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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

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What listeners say about The Upstarts

Average Customer Ratings
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Amazing book

Best book I have read. Great to know how Airbnb and Uber started and the impact they have had and the sheer tenacity and perseverance of the founders. Love it.

1 person found this helpful

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An undercooked book

The book starts good but fizzes away aa it progresses. A book you can skip.

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This book is just so awesome!!

The narration, the story and all the aspects of this book are worth recommending to everyone, be it an entrepreneur or a history buff. Surely a must read for an entrepreneur. The story, research about all the facts, people and authorities involved and the way of narrating those is fantastic.

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  • Otavio Costa
  • 09-09-18

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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  • Tariq selah
  • 18-06-18

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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  • Sivaranjani S
  • 09-06-18

Gets your heart racing!

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

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  • Tracey
  • 30-03-18

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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  • Chewy
  • 07-04-17

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • MattB944
  • 12-02-17

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 people found this helpful

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  • Rob Moore
  • 02-03-18

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Graham
  • 17-11-17

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.

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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 person found this helpful

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  • PeeJay
  • 05-02-21

Fascinating insights

I really enjoyed listening to this, the huge successes of uber and Airbnb have been a mix of hard work, unforeseeable events and rock solid core beliefs in their business ideas by their founders.

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  • B Campbell
  • 01-12-20

Interesting insight

Felt in some places it dragged on a bit but the story was interesting overall. I felt like it was missing a real punch line.
Stories of both Uber and Airbnb are told alongside each other and that flowed well.

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  • Max
  • 26-10-20

Very detailed and well structured story

This book has offered many interesting insights and it was fascinating to hear the stories and challenges of the uprise of Uber and Airbnb in such a detailed way. If you're a founder you will find plenty of valuable takeaways too.

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  • Victor K
  • 17-07-20

Recommended for entrepreneurs

A good book that gives insight into the journeys that airbnb and uber had from their inception up until 2016 I believe. I would definitely recommend this to be added to the entrepreneur's reading list. But if you want to have an interesting read I feel the way that the story kept on moving between airbnb and uber was not done well. Yes there were interesting comparisons that were made but I feel this could have been done better. All in all, I recommend this book and would give it 3.5 if I could.

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  • Safo
  • 11-07-20

Unlistenable

At least purchasing this audiobook will encourage me to actually pick up the book, solely down to the unbearable commentary. Story I’m not sure of the rating due to only getting to chapter 2.

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  • Ondrej Geryk
  • 06-01-20

Interesting read (listen)

Quite interesting to see insights of these start-ups ... could be little bit more in detail thought

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  • rafay
  • 14-10-17

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
  • 05-10-17

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
  • 11-09-17

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
  • 11-07-17

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.