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Upstarts!: How GenY Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit from Their Success Hardcover – September 8, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071601880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071601887
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #866,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

8 CRITICAL BUSINESS LESSONS FROM THE NEW ENTREPRENEURS

“One of the richest veins in startup gold is GenY entrepreneurs. Fenn deconstructs the DNA of this collaborative, tech-savvy generation to illuminate the future of entrepreneurship.”
Guy Kawasaki, cofounder, Alltop, and author of Reality Check

“If your business is stuck in old-school ways of thinking, this book will bring new perspective and insight on how a whole new class of upstarts are thinking!”
Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos

“In this smart, timely book, Donna Fenn shows us how Generation Y—probably the most entrepreneurial generation ever—is radically remaking the business world in its own image, one innovative startup company at a time.”
Jane Berentson, editor, Inc. magazine

“This book will make you feel confident. Confident in the fact that Generation Y has the tools, creativity, desire, passion, energy and smarts to keep this great nation in a position of leadership economically for decades to come.”
Harry Paul, coauthor of FISH! and Instant Turnaround!

“This book will change your perception of millennials and by the time you’re finished reading it, you’ll either want to work for one, partner with one, or be that age again.”
Dan Schawbel, author of Me 2.0

About the Author

Donna Fenn is the author of Upstarts: How GenY Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business and Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become a Leader of the Pack. She is a contributing writer and blogger at Inc. magazine, where she is responsible for managing the 30 Under 30 Coolest Young Entrepreneurs feature. An expert on small business trends and entrepreneurship for more than 20 years, she is also a blogger on BNet/CBSi, a columnist on Lifetuner.org, and the co-founder of YEC Mentors.  She lives in Pelham, NY, with her husband, Guian Heintzen, and is the proud mom of two GenYers. For more information, go to UpstartsRock.

More About the Author

Donna Fenn is the author of Upstarts: How GenY Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit From Their Success (McGraw-Hill, Sept. 2009). Upstarts deconstructs the DNA of a new generation of young entrepreneurs, analyzes their success strategies, and provides a important glimpse into the entrepreneurial landscape of the future. Fenn also wrote Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become A Leader of the Pack. Alpha Dogs profiles eight extraordinarily successful small companies in very ordinary industries-- a bike shop, an auction company, a chain of ice cream parlors, a sock manufacturer, a grocery store, a commercial bakery, a motorcycle dealership, and an alliance of public relations firms - to illustrate how business success isn't necessarily about what you do but how you do it.

Fenn has more than twenty years experience writing about entrepreneurship and small business trends. She is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine where she helps manage the 30 Under 30 Coolest Entrepreneurs feature, and a columnist on OPEN Forum, where she writes about startups. She is also an international keynote speaker and the founder of Alpha Dogs Media Group, which helps organizations and brands reach the small business community through events, keynote speeches, and the creation of custom content. Clients include Visa, Alticor, American Express, Sieman's, Dell, State Farm, and Regions Bank, among others. Her work has appeared in Inc., The New York Times, Newsweek, The Associated Press, The Washington Monthly, Working Woman, Working Mother, Family Money, CFO, Corporate Finance, Pink, Parents, and New England Monthly.

In 2001, Fenn was a co-recipient of the Women's Economic Round Table Entrepreneurship Prize, sponsored by the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. From 1988 to 1992, she lived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where she was a correspondent for The Associated Press and covered a variety of issues including business, culture, the economy and the Gulf War. She now lives in Pelham, NY with her husband and three dogs. She is also the proud mom of two GenYers, graduates of Tulane and Cornell who are gainfully employed!


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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As a Gen Y entrepreneur myself, I couldn't put Donna Fenn's book down.
Heather Huhman
This is the type of book you will recommend to other business colleagues and friends alike.
Sean G. Mann
The book is written in a very readable style and thoroughly enjoyable.
Frank V. Carone

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tony Deblauwe on December 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Living and working in Silicon Valley: the land of VC 's and start-ups, I was intrigued to read this book. Fenn begins by describing GenY entrepreneurs as builders of "the new lemonade stand." How true that is about the GenY revolution and their impact and influence on modern business practices. With a population size of roughly 80 million, a predisposition to all things technology and little start-up capital required to produce results, it's fair to say we all need to pay attention to how they think and operate.

