The universe sent me a copy of The Start-up of You. I’m not joking! A couple of months ago, we received a package in the mail from BarnesandNoble.com with a “gift from a friend” receipt inside it and a copy of this book. The gift was addressed to my 11-year-old daughter Olyvia! I was wondering, “Who’s the slimeball sending my little girl a business book!”
So I set the package aside for two months, until a friend of mine recently started raving about this book that I had to read … called The Start-up of You. I went to Amazon.com (because that’s where I usually shop for books!) and looked it up. I looked at the book cover, and I thought, “Hey, this book looks familiar …” And sure enough, there was this book, sitting on the table in my office, still in the B&N box it came in. Waiting for me to read it. Thank you, universe! (True story.)
Our Stories Cannot Be Removed from Our Context
Here’s one of my favorite sections from The Start-up of You:
“As tempting as it is to believe we are the sole heroes of our own stories, we are enmeshed in cities, companies, fraternities, families, society at large — collections of people who shape us, help us, and yes, sometimes even hurt us. It is impossible to dissociate an individual from the environment of which he [or she] is a part. No story of achievement should ever be removed from its broader social context.”
The Most Connected Person in Silicon Valley
After reading his new book The Start-up of You, I’m convinced that the statement is true: the most connected/socially networked person in Silicon Valley is LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman!
Watch this fascinating profile of Reid Hoffman from Bloomberg TV, and you’ll see how he’s connected to Apple, Paypal, Facebook, Zynga, and a host of other tech companies: