People who work hard, the old saying goes, often play just as hard. But for many tech entrepreneurs, the converse is also true: all that play sometimes generates new ideas for work. That’s definitely the story behind San Francisco-based how-to site Instructables, which grew in part out of founder Eric Wilhelm’s obsession with kitesurfing.
Today, Instructables boasts more than 2 million registered users and a collection of 55,000 how-to articles authored by more than 20,000 contributors. Eric Wilhelm is a bona fide CEO who employs 24 editors and programmers, has raised just shy of $2 million in venture financing from O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and Baseline Ventures, and has guided the company to a profitable advertising- and subscription-based revenue model.