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Okta Co-Founder Offers Entrepreneurs Practical Advice


When Frederic Kerrest, MBA ’09, launched the podcast Zero to IPO in 2019, he wanted to connect new entrepreneurs to the stories of CEOs and founders—not just their highly publicized successes, but the many ups and downs they encountered along the way.

“People go through these bumps in the road, but all they read in the media is people who are doing amazingly. You’re like, ‘Aw man, I’m the only one this is happening to,’” Kerrest said at the time. “The reality of it is it’s happening to everyone. Even really successful people.”

Frederic Kerrest, MBA ’09, co-founder, executive vice chairperson, and COO, Okta

This past April, Kerrest—the co-founder, executive vice chairperson, and COO of the identity and access management company Okta—transformed the podcast into a book—Zero to IPO: Over $1 Trillion of Actionable Advice from the World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs.

"Frederic Kerrest is an incredible member of the MIT Sloan community and a wonderful human being,” says Kathryn Hawkes (Associate Dean, External Relations and Global Programs). “His book is a gift—not only to those interested in entrepreneurship, but to the world.”

In addition to past podcast guests, Zero to IPO features conversations with and actionable advice from many business luminaries in Kerrest’s expansive network. They include Zoom’s Eric Yuan, Slack’s Stewart Butterfield, Eventbrite’s Julia Hartz, and Canva’s Melanie Perkins.

“I’ve engaged with hundreds of business leaders and investors in Silicon Valley and around the world,” Kerrest explained at the time. “In Zero to IPO, readers get practical advice from founders, CEOs, and entrepreneurs on the realities of building a business.”

Kerrest organized his conversations in the book around market, team, and product, which he described as the “three main components of building a successful business.” The result, he suggested, is a chronological presentation of the big topics as new business leaders will encounter them along the way to taking their company public—and beyond.

“Writing this book was all about sharing what I wish I had known myself. Fortunately, I could call on many successful founders and CEOs to share their stories and advice,” Kerrest said in April. “I hope it helps the next round of entrepreneurs at any stage.”

Zero to IPO  is currently available wherever books are sold.

For more info Andrew Husband Senior Writer & Editor, OER (617) 715-5933