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Masters of Scale: Surprising Truths from the World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs

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What can you learn from a Silicon Valley legend and a pantheon of iconic leaders? The key to scaling a successful business isn't talent, network, or strategy. It's an entrepreneurial mindset--and that mindset can be cultivated. "If you're scaling a company--or if you just love a well-told story--this is a book to savor."--Robert Iger, #1 New York Times bestselling author of What can you learn from a Silicon Valley legend and a pantheon of iconic leaders? The key to scaling a successful business isn't talent, network, or strategy. It's an entrepreneurial mindset--and that mindset can be cultivated. "If you're scaling a company--or if you just love a well-told story--this is a book to savor."--Robert Iger, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Ride of a Lifetime Behind the scenes in Silicon Valley, Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn, investor at Greylock) is a sought-after adviser to heads of companies and heads of state. On each episode of his podcast, Masters of Scale, he sits down with a guest from an all-star list of visionary founders and leaders, digging into the surprising strategies that power their company's growth. In this book, he draws on their most riveting, revealing stories--as well as his own experience as a founder and investor--to distill the secrets behind the most extraordinary success stories of our times. Here, Hoffman teams up with Masters of Scale's executive producers to offer a rare window into the entrepreneurial mind, sharing hard-won wisdom from leaders of iconic companies (including Apple, Nike, Netflix, Spotify, Starbucks, Google, Instagram, and Microsoft) as well as the bold, disruptive startups (such as 23andMe, TaskRabbit, Black List, and Walker & Co.) that are solving the problems of the twenty-first century. Through vivid storytelling and incisive analysis, Masters of Scale distills their collective insights into a set of counterintuitive principles that anyone can use. How do you find a winning idea and turn it into a scalable venture? What can you learn from a "squirmy no"? When should you stop listening to your customers? Which fires should you put out right away, and which should you let burn? And can you really make money while making the world a better place? (Answer: Yes. But you have to keep your profits and values aligned.) Based on more than a hundred interviews and including a wealth of new material never aired on the podcast, this unique insider's guide will inspire you to reimagine how you do business today.


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What can you learn from a Silicon Valley legend and a pantheon of iconic leaders? The key to scaling a successful business isn't talent, network, or strategy. It's an entrepreneurial mindset--and that mindset can be cultivated. "If you're scaling a company--or if you just love a well-told story--this is a book to savor."--Robert Iger, #1 New York Times bestselling author of What can you learn from a Silicon Valley legend and a pantheon of iconic leaders? The key to scaling a successful business isn't talent, network, or strategy. It's an entrepreneurial mindset--and that mindset can be cultivated. "If you're scaling a company--or if you just love a well-told story--this is a book to savor."--Robert Iger, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Ride of a Lifetime Behind the scenes in Silicon Valley, Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn, investor at Greylock) is a sought-after adviser to heads of companies and heads of state. On each episode of his podcast, Masters of Scale, he sits down with a guest from an all-star list of visionary founders and leaders, digging into the surprising strategies that power their company's growth. In this book, he draws on their most riveting, revealing stories--as well as his own experience as a founder and investor--to distill the secrets behind the most extraordinary success stories of our times. Here, Hoffman teams up with Masters of Scale's executive producers to offer a rare window into the entrepreneurial mind, sharing hard-won wisdom from leaders of iconic companies (including Apple, Nike, Netflix, Spotify, Starbucks, Google, Instagram, and Microsoft) as well as the bold, disruptive startups (such as 23andMe, TaskRabbit, Black List, and Walker & Co.) that are solving the problems of the twenty-first century. Through vivid storytelling and incisive analysis, Masters of Scale distills their collective insights into a set of counterintuitive principles that anyone can use. How do you find a winning idea and turn it into a scalable venture? What can you learn from a "squirmy no"? When should you stop listening to your customers? Which fires should you put out right away, and which should you let burn? And can you really make money while making the world a better place? (Answer: Yes. But you have to keep your profits and values aligned.) Based on more than a hundred interviews and including a wealth of new material never aired on the podcast, this unique insider's guide will inspire you to reimagine how you do business today.

