The Messy Middle

Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture
Narrated by: Scott Belsky
Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (407 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Messy Middle is the indispensable guide to navigating the volatility of new ventures and leading bold creative projects by Scott Belsky, best-selling author, entrepreneur, chief product officer at Adobe, and product advisor to many of today's top start-ups.

Creating something from nothing is an unpredictable journey. The first mile births a new idea into existence, and the final mile is all about letting go. We love talking about starts and finishes, even though the middle stretch is the most important and often the most ignored and misunderstood. 

Broken into three sections with 100-plus insights, this no-nonsense audiobook will help you: 

  • Endure the roller coaster of successes and failures by strengthening your resolve, embracing the long game, and short-circuiting your reward system to get to the finish line. 
  • Optimize what’s working so you can improve the way you hire, better manage your team, and meet your customers’ needs. 
  • Finish strong and avoid the pitfalls many entrepreneurs make so you can overcome resistance, exit gracefully, and continue onto you next creative endeavor with ease. 

With insightful interviews from today’s leading entrepreneurs, artists, writers, and executives, as well as Belsky’s own experience working with companies like Airbnb, Pinterest, Uber, and sweetgreen, The Messy Middle will outfit you to find your way through the hardest parts of any bold project or new venture.

©2018 Scott Belsky (P)2018 Penguin Audio

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Really excels after the first 1/3!

I was worried that it was just going to be another simple written and for-everyone -book, when I heard the first few chapters, but then after about 7 chapters It completely changed gear. It's possible that I think that because I'm a product designer, and my boss is not the best at priorities, but damn the last 2/3 was amazing. Definitely going to re listen in the near future.

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Great insights

Scott gave some great insights! His concept on Free Radical employees hit home. As I go through the start up process including meeting VCs, bringing on new employees, etc. this book was perfect timing!

2 people found this helpful

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A helpful collection of anecdotes

Read this in our team's book club. A pretty nice read that reminds you of many things you most probably know or heard if you have built a product or team or something of that sort. Reassuring that yes like many others you'll be most excited when you start or when you'll make it to the last stop, but it's the middle that's messy and not endurable by everyone. So, if you're in the middle of one of those jounries, just keep calm, endure and optimize later!

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Read this!

One of the best books I have listened to in the last 5 years. As a young person in the business world the lessons that Scott talk about are directly impactful on my day-to-day life. Highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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So many notes!

This is a great resource for any creative looking for the strength and creativity to endure.

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It's for leaders starting with a big team.

It you want to work or at least start on your own, this book won't help you. There is a lot of theory, with some practical advice but more as concepts. Not recommending for a person, tiny teams...

6 people found this helpful

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Entrepreneurs and creators this is a must read!!!

The way in which he describes the process and his intent is so profound that he will continue to want to listen for more of what he has to share. I have listen to the book 3 times and have learned something new each and every time I’ve listen to it.

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A Top 10% Business Book

In a world full of trite entrepreneurs blabbing on about themselves, this wasn’t that. Scott was genuinely interested in helping entrepreneurs that approach their business in a sober way, do better. Thanks for this, it was badly needed.

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Nothing new

Not bad but I’d you’re generally on top of the news and blogs around the startup ecosystem then you have already heard the case studies and the suggestions.

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Inspiring Illuminating and Wise

Scott takes a 20/20 look back at how he managed to survive for 5yrs bootstrapping a first of its kind SN.
Even though a lot of lessons here are for more mature growth companies, nevertheless these stories are worth hearing and learning from as the seeds are sown at an early stage. And if you are thinking about growth, it's important to learn a few expensive lessons.