Start tapping into your network. Start investing in skills. Start taking intelligent risks. Start pursuing breakout opportunities. But most of all start forging your own differentiated career plans; start adapting these rules to your own adaptive life.

For life in permanent beta, the trick is to never stop starting.

The start-up is you.”

~ Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha in The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career.


You’ve probably heard this many times over – it’s not just the people you know. It’s the people they know – your second and third degree connections who matter.

Now, just knowing is not enough; The Start-up of YOU offers some valuable insights on what to do once you know that these people can help you at some point in your career.

It’s a career success roadmap that works for our changing times. And as you would expect from an engaging book, you’ll find numerous examples from the lives of successful people from the tech industry to Hollywood who have reached the higher rungs of success. It was never a one step or a solo journey, they have worked, re-pathed and have grown through their network.

The take back from these inspiring examples is that no one catapults to somewhere high, you can of course go leaps and bounds from one place to the other but for what seems to be ‘a sudden rise to fame’ there’s a long trail of persistence, hard work, focus and a good network.

The book inspires, motivates and nudges you to get on an actionable plan – to success. The Start-up of YOU presents some key opportunity-creating strategies that can help you on your way up and forward, either as an entrepreneur or simply when taking charge of your career.


Why I loved this book?

  • Through the journeys and experiences of the founders of the now multi-million and billion dollar companies, I have the insight on how true resilience, fierce tenacity and the right network equates to success. All of the three have to be there – in the right proportion.
  • This book doesn’t just tell me what to do to take my career or project to the next level, it shows me how. These few pages have cajoled me to prepare a strategic plan that can help me rise to the market competitiveness and assist others in gaining the career insight truly needed to for that significant jump in their careers.
  • ‘Job security’ is no longer a word in the corporate dictionary; you must be proactive and be prepared with what needs to be done if we ride another recession wave. To be aware and to have an effective action plan can help you ride any wave – The start-up of YOU can be the oar for your lifeboat when time comes. Knowledge empowers. If it can excite you to appropriate action – it does even more.
  • It’s a motivational tonic to the would-be and young entrepreneurs. It offers a boost to the movers and shakers who want to drive their career to higher grounds.


Some insights from Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha that you’ll agree to as you read through the book:


 You have to have your mind on fire

Entrepreneurs brim with curiosity; they see opportunity where others see problems, because while others simply complain, entrepreneurs ask Why? For those of you in your career, curiosity (with or without frustration) about industries, people, and jobs will make you alert to the professional opportunities. It’s hard to learn curiosity. But it is something you can get infected with by hanging out with passionately curious people. And once you catch curiosity, it’s luckily hard to shake off.


Do something to propel your career further

You won’t encounter accidental good fortune – you won’t stumble upon opportunities that rocket your career forward – if you’re lying in bed. When you do something you stir the pot and introduce the possibility that seemingly random ideas, people and places will collide and form new combinations and opportunities. Make things happen and in the long run, you’ll design your own serendipity and make your own opportunities.


Pursue relationships and networks that matter

If you want to increase your opportunity flow, join and participate in as many of these groups and associations as possible – local PTAs, alumni groups, book groups, beekeeping clubs, conferences, and industry meetings.


It is yet again on the list of the brilliant books which are to be read from the first word to the very end – without skipping and with a pen and paper to get started on your action plan straight away! You’re bound to miss on a lot if you dare skip a couple of pages. Each idea and each experience shared by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha is to be chewed on and acted on well.

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Sir Francis Bacon


About The Authors


REID HOFFMAN is a world-renowned entrepreneur and investor. He is cofounder and executive chairman of LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with 100+ million members. Previously he was executive vice president and on the founding board of directors of PayPal. He is also a partner at Greylock, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm. He is an early investor in over 100 technology companies, including Facebook and Zynga.





BEN CASNOCHA is an award-winning entrepreneur and author. He has written for Newsweek and public radio’s Marketplace and appeared on CNN, the CBS Early Show, and CNBC. BusinessWeek has named him one of “America’s best young entrepreneurs. He has spoken to more than ten thousand students and businesspeople in countries around the world.