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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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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
More About the Author
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!
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
First of all I love the layout of the book. While it has all the usual sections (intro, acknowledgements, chapters, etc) there is a "playlist" between each chapter. The playlist is basically the cliff's notes of the preceding chapter and I love that.
On to the content. The book is the story of a generation that refuses to play the corporate game invented for them my their parents and grandparents. It used to be popular to learn a trade, go to work everyday, collect your paycheck, have little, live simply and 45 years later the company that you built with your blood, sweat and tears would take care of you in retirement. My generation is faced with a much harsher reality which includes making investment choices within our own retirement vehicles (with little to no education on investing), dozens of jobs throughout our lifetimes and the shattered image of stability that huge companies once provided.
There are a few nuggets I got from this book. The first of which is that while we see the corporate monsters and their lack of commitment to employees who work diligently to improve the company and the bottom line we don't like the game. While most of us don't run companies with the big corporations resources we know what loyalty and commitment are. Todays small business requires results and when those results are achieved the rewards are more responsibility and a loyalty that exceeds the walls that make a company. While the status quo is seeking a candidate that has a certain number of years within a field we demand results. A company that is not highlighted within this book but easily could have and, presumably, would have been had Donna heard of it, is [...].Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book in my sophomore year of college after working for a startup for just three months as a summer intern. Read morePublished on November 20, 2011 by Ted Gonder
I came across this book while looking for resources on starting a business, and I am so glad I did.
Upstarts! Read more
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. Read morePublished on January 13, 2011 by Greg
I really did like this book.
It was not an easy read in terms of motivation but it was JAMMED packed with resources. Read more
Donna Fenn has written an excellent book for every entreprenuer as a result of interviewing 150 Gen Y entreprenurs. Read morePublished on September 26, 2010 by Sheryl Dawson
Small-business expert Donna Fenn reports on the impact of Gen Y "upstarts" on the world of commerce. Read morePublished on March 1, 2010 by Rolf Dobelli
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! Read morePublished on February 25, 2010 by josh
In her book, Fenn provides important, inspirational insights into what the next generation of business is going to look like. Read morePublished on January 22, 2010 by C. W. Yost
I will start my review by mentioning that I am one of the entrepreneurs in the book--and I love it so much I have bought ten copies and distributed it to other entrepreneurs. Read morePublished on January 20, 2010 by Gen Thiers