Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Start Up of You

"All human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in the caves, we were all self-employed. We were finding our food, we're feeding ourselves. That's where the human history began with. As civilization came, we suppressed it and made it into labor. We are all labor." Muhammad Yunnus

I read the start-up of YOU by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha this week. That quote by Yunnus starts of the first chapter and it's been running through my mind for the past several days. It's funny. We learned to be labor, it's something that has been taught to us and over time we have evolved into being labor instead of entrepreneurs. I find this funny because I, like many people around the world, am going to school to learn entrepreneurship. 

I'm glad I read this book because Hoffman and Casnocha have the right frame of mind. We are all entrepreneurs, we just have to exploit that side of ourselves. 

This book in a nutshell is about relationships. One of the best ideas in this book is that it is people that do things for you. A person hired you, a person introduced you to the person that got you your job, and a person will decide to invest in your Venture. It's not the business or organization. It's the people. That is why it's so important to connect and build relationships. You can have all the best ideas in the world but if the only person you are telling it to is your fish then you aren't going to be the next Steve Jobs. 

Reid Hoffman is the co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn, so he sees first hand how the 'new world' connects and builds relationships. And the book is not about LinkedIn at all, but I think LinkedIn is a perfect way to build relationships. You can clearly see who you need to talk to in your circle to communicate with someone you want. There is a lot of truth to six degrees of separation and LinkedIn is a platform that shows you who those people in the middle are. 

The book talks about capitalizing on opportunities and establishing competitive advantages and really does offer great steps to do those things. But any book on Entrepreneurship is going to touch on those issues. This books main strength is the walkthrough of building up your network and maintaining diverse relationships. Because in today's fastpaced world, it's going to be those that are best connected that will have an easier time succeeding. 

I do recommend this book. If you don't have a LinkedIn account I suggest you get one at And if anyone has any questions don't hesitate to ask!