All human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in the caves, we were all self-employed…finding our food, feeding ourselves. That’s where human history began. As civilization came, we suppressed it. We became “labor” because they stamped us, “You are labor”. We forgot that we are entrepreneurs. (Muhammad Yunnus, Nobel Peace Prize winner and microfinance pioneer)
Entrepreneurship is something you feel and the only way to understand it is to try it out. You can not learn it from a university course or a book. However there are certain books that are helpful to understand how the world rules. One of these is “The Start-Up Of You“, by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha.
After almost ten years of experience at Linkedin Reid Hoffman, founder and Chairman, and Ben Casnocha decided to write a book about Entrepreneurship, Startups and Connections. The Start-Up of you is the best way to inspire yourself and to drive you into new interesting experiences in your future career or in your current field work.
With the right knowledge about Networks and Connections Reid Hoffman explains us how much it is important to stay connected with the people we care and the ones who could help us in the future. Thanks to the imperative “Help the others and then get back”, Hoffman is able to show us how to build a solid and well structured network of friends, relatives and colleagues, who one day could be our cofunders or the people who could find us a new job.
Taking as examples many well famous stories such as the one about how Kevin Rose was able to invest in Square and the way Sheryl Sandberg has been able to end up to Facebook, these two guys show us how much Entrepreneurship is important for our modern society. With the idea that every human being is born as an Entrepreneur, they try to involve us to invest in ourselves and to transform our careers.
Using the Plan ABZ, the book tells us how to decide when it is time to pivot to plan B and even to always leave a Plan Z. The latest solution to our career, the one who could rescue us from a terrible failure. For this reason they describe how several companies have been able to pivot to different plans during the career. Two of them are Netflix and Flickr.
The former started without the internet and a real strong support from the technology which we have today. With the raise of the new technology Netflix has been able to adapt to new and interesting business plans, making its product available on multiple platforms. On the other hand, Flickr, which started as an online game, understood how a simple feature introduced in the game could change the way we shared photos and pictures on the web. By pivoting to plan B, Flickr developed a great product, which was later sold to Yahoo.
On the same wavelength these two guys talk about several aspects that make Entrepreneurship so interesting. Taking risks is one of them. Entrepreneurs have to take risks in order to succeed and when they do that they always have to consider plan ABZ and different ways to save their careers. Risks are part of the game, so they need to be taken with a serious consideration.
Developing a competitive advantage seems so important in the modern economy. For this reason, Hoffman and Casanocha take into account three main blocks and assemble them altogether. If you find the right Aspirations, Assets and Market Realities and if you are able to assemble them in the right way, you will have succeed in our modern overcrowded market.
However although they point out several different aspects of Entrepreneurship, they always focus on the main one, which is the importance of connections. If you have a well network of people who do what you do you will have more chances to get better job opportunities, cofounders and even coworkers. The network you build during your career is so much useful for you future and if you are able to build that you will have less problems while working. Further thanks to social media, the way people connect has become so much simple and fast, which requires almost nothing to keep in contact with other individuals.
This book is intended for every individual that wants to make the next step, toward a better future for himself and for the people who are around him. If you want to become an Entrepreneur, a thinker or a better worker, you should buy it in order to see how the world is seen by one of the best Entrepreneurs of the last twenty years.