen? What was I going to do next?


Book Buzz

Here's what the cool kids are saying about This Better Work.

Get your copy today

Nothing in this book is sugar-coated. A must-read for anyone starting a company.

Jenny Fielding
Techstars NYC & The Fund Global

This Better Work will open your eyes to every aspect of starting, growing, and running a tech startup. The advice is priceless.

Allison Braund-Harris
Founder, Hardly

Lynsie is one of the the people who has made diversity a focal point in my professional life, and I’m grateful for that.

Brian Gross
Founder & CTO, Pineapple Payments

Lynsie is the go-to startup founder when you need advice. She has a story or perspective on just about anything that will bring clarity, confidence, and probably a few laughs.

Cat Tsavalas
Program Director, Entrepreneurship at NJII

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