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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

4.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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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.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071601880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071601887
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 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: #1,848,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I came across this book while looking for resources on starting a business, and I am so glad I did.

Upstarts! is an easy and excellent read about GenY entrepreneurs and how they use their instincts and technology to shake-up the business world. As a GenY-er, I found myself shaking my head in agreement many times as Donna Fenn explains the reasons (many of these entrepreneurs) chose to start their own businesses.

This book is not only insightful, but also extremely motivating. Reading how these entrepreneurs used their skills or decided to take on the status quo got my own wheels turning and focusing my own thoughts into sustainable ideas that could possibly be solid business ideas.

Do yourself a favor and pick up this book. Entrepreneur or not, it provides insights into how the Millennial generation will forever change the face of business.
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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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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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Format: Hardcover
A 53in52. [...] review.

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 [...].
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