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The Fixer

My Adventures Saving Startups from Death by Politics
Narrated by: Bradley Tusk
Length: 4 hrs and 35 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (68 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The famed political advisor to Uber, FanDuel, Lemonade, Tesla, and other startups reveals what really happens at the intersection of politics, tech, and business

Most new startups today are in highly regulated industries with strong incumbents - transportation, hotels, drones, energy, gaming, education, health care, cannabis, finance, liquor, insurance. The more startups try to snatch a piece of the establishment's pie, the more they risk running into a political wall. That's where Bradley Tusk comes in. 

Described as "Silicon Valley's Political Savior" (Fast Company), "Uber's Political Genius" (Vanity Fair), and "Silicon Valley's Favorite Fixer" (TechCrunch), Tusk deploys the skills and knowledge he developed working with Chuck Schumer, Michael Bloomberg, Rod Blagojevich, and other political and business legends to help startups fight back. This book goes behind the scenes on how he helped stop the taxi industry from killing Uber in its infancy, how he held insurance companies at bay while startup Lemonade launched in each state, and how he helped online sports betting sites FanDuel and Draft Kings escape the regulatory death grip casinos tried to put on them. 

As Tusk writes, "Every new company is essentially a tech startup. And when you disrupt someone in any industry, they don't say thank you. They punch you in the nose. These are the lessons startups need to learn to punch back and survive the clutches of politics." Combining a firsthand glimpse behind the curtain with tangible advice for how any new venture can play the political game, The Fixer is a must-listen for aspiring entrepreneurs. Includes a PDF of "A Quick Guide to Startup Politics".

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 Bradley Tusk (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Bradley Tusk is raw, smart, and focused. The Fixer will become the book you didn’t know your business depends on - dragging you through the mud and into the trenches of startups and politics.” (Scott Galloway, professor of marketing at NYU Stern School of Business and author of The Four)

“This roller-coaster ride of a personal business memoir ends with a series of case studies of what smart political pressure can really do (and often not do...not every story ends happily). The Fixer is the curtain (finally) being drawn on the often ugly inside reality of what happens when startups attempt to upend a comfortable (and profitable) regulatory order. Any startup founder attempting to eat some incumbent’s lunch (and that’s most of them) would be advised to read the lessons in The Fixer.” (Antonio García-Martínez, author of Chaos Monkeys

“Disrupting any major industry means disrupting its politics, too. Bradley’s story about fighting for startups from Uber to Tesla, from delivering cannabis to marketing vitamins on Instagram, from mobile voting to fantasy sports, captures exactly what it’s like trying to navigate your startup through the muddy world of politics. This is a truly great story.” (Matt King, CEO of FanDuel) 

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Great stories and lessons about startups and regulation/politics

I heard about Bradley Tusk through a company i invested in. When i saw he had a book, it was a must read for me. Enjoyed the stories and lessons covered in the book. Great read for any business, politics, or startup fanatic.

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The thin line between disruption and politics

You always hear about the product, the marketing, and the team. You never hear about the regulation and the art of understanding and playing politics. This book brings it to life through real, relevant, and tangible examples. Well written, well read.

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  • John
  • Lake Forest, CA
  • 01-29-19

Bradley Tusk Saves the World!

I'm not sure what I love best about this guy. He saved us from Anthony Wiener. Helped Bloomberg get elected Mayor of NYC and made cabs and shared rides convenient here. Now, he's taking on mobile voting. Highly recommended.

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Fast Talking Author Should Not Be The Narrator

The book and its author are very interesting. I am sure being a fast-talking political consultant plays well in New York, but it does not play well as a narrator. It’s unfortunate because the substance of the book is very interesting and it’s well written.

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entertaining and instructive

it's a quick listen, and very interesting. His solution of mobile voting for our current problems is intriguing. I had not thought of using blockchain for this but it makes total sense.

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  • Rock fan
  • Basking Ridge, NJ United States
  • 11-01-18

Great book

This was a great mix of inside politics, how startups work, and what happens when those worlds collide. Great read!

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Wish There was more details

I was looking forward to hearing from the guy that helped write Uber’s Playbook and parlayed that into becoming VC but was disappointed in that this book kept things at high level and didn’t dive deep on any of the stories she mentions. Wish there would have been more details on the Case studies.

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The handbook for how to fight local and state government

I learned more about how government works from this one book than I’ve learned in my entire life.

Only feedback is that Bradley’s narration is a bit hard to parse, and so I had to listen at 2x the speed rather than my usual 3x— but I didn’t enjoy it any less.

Bradly, if you’re reading this, please consider taking on cryptocurrency clients in the future, as there is a lot of positive work to be done improving regulations around finance. Unfortunately most laws and regulations are federal as opposed to state or local, and the incumbents are the wealthiest institutions on the planet, which makes them much harder to fight, but if your creativity and mettle can’t make progress here at least we’ll know it’s hopeless :)

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Defines the future for startups—harder

Loved the case studies from personal examples. Thesis is strong—low hanging fruit for startups in sole software largely taken. Now startups move to the next level—regulated industries and its harder. Here’s what the author learned after transitioning from politics to tech.

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Great story okay narration

When listening to this book it’s important to understand context. This was clearly created to generate publicity for Tusk and his team, as they recently raised an investment fund and are actively working with companies like the many listed in the book.

As an interested third party, someone who enjoys learning about the intersection of politics and business, I was engaged by the gritty details of Brad’s “war stories.” I enjoyed his candor and tone, as well as the insights that he provided.

I didn’t love the changing narrations that occurred- it sounds like Tusk did an original cut and they patched things in after the fact based on random changes. It was a bit distracting, but it was tolerable.

I liked what Tusk had to say and found the book engaging, but this was not written as a full guide for startups, it is very clearly a memoir/marketing piece for Tusk. If you come in with level-set expectations you will enjoy this book.