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The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career

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3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,114 Ratings  ·  351 Reviews
A blueprint for thriving in your job and building a career by applying the lessons of Silicon Valley’s most innovative entrepreneurs.

The career escalator is jammed at every level. Unemployment rates are sky-high. Creative disruption is shaking every industry. Global competition for jobs is fierce. The employer-employee pact is over and traditional job security is a thing o
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Published February 14th 2012 by Random House Audio (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Brenda B
My take-aways:
1 "The faster way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be."
2 The "Interesting People Fund" concept. Set aside a bit of money for going out for coffee, lunch, or flying to Boston for a meeting with interesting people. It's an investment in yourself.
3. "The best way to make sure that lucky things happen is to make sure a lot of things happen."
4. (Talking about negativity bias) "To keep our ancestors alive, Mother Nature evolved a brain tha
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Bojan Tunguz
The basic premise of thesis book is the following: the entrepreneurial mindset and attitude are essential for anyone's career in today's economy. Thinking like an entrepreneur is not any more reserved just for the ultra-ambitious, well-funded Silicon Valley types; in order to succeed in today's job market everyone has to adopt many of the practices that successful entrepreneurs have been employing for decades. This, in and of itself, seems like a great piece of advice. Unfortunately, this book f ...more
Clare Herbert
May 08, 2012 Clare Herbert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Note: This is more of a book debrief, than a book review. I’m less interested in outlining and appraising the value of the book than seeing where it fits into my thinking, what lessons I learned and the things I’d challenge the authors on if we sat down for a coffee. I hope it’ll be useful for you too.

I’m coming to the end of my current work contract and on the hunt for my next challenge. So, The Start Up Of You was a timely read. I read it quickly, on the bus to and from work.

It both mirrored a
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Kara
Mar 04, 2012 Kara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I make it a point not to take career advice from people who make money off of giving me career advice; however, I am thinking of living by example and making money off of people for giving them career advice.

But I wasn't looking for career advice from this book. Someone recommended it to me and thought it was something I'd like to read. I didn't get it at first. I care little about advancing in my career, and I only need to make enough money to live my life. You know, just enough money to do th
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Robert
Mar 31, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great book on the power of networking. It is co-authored by the creator of Linkedin, which has surprisingly to many, been around for a lot longer that new comers like Facebook. The book is primarily aimed at those people on the career treadmill looking to make a change, however the information provided is certainly applicable to anyone.

This book addresses 'networking' as something you give before you receive. It demonstrates how cultivating a wide and diverse network is what will not onl
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Bonnie
What a waste of time this is. There is really no information that cannot be found in 100 (1000?) other business books that are better. This is an extended commercial for LinkedIn (which I use and really like for the record, but I don't need to read the infomercial.) Also, some of the message seems to be "its who you know." True dat, but not very helpful advice unless you are teaching people how to connect.

By way of confession I will say I don't really like many business self-help books. I read t
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Suzanne
Sep 23, 2012 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Other reviews provide a good summary of what's in the book so I'm just sharing some disparate things that stood out for me:

* Upfront, Reid Hoffman states that this is not a job hunting manual. It's about giving you a mindset that you need to adapt to the future. In his true fashion of always thinking about how he can make an impact on the world, he says "More broadly, society flourishes when people think entrepreneurially. More world problems would be solved - and solved faster - if people pract
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Maria Guzman
Mar 16, 2012 Maria Guzman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Invest in yourself, invest in your network, and invest in society". This is "what" it is all about. The "how" is what makes this book a good reading material for career people who are clueless on why it is hard to get a dream job nowadays...much less hold one. In the olden days, the only requirement to have a job security is to show up at work on time, work efficiently, go with the flow, be loyal, stay with the company for so many years and retire at 65. Nowadays, that is not enough. I am sure ...more
Juanmi
Jan 18, 2016 Juanmi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: networking
Unfortunately cannot remember much after some months of reading it. Should write down my notes earlier :S

* Re-readability: yes
* Note: 4/5

The motivation for the book is one idea: the steady career paths of the past are gone. Today's environment is extremely dynamic and we should be adaptable and ready to change jobs multiple times.

