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Start-up of You

Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career

By Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha
13-minute read
Audio available
Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

The Start-Up of You (2012) is a guide to how you can leverage strategies used by start-ups in your own career: being adaptable, building relationships and pursuing breakout opportunities.

In a world where entire industries are being ravaged by global competition and traditional career paths are fast becoming dead-ends, everyone needs to hustle like an entrepreneur.

  • Anyone who wants to understand what the right career is for them and how to achieve it
  • Professionals who are considering a career or industry change
  • Professionals who want to leverage their network more effectively

Reid Hoffman is an American entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author. He has either invested in or worked for a number of high-profile companies, including PayPal, Zynga and Facebook, but is perhaps best known for being the co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn.

Ben Casnocha is an American entrepreneur and author. He founded his first company at 12 and at 18 was named one of America’s best young entrepreneurs by BusinessWeek.

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Start-up of You

Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career

By Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha
Synopsis

The Start-Up of You (2012) is a guide to how you can leverage strategies used by start-ups in your own career: being adaptable, building relationships and pursuing breakout opportunities.

In a world where entire industries are being ravaged by global competition and traditional career paths are fast becoming dead-ends, everyone needs to hustle like an entrepreneur.

Key idea 1 of 8

Find your competitive advantage in the intersection of your assets, aspirations and the market realities.

For anything desirable in the world, be it customers, jobs or attractive spouses, there is always competition. Just as a start-up must find a specific edge over its competitors, you too must focus on finding your own competitive advantage.

A strong competitive advantage should emerge from the intersection of three forces:

Your assets are what you have now. They range from hard assets like the cash in your wallet to soft assets like your skills, experience and education. They develop over time, and their strength is always relative to the competition. Thus you should prefer areas and markets where your assets shine brighter than those of your competitors.

The second force consists of your aspirations and values. These should reflect your core values and your vision for the future. Some might call them your passions, and they are integral to success. The guy who is passionate about what he is doing will inevitably outwork and outlast someone who is not.

Finally, market realities are the demands of the world around you. Your competitive advantage will be useless if no one is interested in it. On the other hand, the right competitive advantage can let you ride the very same market trends and technological shifts that threaten other people.

For each individual, the three forces above are not only constantly changing, but also fundamentally unknowable. For example, few of us truly know what we are passionate about. Thus the best you can do is to make hypotheses about these three forces, and adjust them as you go along.

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