How Pinterest Started, or How a Guy Just Would Not Quit, by Anna Vital
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Founders
The second "May 2008" above should be "May 2009".
At the Imgur comments link are many other infographics for entrepreneurs.
Including how Airbnb and Instagram got started.
I think it's fair to say that there's almost an INVERSE correlation between how great a startup is after 5 years, versus how hard it was to get there. We could write a gigantic essay about this, but the long and the short of it is: great companies are taking bigger risks, and it's harder to see whether they will be successful in the early stages. Or another way to say it is what a young entrepreneur friend recently told me: "No one starves to death to start a company that makes monitoring software."