The solution for the authors is to think one's life and career a start-up, or more simply put, be pro-active, create an identity that goes beyond your current employer,
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Peter
May 02, 2014 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tom van Rheeden, Emily Loh, Tan Ozaslan
Shelves: business, work
An easy read with lots of good nuggets on self-development, properly using your network, and giving back. Probably my favourite book on career advice.
Amanda Spacaj-Gorham
When the former Executive VP of PayPal and co-founder of LinkedIn writes a book on networking and entrepreneurship, it's a good bet he knows what he's talking about and your time would be well spent reading it.

His analogies and concrete examples of networking done well bring the strategic advice to life for the reader. The personal perspective on how networking between the former founders of PayPal influenced further career moves between the one time co-workers vividly painted a picture of mutua
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Kit Pang
Jan 08, 2015 Kit Pang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This will be the book that I will be dedicating my time to in 2015 to 'invest in myself'. I found the knowledge in this book to be extremely useful, especially about entrepreneurship, relationship building and self-improvement.

My core takeaway:

Permanent Beta:
1. To always be starting
2. To forever be a work in progress
Joana Botelho
Jun 03, 2013 Joana Botelho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Star-up, Um Novo Futuro é um livro que nos dá orientações para a gestão de carreira nos dias de hoje em que já não é possível expectar ficar no mesmo emprego, eventualmente até no mesmo ramo de actividade, o resto da vida.
Ao longo deste livro o autor dá-nos muitos exemplos de percursos profissionais nos mais variados sectores de forma a explicar como devemos estar preparados para ser empreendores.
Este livro dá-nos orientações para correr riscos inteligentes, perseguir oportunidades e eventualm
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Jesse
Dec 27, 2015 Jesse rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read on modern career development.

The book's main point: always be creating opportunities, whether through personal development, networking, or regularly reevaluating one's circumstances. Reid Hoffman spends ~150 pages making this point, much of which includes advertising features of LinkedIn or reminding you that he's friends with Peter Thiel and Elon Musk (fortunately, it's easy to skim). But the book makes up for these parts by concretizing the general point into easy-to-follow suggesti
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Ben Peyton
Sep 17, 2015 Ben Peyton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went into this book with pretty low expectations but I ended up being surprised by how much I liked it. A lot of times I hate when books/articles are based around taking the "lessons of silicon valley" and applying them to careers/finance/basket weaving/etc. This book was able to do that without coming off as pretentious and preachy. At the very least I think it has given me a reason to, slowly, wade back into using the series of social media accounts I have stopped using because of fatigue. T ...more
Sarah
Sep 04, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though not a book I would normally pick up on my own, UCLA Anderson School of Management recommended this book to their incoming full-time MBA students this year, and it is easy to see why. Casnocha and Hoffman highlight traits and mindsets necessary for career advancement in today's global marketplace and provide interesting anecdotes exemplifying how those traits and mindsets can play out.

Although much of what they said seemed common sense to me, that does not mean I always find it easy to do
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Lamia
Sep 13, 2014 Lamia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise of the book is that you should manage your professional career like you would manage a startup. The idea was intriguing enough that I had high hopes. It does contain interesting stories of startups and does a good job extrapolating startup principles into career advice. Nonetheless, I haven't, throughout the whole book, stopped and thought this is a powerful/novel idea, or asked myself why haven't I ever thought of this before. It is safe to say that I'm now very self-conscious about ...more
Jaron Dunford
Jul 19, 2015 Jaron Dunford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-business
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reid
Feb 14, 2014 Reid rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I gave on this simplistic book for a reason -- there is nothing in it that is not a faint echo of other business advice in other, better books on the market today.

Obviously, people are going to think that the CEO of LinkedIn has some invaluable business advice to dispense to those who recognize his name. He discloses virtually none of it in this book. (One wonders how he became a CEO in the first place...)

Instead, he takes tried-and-true advice and decides to "rebrand" it as his own discovery.
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Kartik
Mar 24, 2012 Kartik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is for anyone who wants to manage their career - be it the first time entrepreneur, the middle manager in a Fortune 500 firm or a SMB owner.

Pros: The book is part motivational and is interspersed with practical advice on how to make the most of your existing network using existing internet based tools (LinkedIn being one of them). It offers very good advice on how to always have (and create) a back-up plan by leveraging your current skills, how to build up new skills and capabilities w
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Janine
Mar 11, 2013 Janine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Out of the many career guidance books I have read, I enjoyed this the most. The authors did a very good job of providing clear and actionable advice for people with the desire to manage their careers more actively. They make it immediately clear that the times when people stayed 30 years in one job have passed, and that we have to treat our career more like the start up of our own company. I enjoyed that the ideas in this book can be applied to any work environment – whether large corporations o ...more
Mike Ogilvie
Oct 06, 2014 Mike Ogilvie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business-helpful
In a nutshell, this book encourages the reader to treat him/herself as a start-up. More specifically to treat his/her career as a start-up.

