Best Book Summary – The Upstarts: Uber and Airbnb History

Best Book Summary – The Upstarts: Uber and Airbnb History

Curious about how Uber and Airbnb grew from seedlings to internet juggernauts worth tens of billions of dollars?

The Upstarts covers the history of Uber and Airbnb, from their founding in 2008 to present day of 2016. Learn how each company started as just a side project, gathered inexorable momentum, and infiltrated cities around the world. Learn how neither Uber nor Airbnb was the first idea of its kind, but through strategy and will, they came to dominate their industries. Also learn how Uber and Airbnb attracted the ire of government, incumbents, the collaterally damaged, and its own customers.

Best Book Summary + PDF: Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight

Best Book Summary + PDF: Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight

Shoe Dog is the story of how Nike was founded, written by Nike’s founder, Phil Knight. Nike is now a global brand – go pretty much anywhere in the world, and you’ll see someone wearing Nikes.

But Shoe Dog starts you over 50 years ago in 1962, when Phil Knight is 24 years old, has just earned an MBA from Stanford, and doesn’t know what to do with his life. You travel the next 18 years with Phil Knight, through continuous adversity, self-doubt, and never-ending financial uncertainty.

Shoe Dog is a refreshingly candid entrepreneurial account. Phil is clear about his shortcomings and about how tough it was to keep Nike running year after year. Shoe Dog is also well-written, with poetic phrasings and philosophical musings, unlike the straightforward clip of most business biographies.

Read the Shoe Dog summary here for the main history of Nike and Phil Knight, but read the real book for a visceral account of how one of the world’s biggest companies got started.

The ORIGINAL Dropbox MVP Explainer Video

The ORIGINAL Dropbox MVP Explainer Video

Dropbox is now a technology giant, valued at $10 billion in a 2014 funding round. It’s a very complex product, honed over a decade of development and hundreds of millions of dollars of investment.

But Dropbox didn’t start with the slick, seamless product you use today.

So let’s go back to the beginning, before Dropbox had a polished product and thousands of employees. Back to Dropbox’s original Minimum Viable Product (MVP). If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, be emboldened by the idea that Dropbox started with just about as much as you have right now.

The Best Things I Learned from Sara Blakely, Spanx Founder

The Best Things I Learned from Sara Blakely, Spanx Founder

Sara Blakely is founder and sole owner of Spanx, an underwear and shapewear maker with annual sales of over $250 million (2014). Her story has a few intriguing points:

  • starting by solving her own problem
  • starting with no background in running a business or in garment manufacturing
  • keeping her idea secret until it was mature
  • hustling to get her first sales through Neiman Marcus