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

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  7,910 ratings  ·  603 reviews
6 hrs and 41 mins

A blueprint for thriving in your job and career in today’s challenging world of work 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 ov
Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Crown Business (first published 2012)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,910 ratings  ·  603 reviews

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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
Bojan Tunguz
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 28, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Bonnie G.
May 31, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
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
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
محمد مختار
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I stopped writing reviews but this one is a life changer, either you're an employee, young entrepreneur or a business man, you should definetly read it, it's a lifetime experience in a capsule. By one of the most successful people in our generation. ...more
May 02, 2014 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.
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
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,
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
Vikrama Dhiman
Possibly made a lot of sense and was way more useful when it was written.
It looks dated and some of the advice is table stakes these days.

However, it still has interesting insights. Primary ones:

1 "Interesting People Fund": Set aside money for coffee, lunch, or travel to meet interesting people.
2. "The best way to make sure that lucky things happen is to make sure a lot of things happen."
3. "To keep our ancestors alive, Mother Nature evolved a brain that routinely tricked them into making thre
Kit Pang
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Muhammad Arrabi
Sep 11, 2012 rated it liked it
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 some intere
Maria Guzman
Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Sana Vasli
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a really good 'career' book. Perhaps I would have rated it a 5 earlier in my career.

Reid Hoffman is really surprising. You'd expect from being the 'oracle of Silicon Valley' that he's a massive risk taker and is willing to bet the farm on any idea.

Very pragmatic and intelligent approach to career development.
Samer Chidiac
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have always been a fan of Reid Hoffman, and reading this book only confirmed what I always knew about him. He's one of the greatest entrepreneurs of my generation.

In "The Start-Up of You", you will get insights and techniques from the inside stories of some of the biggest success stories such as Netflix, Paypal and more... In addition to Lesson learned from Reid & Ben about career development & investment in yourself that they structure them in an easy to understand the framework and where you
Kristina Lee
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Most of us have heard the tips in this book but rarely have read it all synthesized in one go, nor written as clearly and succinctly as it is here. I've read many similar books and found this one to he absolutely, hands-down, the most important one yet. Granted, I'm already doing some things Reid outlines, but it's good affirmation and a good reminder to all of us to never stop hustling. Never stop building your network. To keep in motion the people that are the whirlpool of our "lives in beta." ...more
Kanchan Mandanekar
Fantastic book to navigate a career, at whatever age, stage or geography.

My best take away:
1. Hustle. Always hustle.
2. Trust your network. Use it intelligently and insight-fully.
3. At all times, have a plan A, B and Z.

A definite go back to when one starts getting comfortable at a career, any career.
Jonathan Weissberg
Aug 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: industry
There's lots of value in learning from entrepreneur types even if you don't want to start your own business. I enjoyed skimming this and extracted quite a few useful ways of thinking better about career, long-range goals, planning, risk and networking.

Full notes available at
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Opportunities don't just come your way—they're connected to people. And how do you meet people? By hanging out at the laundromat. Just kidding. By tapping into your connections. Essential reading for anyone who thinks networking is "gross" or pointless. ...more
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Solid book, despite lots of marketing for LinkedIn (understandable, given the author and the topic) and a feeling of having been written about ten years ago. Would've been a quick read if I didn't keep setting it aside to read other books.

The recommended actions sections (next day, next week, and next month) at the end of most chapters were very helpful. Tl;dr, just copy down those and refer to them. The rest of the text provides additional useful context, but this isn't rocket science. Nonethel
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
It’s to be regretted that I found this book now and not in my 18s. But it’s worth it and I enjoyed having a journey in every chapter. I’d like to recommend it to anyone in 18 especially those in the fields of STEM.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
The Start-Up of You
Victoria Morales

Chapter 1: All Humans are Entrepreneurs (*required)
*Quotes (A minimum of three quotes from the chapter)

1.All Human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in our case we were all self-employed, finding our food, feeding ourselves. That’s when human history began. Civilization came, we suppressed it. We became “labor” because they stamped us, “ you are labor.” We forgot that we are entrepreneurs

2.See how you can turn a weakness into a strength.

3.To succeed profe
Mark Warnock
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great strategy for career survival in a fast changing world. The value of networks, and especially the frame for how to pivot your career, were the high points for me.
Giuliana Bonifasi
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Start-Up of You
Reid Hoffman

Chapter 1: All Humans are Entrepreneurs (*required)

*Quotes (A minimum of three quotes from the chapter)
Quote #1
“Rather than advancing in smooth procession, everyone is stepping on everybody else”
Quote #2
“Adaptability creates stability”
Quote #3
“Most of the time change in the world overtakes you”
Quote #4
“To succeed professionally in today’s world, you need to adopt these same entrepreneurial strategies”
Quote #5
“Not only survive, but thrive, in today’s fractured world
Krista Guillen
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Krista Guillen
March 19, 2018
The Start-Up Of You

Chapter One

This chapter may only be the introduction, but I just couldn’t agree more. This chapter talked about opportunities and how the world is changing and how we should learning to adapt like Netflix did, they saw a problem and they tried to fix them and when they saw that people still thought it could improve they listen and made a better system again and again, until it’s what is now.

“Finished ought to be an F-word for all of us. We are
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Muneeb Ahmad
Nov 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Its one of those books that is relevant only when you reach a certain stage. Not that you can't understand the principles put forward but it's just you can't appreciate it as much as you would at the time when it becomes relevant.
The key concept portrayed in the book is that one's personal career is very much like a startup. The job guarantee is gone and the world is changing rapidly. Great concept as it answers lot of insights about agility, risk taking and anti-fragility.
Overall a good read. H
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Chapter 1: All Humans are Entrepreneurs (*required)

*Quotes (A minimum of three quotes from the chapter)
Quote #1
Mindset “Permanent Beta”
Quote #2
Finished is an F-word
Quote #3
We are all works in progress
Quote #4
Adaptability creates stability
Quote #5
20 years of experience is really one year repeated twenty times.

Notes (do you have anything you want to remember from this chapter)
What I want to remember from this chapter is that having a permanent beta mindset may help you to maintain thriving. I also
Warren Lebovics
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can’t believe I left this book sitting on a shelf, unread for 3 years. One of the better business mind set books I’ve read.
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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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