If you're convinced that being proactive, creative, and nimble in your approach to your career, you're most of the way there. After that it's a series of common sense ideas to help you along the way. A big portion of it is how to (and why you should) grow your networking and outreach to others.

I really like this book because it focuses on the individual and h
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Sandeep
Sep 13, 2013 Sandeep rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a book I needed to read when I about to graduate from college. I thought I was going to visit them and keep in regular contact at least weekly. I was wrong and I regret days I spent depressed that I wasn't in contact with people who could help me with my career/life goals.

Reid Hoffman's book The Start-Up Of You empowers a young twentysomething or even a mid-30 yr old to realize that everyone was born an entrepreneur. There's a great quote by Nobel Peace Prize winner and microfinance pio
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Muhammad Arrabi
I finished reading The Startup of You book recently, written by Reid Hoffman (LInkedin cofounder) & Ben Casnoca. I thought I'd share few comments about it.

The book is great for those who want to enter the "Business World":
- either fresh college graduates
- or technical people who want to make the jump to business roles
It gives a number of recommendations - that are frankly similar to a lot of other books. But the style is direct & clear, which makes for an easy reading.

The book has som
...more
Justin
Dec 23, 2014 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I approached the decade in which I can - at least theoretically - consider early retirement, I started to wonder about second and third careers. I started thinking about business school, but was self-aware enough to realize I knew very little about business. So I bought a couple of business e-books and fired up the Kindle.

This is the first book on business I read. The basic premise of "The Start Up of You" is to view yourself as essentially an individual start-up corporation - lean, flexible,
...more
Charles
As a genre, self-help can mean large type, lots of space between paragraphs and annoying ‘to do’ lists. But The Start-up of You is different. Its co-author is Reid Hoffman, a legend of Silicon Valley, founder of LinkedIn, co-founder of PayPal, and a big-time investor through the venture capital firm Greylock Partners. Unlike most self-help authors, Hoffman has demonstrably helped himself - to almost $2bn according to Forbes - and earned the respect of some of the world’s smartest businesspeople. ...more
Lidia
May 08, 2013 Lidia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
ok. i was trying to read this book for quite a while now but - i think some people really just should stick to making investor presentations. I was bored out of my mind within first couple of chapters trying to see through the cloud of babbling...
I know that some people think this book is great - the concept is absolutely fantastic even though the idea of treating yourself like a permanent beta and investing in personal growth is not novel....
well - for me this book is a waste of time. If you w
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Eric
Jul 21, 2013 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read (or skim) a lot of books in this arena, though more about startups, startup practice and innovation than what are traditionally considered to be 'self help' books. However, this is one of a handful of what really are self-help books that has real value.

The themes are well-packaged, insightful and backed up with relevant anecdotes, and each chapter has practical tasks to exercise the the themes and help the reader move forward.

This doesn't come across as brilliant, but rather as an unpre
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Pascal Wagner
Aug 23, 2015 Pascal Wagner is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
It's obvious but what I most got our of this book is that not everything happens the way it's planned. It's actually a lot of pivots. So just heading in the right direction and building translatable skills will help you to switch environments.
Melanie
Nov 15, 2013 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2013, career
This book is great because it talks about the need to manage your career like you would a business. For those, like me, who aren't entrepreneurial or business-minded, this is a unique and valuable perspective. Too much of the career literature out there is focused on what to put on your resume, which while important, is not nearly as important as viewing your career as something that you need to actively manage. This isn't a book that you just read and forget about; it includes action items to h ...more
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Reid Hoffman is a Partner at Greylock, and Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at LinkedIn.

Reid joined Greylock Partners in 2009. His areas of focus include consumer Internet, enterprise 2.0, mobile, social gaming, online marketplaces, payments, and social networks. Reid likes to work with products that can reach hundreds of millions of participants and businesses that have network effects.

An accomp
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“Society flourishes when people think entrepreneurally.” 15 likes
“The person passionate about what he or she is doing will outwork and outlast the guy motivated solely by making money.” 7 likes
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