Fenn opens up the dialogue with how cultural norms within this group fuel their passion and direction such as brand, social justice, and the need to work on their terms - a philosophy born out of seeing their parents get wiped out from corporate downsizing. They see a servant-leader model focused on collaboration that strives to share the wealth with all. To that end they don't view weekends and long hours as work - but an extension of themselves and their passions - the very fuel that most entrepreneurs need to be successful.

In terms of modeling, Upstarts shows the basic formula for the Millennial world view. They grew up understanding team activities so they collaborate easily. College is the incubator where they meet like-minded spirits. Throw in a dose of mentoring and encouragement their creativity flows. Soon corporations (often in the form of strategic partnerships or community outreach) get involved and fund their innovations.

Leveraging technology is key as well. No surprise as Fenn points out; Millennial entrepreneurs are accustomed to an imperfect business launch via the web, coupled with social networking chatter and buzz. Soon a community platform is built that praises (and buys) the product or service idea.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Frank V. Carone on January 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an Entrepreneur, Upstarts is a great resource which proves that the creative force is alive and well. You can't help but feel energized while reading story after story of those who had the courage and desire to create or improve on what was already created. The following line best sums up the book for me: "why am I breaking my back on something that's not exciting to me." (page 84)It is that sentiment that resonates throughout the book while Donna Fenn describes each GenY Entrepreneur and how he or she has "rocked" the status quo. The book is written in a very readable style and thoroughly enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Raad Mobrem on July 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
After meeting Donna Fenn, I had to read her book Upstarts and I am glad I did. I had started my business Dura Doggie and it was essential for me to keep up on my business readings. It was not the typical "10 steps to success" type of read, but instead a boiling pot of stories and cases done on already successful Gen Y companies. An easy read filled with tactics, and lessons that will most certainly help your business grow. As the saying goes, "Two Thumbs Up"...well I give it four.

Well done!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nader Afshar on November 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Upstarts takes you on a journey inside the mind of a new generation of entrepreneurs. Donna Fenn's insights and case studies reveal how this new crop of entrepreneurs approach business and how their business endeavors will impact our future. Her findings appeal to a wide audience including aspiring entrepreneurs, existing entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

I enjoyed reading her book from cover to cover. From Chapter 1, which shows how new innovative businesses are moving away from a personal accomplishments mentality to a new collaborative paradigm, to Chapter 9 which brings some perspective on the future of Upstarts.

In closing, I firmly believe that any Upstarters who adopt the lessons from this book is bound to challenge the conventional wisdom and create a new kind of venture with a great sense of purpose.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Greg on January 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Donna Fenn takes a refreshing stance on GenY. Most people will say that this generation has been spoiled by the comforts and technologies that they have become accustomed to. Donna argues that for these same reasons GenY has the capacity, opportunities, and ambition to create their own business. When something isn't the way they like it, they are ready to change it. Their businesses are their identities and their pride. From t-shirt companies to internet start-ups, Donna covers all the angles when analyzing their success. Outlined in a concise manner, the strategies Donna examines are critical for all entrepreneurs to consider.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sheryl Dawson on September 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Donna Fenn has written an excellent book for every entreprenuer as a result of interviewing 150 Gen Y entreprenurs. She has distilled 8 critical lessons that provide insight for every business. From building collaborative tribes, to creating branding buzz, to reinventing the next wave of opportunity, Upstarts show us how to succeed. Technical savvy is only the beginning of what is driving this creative and energized generation. They are confident and bold in their ideas and execution of them. Learn from these upstarts who know how to generate wealth.

Sheryl Dawson
COO, Total Career Success
Author, Job Search: The Total System (3rd Ed)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By josh on February 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I didn't read this book, I devoured it. As as young entrepreneur, I was overwhelmed with the compelling and concrete examples of GenY approaches to business. Upstarts! is a fresh roadmap for any person, project, organization, or company looking to "get" how business (and the world) can thrive in the transformational days ahead. I bought three for my friends stuck in boring jobs!
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