When I was asked to do a book review for Reid Hoffman the co-founder & Chairman of Linkedin and Ben Casnocha I obviously jumped at the chance, and what recruiter wouldn’t do to be honest!!
Fortunately I was able to pick up a copy which I had sent to my mothers, as I happened to be exhibiting at the Recruitment Agency Expo last week at the Olympia, which I have to say was excellent. In addition I was lucky enough to listen to Daniel Dackombe of Linkedin who was one of the guest speakers presenting there too. So I will be looking forward to combining the knowledge gained from that and this book “The Start Up Of You”
So on the flight back I took time out to put all my other books aside to get into Reid’s and Ben’s offering, like any book if you start reading and then stop to find you are halfway through you know you are enjoying it, the only problem is I had no pencil to jot notes and a few dog ears would have to suffice.
I believe this book answers more than one question and will appeal to a lot of people for one reason or another.
Firstly it gives you a real insight into Reid’s background and the reasoning behind the development of Linkedin, which in turn really helps you understand how to get the best out of it. Although there are references to linkedin it is used quite subtly, but then again why not!
Secondly if you have read “How to Win Friends and Influence people” you will instantly see that this is the 21st century version of this book without the rather seemingly insincere title, certainly to us Brits and to Reid anyway. In addition it really gets to grip with those of us who do not want to start our own company, but more importantly deals with the huge shift in recent times in regards to work and career. We are in effect no longer company men, but individuals and if you are in any doubt I suggest you watch Company Men. In other words it is ourselves who need to develop our careers, rather than expect it to be given to us with years of service. I am sure this will be of no shock to most, but the book will certainly help give you steps to develop or change your career.
Thirdly you will get a fascinating insight to the workings of Silicon Valley and the characters there in and how they interact with each other, you certainly get the feeling they all know each other.
In the end my book is now full of dog ears and with copious notes, but to write all of the tips I have managed to assimilate would just lead to another book! Saying that from my point of view and which is almost a contradiction to Linkedin or could it be because I am a recruiter, I found that there is an emphasis from Reid not to have too many connections. I was also fascinated by the fact that your 3rd degree connections could be more useful and give a diverse range of contacts, which utimately could lead to better and varied opportunities. Finally it will give you advice on how to network with your contacts in today’s environment with plenty of examples of how it works, without linkedIn 😉
I was considering taking a look at his book, but I wasn’t sure how much it would be about Linked In ( I get enough of that every day. =) ) Now I am intrigued and think I’ll go and grab a copy.
Being en ex-Silicon Valley professional myself, it’s not as big as it would seem, and once you know a few people, your bound to run into someone who knows the key players.
Thanks for the review on the book Stephen!