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The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future,…

The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and… (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha

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194760,720 (3.54)3
Title:The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career
Authors:Reid Hoffman
Other authors:Ben Casnocha
Info:Crown Business (2012), Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman (2012)



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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
An important read and perhaps one that should be required for everyone graduating from college these days. People still act as if there are these fixed "job" entities just waiting for them as soon as they get a degree; unfortunately, this is just not the case. Nowadays, it's more of a pure market than ever and you are a merchant selling your skills.

The book does meander into the "self-help" flavor at times and the "you should REALLY be using LinkedIn" at other times. However, for the most part, it's full of compelling anecdotes, good advice on networking, and a strong theme of personal growth and adaptation.

My favorite part:

"Opportunities do not float like clouds. They are firmly attached to individuals. If you're looking for an opportunity, you're really looking for people."

( )
  brikis98 | Nov 11, 2015 |

I do like to read the odd personal development book sometimes, but in general I like them more than this one, which summarises its approach thus:

"How do you survive and thrive in this fiercely competitive economy? You need a whole new entrepreneurial mindset and skill set. Drawing on the best of Silicon Valley, The Start-Up of You helps you accelerate your career and take control of your future–no matter your profession."

The authors mock the What Color Is Your Parachute approach of establishing a clear desired vision, and urge instead an aggressively flexible approach of constantly rethinking your priorities, which to me sounds like an awful lot of work. It seemed to me full of assumptions about personal values and experiences which will apply only to a small subset of people, most of whom are either already very well off or are already well-placed to become so. There is no harm in encouraging people to think creatively, and some of the ideas about networking are actually rather good, but I don't recommend this particularly strongly. ( )
  nwhyte | May 30, 2015 |
This one is a tough one to rate. I was initially inclined to give it just three stars, which is actually a pretty good rating, I'd say -- it means something is worth reading, just not something I'd likely read again. A lot of what's in here presents concepts I'm personally already familiar with, but what was refreshing was hearing some actionable ideas for putting them to work. It certainly feels at times like it could be a thinly veiled advertisement for LinkedIn, but... the ideas given seem like they could be translated to other social networks both internet-based and otherwise.

I'm not going to suggest I necessarily agree with all the ideas and suggestions presented here, but there's a lot here to bring to your personal direction both in terms of your career and your life outside of your work. I feel inclined to recommend this book to various past and present coworkers, colleagues and friends, but the truth is that some of the ideas are already things I've suggested in the past. Also, I think some of this needs to be tested by the "common man" so-to-speak, given that most of the case studies cited are what most of us would consider exceptional. ( )
  tlockney | Sep 7, 2014 |
I'm glad this book exists because I think the concept behind it (which you know before you read it) is powerful and should be taken seriously by everyone who needs to make a living these days. It's a quick read, and probably most worth it for the young, un- or under-employed and needing a boost, or the old-schooled. ( )
  FranklynCee | Feb 22, 2014 |
Good common-sensey stuff here. Worth a read for anyone looking for professional development. ( )
  chaosmogony | Apr 27, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Reid Hoffmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Casnocha, Benmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoffman, Reidmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307888908, Hardcover)

Thomas Friedman Interviews Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

Thomas L. Friedman is a New York Times foreign affairs columnist, three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, and author of international best seller Hot, Flat, and Crowded.

Whatever you may be thinking when you apply for a job today, you can be sure your prospective employer is thinking this: Can this person add value every hour, every day--more than a worker in India, a robot, or a computer could? Can he or she help my company adapt by not only doing the job today but also reinventing the job for tomorrow? And can he or she adapt with all the change, so my company can adapt and export more into the fastest-growing global markets? In today's hyper-connected world, more and more companies cannot and will not hire people who don't fulfill those criteria. This is precisely why LinkedIn's founder, Reid Garrett Hoffman, one of the premier starter-uppers in Silicon Valley--besides cofounding LinkedIn, he is on the board of Zynga, was an early investor in Facebook, and sits on the board of Mozilla--has written The Start-up of You, coauthored with Ben Casnocha. Its subtitle could easily be: "Hey, recent graduates! Hey, thirty-five-year-old midcareer professional! Here's how you can build your career today." Here is our brief chat about their book.

Tom: You're a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Why did you feel the need to offer this message?

Reid: As you write in That Used to Be Us, our country faces enormous challenges. The path to the American Dream has changed. We wanted to focus on what individual professionals can do to survive and thrive in a flat world. The premise of the book is that all of us are entrepreneurs of our own lives. We must act as CEO of our careers, take control of our professional future, and become globally competitive.

Tom: Really? Anyone can be an entrepreneur? Really? Even me?

Reid: Not only can anyone be an entrepreneur, but they must be. Even you, Tom! Not everyone should start companies, but everyone must be the entrepreneur of his or her own life. The skills people need to manage their careers are akin to the skills of entrepreneurs when they start and grow companies. For example, entrepreneurs can both be persistent on a plan and flexible when conditions change. They take intelligent risk. They build networks of allies and tap those networks for intelligence on what's happening in the world. Silicon Valley's most innovative entrepreneurs possess unique skills--you can learn them and apply them, no matter your profession.

Tom: Who is the target audience for this book?

Reid: Jeff Bezos says that at Amazon.com "it's always day one." This is a book for people just starting out, and it's equally for people midflight in their career who need to reinvent, restart, or reimagine their career as if it were day one, as if they were in permanent beta. We think that's most people, and eventually everyone.

Tom: What does it mean to be in "permanent beta?"

Reid and Ben: Technology companies sometimes keep the "beta" label on software for a time after the official launch to stress that the product is not finished, so much as ready for the next batch of improvements. For entrepreneurs, finished is an F-word. Great companies are always evolving. Finished ought to be an F-word for all of us. We are all works in progress. Each day presents an opportunity to learn more, do more, be more, grow more in our lives and careers. You will need to adapt and evolve forever--that's permanent beta.

Tom: Why the urgency of The Start-up of You?

Reid and Ben: A billboard that once ran along the 101 highway in Silicon Valley summed it up pithily: "A million people can do your job. What makes you so special?" We wanted to give people tools to take control of their lives, without having to wait around for the government or a company to rescue them.

Tom: Is China going to eat America's lunch?

Reid and Ben: National competitiveness is really a reflection of the individual competitiveness of its citizens. The question for each American is, "Is a professional in China going to eat your lunch?" Some will be competitive, and some will not. And the distinction is not set in stone. Just look at Detroit. All of us need to have a plan for investing in ourselves every day.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The founder of LinkedIn demonstrates how to apply effective entrepreneurial strategies to an individual career, explaining how to navigate modern challenges by becoming more innovative, self-reliant, and networked.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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