The Startup Of You - Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

2021, Dec 01

The Startup of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha is a short book. It is practical and has actionable advices at the end of each chapter. The book encourages you to treat your career like a start up company.

Invest in yourself

The author reminds us that companies don't want to invest in you anymore. Hence take the trainings and learnings into your own hands. Plan it the way you would plan a curriculum. Be prepared to be in permanent "beta" state and learn continuously.

Assets, Aspirations and Market Realities

Find a skill that is based on what you are good at, that which gives you joy and that which will pay you. These three parameters will tell you if you will survive in a job in the long term.

All advantages are local

You do not have to be the best in the world. It is sufficient to be the best in your organization, in your timezone, in your industry segment. Pick a hill that has less competition.

Be Adaptive

A five year plan will limit your choices to what you know today. Make room for changes and adapt to the changing environment. Keep wiggle room in your planning to pivot as you learn.


The author says, "your career success depends on both your individual capabilities and your network's ability to highlight them". When you want to create a connection, do not think, "how can that person help me?". Instead, think, "how can I help that person?". In corporate careers, the connections are not transactinal. You will have to build relationship for years to see the fruits.


You will not find good fortune accidentally. You will have to make efforts to be in the right place at the right time. It takes hard work, smart work and good network for opportunity to knock on your door. When you have no resources, create them.

Take Risks

Most successful entrepreneurs take calculated risks. Ask yourself, "what's the worst that can happen?". If your boat floats even in the worst case scenario, take the risk. Hiring someone without much experience but who is a fast learner is a medium risk but has a high payoff. Take high short-term risks (diversifying your profile) to make sure you can manage long-term risks( industry recession).

Entrepreneurs brim with curiosity; they see opportunity where others see problems.