Books and Me: The Start-Up of You

Book Title: The Start-Up of You

Author: Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

Don’t get carried away by the title ‘Start-Up’ and categorize the book as something to be read only by entrepreneurs. This book is all about ‘YOU’ the individual, your career and your world. Interestingly though the book starts with the statement “All Human Beings are entrepreneurs. You were born an entrepreneur (not the ones starting companies). The book is not a quick solution to career problems or challenges. But a manual which provides, an opportunity, to view and embark on an entrepreneurial journey. The book compares you to an entrepreneur and your career as your start-up. In today’s fast changing world this perspective seems reasonable.

There are numerous concepts in the book that can help you in leading an entrepreneurial life. Some of the things that I have found really interesting as strong take-away includes:

  • Developing our competitive advantage using the combination of assets, aspirations and market realities
  • The concept ABZ planning
  • The power of “I to the We” – this is not the typical networking advice but specific and pointed inputs on creating and participating in networks, meeting and winning the trust of people and leveraging the power of network intelligence
  • Simple and practical advice such as setting up an interesting people fund, maintaining curiosity to be opportunity prone and being resourceful by investing in yourself are extremely easy to implement and benefit from.

The book comes from the cofounder and chairman of LinkedIn which provides him the vantage point to detail on how to use the power of networking which has become extremely important in today’s increasingly networked environment.

I personally enjoyed the section titled ‘Invest in yourself’ which appears at the end of every chapter and the list of books referenced under further reading. While the book is easy to read and move through quickly- it provided me opportunity to tangentially spin-off in directions and set me thinking on how to apply.


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