10 Things You Didn’t Know About “Birth of a Unicorn”

Hello, Hot Messes! I’m back with another great find in the book world: Birth of a Unicorn, by Heather Wilde. After my review in the next paragraph, you’ll find a delightfully wonderful guest post by the author herself! I thought it would be fun for her to share 10 things you didn’t know about her new book “Birth of a Unicorn”…and so that’s what you’ll find below. I love it!

First, the review. Frankly, I’m in awe at Heather’s adventurous spirit. Reading about her life leading up to her time at Evernote was an experience in itself – especially for me, the control freak. I would never be able to let go enough to take the chances this amazing woman has taken – and so, for me, it was inspiring and eye opening to have a view into her thought processes as she went through the experiences that shaped her beginnings.

It’s hard for me to talk much about her six basic steps to success without giving away the experience of reading this book, but I have to say the book put a smile on my face and a spring in my step. Whether you’re a control freak like me or a brave explorer like Heather, there is something to be learned from Heather’s charming account of her success with Evernote. And, let’s be honest, it was the Evernote thing that got me. I’ve been a huge fan for years…it’s an amazing tool!

Without further hoo-hah, here is Heather Wilde’s guest post on the Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Birth of a Unicorn:

  • This is Heather’s Second Book About Evernote

During my years at Evernote, I had created a training guide for internal employees as part of their new-hire orientation. This helped people unfamiliar with the software platform to get started using it quickly and then be able to move on to the other important parts of their job.

As many of the concepts it covered were relevant for new users as well, I adapted it slightly and released it as an ebook.

  • It was started as a Homework Assignment

As part of my initial coach certification training, I needed to be coached in a series of sessions. During one of those, I was given an accountability exercise to write down the story of “how I got to where I was now.” I was also tasked with “sharing that story with the world.” 

  • The Main Action Almost Took Place Somewhere Else

While the bulk of the story took place in Mexico, originally I was supposed to start my own business in the country of Mauritius. While that detail changed, I’m fairly certain that Phil still would have dragged me into working for Evernote, no matter where I was.

  • The Original Concept Was Very Different

When I started writing, I had plans to chronicle the story of Evernote from its earliest beginnings through its IPO. After a combination of things (Evernote’s IPO was delayed, there was a CEO change, and a general flood of tech startup books on the market) I decided to focus on a different type of book.

  • The Whole “Family” Had Passports

Traveling with animals is definitely a difficult consideration and traveling with them overseas brings increased complexity. Both Bastian and Morgan were microchipped with their current vaccination information and relevant visas loaded, and we travelled with all their paperwork printed out in case the chip readers weren’t working or available.

We would stay at the same hotels which would have litter pans and food bowls available for us on arrival.

  • Tony Hsieh Was an Alpha Reader

The former CEO of Zappos was an investor in my post-Evernote company, and a huge fan of Evernote. Upon hearing I was writing the book, he asked for a copy.

He sent back his notes – in Evernote, of course.

  • More Stories Got Cut Than Made It In

Over the 13-year span of the book, including the six years at Evernote, there were many great examples and anecdotes that could have been included. Due to the structure of the book, however, I carefully selected only those that worked toward the narrative.

Additionally, I aimed to include anything truly important that happened in Evernote’s history during that timeframe.

  • You Can Walk in Heather’s Footsteps

As this book is a true story, you can visit all the places mentioned. Here’s a map to help you explore the places within:


  • The Concert Mentioned Is Available Online

Howard Jones is an incredible artist – and one that I still feel was worth driving across the country at breakneck speed for.

Decide for yourself, here:

  • It Is the First Book in a Trilogy

One of the questions I got most frequently from the alpha readers was “why did you stop it at that point?” The easiest answer is I wanted to present a life in stages – and this book is about the birth, and what happens as you’re growing up. The next book is about what happens while you’re adjusting to all that growth, and the third is about giving back.

Each will be focused on a different company, with different business tips and frameworks that can also be easily applied to any reader.

And a bonus thing you may not know – 100% of the author’s proceeds of this book go to the nonprofit Serenze Global, whose aim is to educate underserved individuals in technology fields and help them upskill into new jobs.

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