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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author of The Everything Store Brad Stone takes us deep inside the new Silicon Valley.

Ten years ago the idea of getting into a stranger's car or walking into a stranger's home would have seemed bizarre and dangerous, but today it's as common as ordering a book online. Uber and Airbnb are household names: redefining neighbourhoods, challenging the way governments regulate business and changing the way we travel.

In the spirit of iconic Silicon Valley renegades like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, a new generation of entrepreneurs is sparking yet another cultural upheaval through technology. They are among the Upstarts, idiosyncratic founders with limitless drive and an abundance of self-confidence. Young, hungry and brilliant, they are rewriting the traditional rules of business, changing our day-to-day lives and often sidestepping serious ethical and legal obstacles in the process.

The Upstarts is the definitive account of a dawning age of tenacity, creativity, conflict and wealth. In Brad Stone's highly anticipated and riveting account of the most radical companies of the new Silicon Valley, we find out how it all started and how the world is wildly different than it was 10 years ago.

©2017 Brad Stone (P)2017 Penguin Random House UK

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very interesting. Maybe a bit early!

it's a new world. it's a new economic and social environment. It is a story that will still evolve a lot. But the book tells the beginning of those startups and of the sharing economy itself. That's important enough!

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Good bio of Uber & Airbnb

story is well written, more focus on the actions of Uber & Airbnb founders not on their personas, nice and smooth book in general.

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Gets your heart racing!

If you are a follower of the tech world, you are in for a treat!

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Encouraging if you decided to start a business

loved it because it gives you a behind the scene look at how these businesses were set up and got through their various growth stages

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  • MattB944
  • 02-12-17

Definite must read for all entrepreneurs

Definite must read for all entrepreneurs with big dreams. Great insight into big mistakes not to make or how you should or shouldn't run a business.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Chewy
  • 04-07-17

Not for me

So this book was interesting in a way that it goes into depth of their journey of uber etc but probably not what I was expecting so rushed it and it felt long. I didn't know what I was expecting but I didn't connect; it's not a bad book but just not for me. It's good if you wanna imagine the reality of an upstart & its trials & tribulations. Respect to the author but I am prob not your correct audience.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Coffee4Life
  • 11-17-17

Started strong

Started strong - and it as clearly very very well researched - but i have to admit it did get a little tedious in the second half. Still a good book if you are interested in the formation of huge companies.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Colly23
  • 06-06-17

Real insight into the world of the Upstart

If you are fascinated by the recent uprising of the sharing economy heavyweights - Uber & Airbnb - then this book will really appeal.

The 2 stories run alongside each other, which helps illustrate the speed of growth and briefly references the competition they faced throughout this period.

Personally, I was more interested by the insight into the characters of Travis Kalanick and Brian Chesky - what drove them to success and how they challenged city law-makers & resistance from competition... who knows what will happen next!?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mia
  • 08-16-18

Easy read

Really intresting read, enjoyed it as a easy listening book especially if your interested in business

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  • Gareth
  • 04-15-18

Detailed and revealing

This is a great read that tells the story of both companies in detail. Riveting and full of valuable insights for entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to understand the truth about how the new wave of tech companies got started. Includes the obstacles both companies faced and how they dealt with them.

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  • LC
  • 04-15-18

Poor narration of an interesting story

I found the story is very interesting due to the subject, although it is written in a way that isn't very engaging.
However, it is really ruined by extremely poor narration, sounding is if the narrator is completely bored by what he is reading and can't be bothered.

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  • Hooked Living
  • 04-12-18

From ignorance to knowledge

I have loved this book. It has given me an insight into how Uber, AirB&B and other startups went from idea to Unicorns... Literally took me from being totally ignorant about how much goes into the idea, build up and creation of big tech startups, to having great respect and admiration for all those involved regardless of all the things we hear in the media whirlwinds. I have a new found understanding and admiration for all... Totally recommend reading this book.

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  • Vijayant Singh
  • 04-01-18

Indispensable, A Must for all Entrepreneurs

So many facets of proactively preparing for growth pangs opened up that my business plan draft changed drastically and unrecognizably by the time I was done listening to this book. In the day and age of data breaches, wildly moving customer sentiments and newer regulations around the treatment of data, this book also touched upon how to prepare for unforseen changes. I've been working on one of my own startup ideas for months now, thought if reading this book among others to gain critical insights into what others have done that could be changed... This book touches upon most of the aspects, business growth, fund raising, owner co-founder synergies, and ultimately, pragmatism over idealism.

Totally worth my time and investment. Highly recommended alongside "Creativity Inc." by Ed Catmul, give yourselves some time, folks.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rob Moore
  • 03-02-18

My favourite audiobook of 2017 (out of 100s)

Would you listen to The Upstarts again? Why?

Yes. Really great reveal of disruptive business and the wrestle between success and challenge. Well researched, balanced & motivating

Who was your favorite character and why?

All 4 of the main protagonist companies

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The title: "The Upstarts" perfectly relevant

Any additional comments?

A great mix of motivation to grow and disrupt in your own space, fun, educational, unique & balanced. A great piece of work.

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  • rafay
  • 10-14-17

A must for entrepreneurs who want to create something big

It's a fantastic book that lets you see the massive tech giants as what they really are, as a couple of like minded people who got together and had a vision of the world that wasn't created yet. It lets you see the process of building an empire and the hoops each start up had to jump through just to make it into 2017. Definitely recommend this book.

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  • Hayley
  • 10-05-17

Fascinating

Easy to listen to and well written. A clear insight into the world of the rapidly growing tech companies. A fascinating journey for anyone entering the startup world.

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  • William
  • 09-11-17

So good!

Great stories and insights on Uber & Airbnb, learnt a lot about business and tactics listening to this book.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-11-17

Great book, a bit heavy on regulations

Great book. A little too heavy on regulations for my liking, but there are golden nuggets of insight here.