I had high hopes for The Start-Up of You, but overall, I was a bit let down. The information could be valuable for some, but after reading similar titles like So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Linchpin, and A Whole New Mind, this one fell a bit flat. There were certainly some helpful pieces of advice, but overall, the book felt almost like a disguised sales pitch for LinkedIn (of which Reid is the cofounder). Given the choice, I would recommend the three books above over this one.
Reading Notes from The Start-Up of You
On why all humans are entrepreneurs:
The conditions in which entrepreneurs start and grow companies are the conditions we all now live in when fashioning a career. You never know what’s going to happen next. Information is limited. Resources are tight. Competition is fierce. The world is changing. And the amount of time you spend at any one job is shrinking.
I thought this fact on the topple rate — “the rate at which big companies lose their leadership positions” — was interesting:
the topple rate…has more than doubled over the past forty years. Today, more than ever, “‘winners’ have increasingly precarious positions.”
The skills necessary to becoming an entrepreneur of your own life:
- Develop your competitive advantage in the market by combining three puzzle pieces: your assets, your aspirations, and the market realities.
- Use ABZ Planning to formulate a Plan A based on your competitive advantages, and then iterate and adapt that plan based on feedback and lessons learned.
- Build real, lasting relationships and deploy these relationships into a powerful professional network.
- Find and create opportunities for yourself by tapping networks, being resourceful, and staying in motion.
- Accurately appraise and take on intelligent risk as you pursue professional opportunities.
- Tap network intelligence from the people you know for the insight that allows you to find better opportunities and make better career decisions.
I really enjoyed this quote from Bo Peabody:
The best way to ensure that lucky things happen is to make sure a lot of things happen.
The negativity bias:
To keep our ancestors alive, Mother Nature evolved a brain that routinely tricked them into making three mistakes: overestimating threats, underestimating opportunities, and underestimating resources (for dealing with threats and fulfilling opportunities).