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The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World Hardcover – Large Print, January 31, 2017
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An Amazon Best Book of February 2017: Brad Stone has a gift for unwrapping the mythology around a company's origins and making its actual origins—and growth and flubs and pivot points—far more fascinating than the mythology ever could be. In The Upstarts, Stone tackles the genesis of Airbnb and Uber, two companies that have woven themselves into the daily lives of people around the globe in less than ten years. Too many books spotlight a company's wise decisions and business victories, making success seem almost inevitable. In contrast, Stone gives Uber's and Airbnb's mistakes as much room on the page as its scrappy triumphs, allowing a far more complex story to build. Interwoven among the highlights and lowlights are innovation incubators, dirty tricks, desperation among VC investors to not miss the Next Big Thing, competitors' bright ideas, and the strikingly different personalities of the two companies' young leaders. But this is a book without an ending, because Airbnb and Uber are still evolving, making their long-term effect on their industries hard to predict. Timely, clear-eyed, and crisply written, The Upstarts is a must for readers seeking insight into how ideas and eventually businesses can succeed or fail in a technology-rich landscape. —Adrian Liang, The Amazon Book Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Praise for The Upstarts
One of Amazon's Top Ten Books of February 2017
"Brad Stone's The Upstarts reads like a detective story: A page turning who-did-it on the creation of billion dollar fortunes and the ruthless murder of traditional businesses. No single book will tell you more about what life feels like inside companies like Airbnb and Uber as they grow from mere ideas into merciless machines for innovation, riches and unease. The sweat. The stress. The power highs of new instant fortunes. It's all here. You won't be able to put The Upstarts down. And when you finally do, you'll look at your own company and career in a totally fresh way."―Joshua Cooper Ramo, author of The Seventh Sense
"In The Upstarts, Brad Stone has vividly captured the cultural and economic upheaval brought about by the latest generation of Internet superpowers. His book is a magnificent expose of how companies like Uber and Airbnb came to be, the people that profited and lost out along the way and the ramifications that this technology will have on the world for decades to come. Stone remains the preeminent chronicler of the Internet Age and a master story teller."―Ashlee Vance, author of Elon Musk
"Brad Stone gives us a lively, fascinating picture of the new new thing in technology - startups like Uber and Airbnb that are disrupting old businesses across the world. He provides a much needed glimpse into the companies that fail as well as the ones that make it big. And he points to the broad policy issues raised by these new technologies, which are surely no fun for the people whose lives are being disrupted."―Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post-American World and host of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS"
"With precision, wit, and insight, Brad Stone tells the tale of two very different CEOs whose skills, innovations and willingness to pursue a totally crazy idea toppled two very different industries. No one in business today can afford to miss this compelling tale of trust, technology, and very big piles of loot."―Steven Levy, author of In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives
"Over the last few years, Silicon Valley has become the new Wall Street. Brad Stone introduces us to the new tech Masters of the Universe, a collection of characters that are just as insatiable as the robber barons of finance, and even more entertaining."―Rana Faroohar, author of Makers and Takers
"Stone (The Everything Store) turns his attention to the sharing economy in this dual portrait of two of the fastest growing startups...At both Uber, the ride-sharing app, and Airbnb, the homestay rental platform, Stone finds commonality among the CEOs, who lead their respective companies with an idealistic vision and aggressive business practices... Solid and the sheer magnitude of the book's subjects demands attention."―Publishers Weekly
"A richly researched and highly readable narrative that provides additional layers of insight by weaving in contrasting stories of competing companies that failed."―Walter Isaacson, New York Times Book Review
"A fun, briskly told narrative... 'The Upstarts' is not the end of the story but an excellent history of the beginning."―Alex Tabarrok, Wall Street Journal
"Stone brings a big dose of truth serum to the marvels and machinations of the sharing economy and its founders.... 'The Upstarts' is rich with inside details"―George Anders, Forbes
"Technology writer Brad Stone chronicles [Uber and Airbnb's] swift rise to the corporate stratosphere, juxtaposing visionary zeal with the often deep impacts they've left in their wakes... The book is a timely reminder that pushing the digital realm into the physical can disrupt communities as well as the competition."―Nature Magazine
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THERE are shortcomings, needless to say.....like perhaps the account of UBER X, and “ridesharing.” The author thoroughly explains Sidecar/Lyfts MO and pricing/revenue model…BEING THAT OF a “donation”….WHICH satisfies the 60 thousand dollar question EVERY reader has as to the “regulatory” situation, and how such a thing as Ridesharing could be force fed to regulators. The author DID NOT explain clearly how or what Uber experienced in this area, in my opinion. So, I still wonder how/when and what UBER did to quote, post and charge an established “fare”, or even if they didn’t at the start, or if this was a case of “bending rules” which was mentioned. Now days, seems there is NO attempt to disquise the revenue model of UberX to any regulatory body, nor imply drivers ARENT in it for the fare instead of sharing a ride. ANYWAY, Something perhaps the author could deal more clearly with in his next edition..... to which I sincerely look forward since much will evolve with both these Upstarts. Final analysis:…… worthwhile and useful.... A good read overall.... Maybe even a MUST READ for anyone with entrepreneurial inclinations or ambitions.
After finishing Brad Stone's books on Amazon and Uber, I am curious to see what he thinks of all the turmoil that Uber's been through (with Travis resigning ) and Amazon's foray into traditional retail industry becoming more aggressive than ever. Would love to see an "updated" accounts of the two companies!