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

Reid Hoffman , Ben Casnocha
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Feb 2012

From the co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn and author Ben Casnocha comes a revolutionary new book on how to apply the strategies of successful entrepreneurship to your career: in other words, how to run the 'start-up of you'.

In a world where wages are virtually stagnant, creative disruption is rocking every industry, global competition for jobs is fierce, and job security is a thing of the past, we're all on our own when it comes to our careers. In the face of such uncertainty, the key to success is to think and act like an entrepreneur: to be nimble and self-reliant, to be innovative, and to know how to network and stand out from the crowd. And this is precisely what Hoffman and Casnocha show you how to do in a book that is both inspirational and supremely practical.

Just as LinkedIn is the one online community that no professional can afford not to belong to, this is the book that no professional can afford to be without.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Business (16 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184794079X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847940797
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"The most compelling parts of this book are the ones that look at the importance of developing and exploiting professional networks. As well as explaining network intelligence, or why your contacts’ contact may be the best source of leads about potential jobs, the book also gives numerous tips - including ones gleaned from the world of online dating - about how best to broker effective relationships" (Economist)

"[An] extremely interesting and informative read" (

"Rather than containing the usual tranch of aphorisms and advice on how to create lists of things you want to achieve, The Start-up Of You suggests arranging your career like a business … We challenge you not to be inspired" (PA Life)

"It is the optimism of Silicon Valley that infuses this book: there is still hope for those striving to break into the charmed circle" (Richard Waters Financial Times)

"Being an entrepreneur isn't really about starting a business. It's a way of looking at the world: seeing opportunity where others see obstacles, taking risks when others take refuge. Whatever career you're in ­ or want to be in ­The Start-Up of You holds lessons for success." (Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg, L.P. and Mayor, New York City) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

The co-founder of LinkedIn offers a revolutionary new blueprint for thriving in today's fractured world of work.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Very Insightful 20 Feb 2012
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
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 falls far short of delivering on how to implement such an approach in most ordinarily career paths.

I have for years in fact been adopting the kind of attitude that this book promotes: I've networked like crazy, created substantial online presence, tried to be in tune with the latest technological and professional trends, etc. However, in order to have a career, or even get a job, a lot more is required. It is these other much more crucial steps that I was hoping to learn more about from reading this book. Its authors, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha, seemed to have exactly the kinds of credentials that would lend itself to revealing interesting and fact-based insights that are otherwise hard to find. My expectations were particularly high since Hoffman is one of the cofounders of LinkedIn. I was hoping that we'd find out some interesting data culled from millions of LinkedIn job searches and professional connections. Unfortunately, all my expectations have fallen way short, and "The Start-up of You" is just another indistinguishable, fluffy career "advice" book, of which there are already way too many on the market.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars LinkedIn advice 7 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For those starting out on their business career this would get 5star rating. For those a little older and wiser it gets 3 as it helps you get into exploiting the system in a very quick manner but not much else in enlightenment.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Short Review:

Recommended if you're the sort of person who thinks that you, and you alone, are responsible for your personal success. A strong and inspiring message of self-reliance throughout but with weak practical suggestions.

Longer Review:

Written by the co-founder of LinkedIn (Reid Hoffman) and Ben Casnocha - a young American entrepreneur - 'The Startup of You' is one of those 'kick in the pants' type of books that American authors seem to write so well (and so frequently).

As I understand it, the message of the book is that your success is down to you and you alone. Plain and simple. Always has been and always will be. A message that's even more important in the current economic climate when many have been turfed out of their jobs and are practically, if not literally, on their own.

Yet your version of career success, or the end Goal (the Vision as it's often called) should be something you're constantly evaluating, reflecting upon and, if needs be, changing. This flexible, adaptive mental state is what the authors label as 'permanent Beta'. It's a recognition that life is complex and it's not until you put your idea(s) out there, into the real world, that you'll discover whether it works and whether people are interested or not.

Your idea, or product or service, can literally be something you create, promote and sell as a business. Or, indeed, it can be 'Brand You' - your personal, Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or Value that you bring as an employee.

Once you've adopted this attitude that you're always experimenting, looking for the next opportunity and remaining flexible, the authors stress the importance of building and maintaining your network.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Start-up of You 13 Feb 2013
By Jackie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just couldn't get into this book, the way it was written seemed very hard going and definitely rather idealistic. Not necessarily living in the real world
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3.0 out of 5 stars A promo for Linkedin 3 Oct 2014
The concept of this book is not new: everyone is a brand, a business.
Having read many self-help books about business, I can't remember any original idea in this one.
This books seems to be written in part, to promote the use of Linkedin, in part, to justify why a young entrepreneur could earn billions of $, without inventing the cure for cancer. You can find better use of your time.
You have been warned.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It wasn't wrong. 29 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book after it was recommended in a magazine (glamour or Cosmo, can't remember which)
I was feeling a little lost. My career wasn't going quite where I wanted it. I felt stuck in a job I no longer loved or felt passionate about and this book helped me change my thinking. Now I'm making all kinds of changes and it feels great.
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4.0 out of 5 stars very useful for linking-in 18 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good book for starters or those who have been using linked-in for a while. Great tips and ideas
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4.0 out of 5 stars a good read for any upcoming entrepreneur. 7 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great little book about the power of relationships and networks. Should be able to keep you inspired on the journey ahead!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and clever book on managing your career
really good read filled with practical examples, stories and strategies. These would be useful for anyone who is looking at proactive career management advice at any age and walk... Read more
Published 3 months ago by V Dolz
5.0 out of 5 stars ... book and I have to say I was not disappointed. I will give nothing...
I really didn't know in which path the author was going to take in this book and I have to say I was not disappointed. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Carol Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent...ground breaking
One of the best books I have read in the las year! I was smiling all through it. The philosophy of work and it's output are well thought out to applied by the ambitious or laid... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Triathlete franz
3.0 out of 5 stars Avg writing but good for insights in Silicon Valley entrepreneurs
Poor the explanation of the idea of applying start up concepts to all workers. Not everybody is or can be an IT entrepreneur. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Gozzi Antonluigi
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will definitely change your perspective!!
In a number of years I am sure I will refer to this book as one of those books that changed my way of thinking about self investment. Read more
Published on 20 Jun 2012 by Sapeleboy
4.0 out of 5 stars All in the mind
This is a great book - just right for me as I embark on a new career with a start-up business. But Reid Hoffman's thesis is broader than that. Read more
Published on 16 Jun 2012 by Michael Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to read and learn something new
I am starting to read it, but so far so good! The author, Reid Hoffman has a smart way to describe his point of view and understanding of what an individual is and can become in... Read more
Published on 13 April 2012 by Leo
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