30 review for Masters of Scale: Surprising Truths from the World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ann Venkat

    I had been dying to read this book since I love Reid Hoffman's strategic thinking and leadership advice and also follow his blog. Super thrilled to receive my approval from NetGalley! This book is not just for wannabe entrepreneurs or business owners, but for anyone who aspires to leadership roles or in product development or intrapreneurs. Brilliant insights into how to take feedback for ideas, raise money and create a culture of innovation in your team (or company). Amazing book - must read! I I had been dying to read this book since I love Reid Hoffman's strategic thinking and leadership advice and also follow his blog. Super thrilled to receive my approval from NetGalley! This book is not just for wannabe entrepreneurs or business owners, but for anyone who aspires to leadership roles or in product development or intrapreneurs. Brilliant insights into how to take feedback for ideas, raise money and create a culture of innovation in your team (or company). Amazing book - must read! I wish universities would make it mandatory reading material for MBA classes and entrepreneur courses!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rob O'Hearn

    Reid is a successful podcaster and entrepreneur. Oh, and he co-founded Linkedin. He clearly knows some very influential business people, and he is totally obsessed with how they made it all happen. Collecting the best stories and wisdom from over 100 of his interviews with CEOs and innovators, Reid has arranged them into 10 powerful lessons: on leadership, on growing your business, scaling your business, nurturing ideas, communicating, and much more. This punchy book is a fast, surprising and ve Reid is a successful podcaster and entrepreneur. Oh, and he co-founded Linkedin. He clearly knows some very influential business people, and he is totally obsessed with how they made it all happen. Collecting the best stories and wisdom from over 100 of his interviews with CEOs and innovators, Reid has arranged them into 10 powerful lessons: on leadership, on growing your business, scaling your business, nurturing ideas, communicating, and much more. This punchy book is a fast, surprising and very entertaining read; full of secrets, practical advice and juicy anecdotes (especially on the Silicon Valley tech giants). It’s the best popular business book I’ve read in a long while, truly inspirational. A gift for the aspiring startup.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sebastian Gebski

    There are books about startups that are aimed to inspire you. There are chronicles of a particular startup story. And finally, there are practical ones, that share the 'technical' details of how to run a startup. "MoS" belongs to the 1st category and it does its job really well. Honestly, if you know the author's podcast (Master of Scale), you know what to expect - each chapter (/story) illustrates a concept (cultural, product-related, growth-related, etc.) and it's based on some piece of individ There are books about startups that are aimed to inspire you. There are chronicles of a particular startup story. And finally, there are practical ones, that share the 'technical' details of how to run a startup. "MoS" belongs to the 1st category and it does its job really well. Honestly, if you know the author's podcast (Master of Scale), you know what to expect - each chapter (/story) illustrates a concept (cultural, product-related, growth-related, etc.) and it's based on some piece of individual's/startup's history, peppered with fragments of interview recording (from the actual podcast episode). It's approachable, comprehensible, and covers very different angles (that's why it sometimes feels a bit chaotic), but it's definitely fun to read (or even better - listen to, as an audiobook). It's definitely less practical than (frequently quoted) "Blitzscaling", but it's understandable. What didn't I like? TBH none of the stories had a "wow effect" on me - maybe it's because I was already familiar with many of those anecdotes (or whole companies), maybe because I "breathe" startups on a daily basis. But even w/o that effect, it's well-deserved 4 stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cherie Heng

    It's a blend of stories altogether - and kudos to the team for pulling the stories of the biggest companies that have scaled up in the recent years. Some are interesting (e.g. AirBnb, yahoo.), while most anecdotes I am already familiar with (e.g. Spanx, Canva, Nike, 23andme) and it feels a little generic (e.g. don't say no). Also, too much plug of his own Blitzscaling term. He does advocate that you should have an MVP you are embarrassed of, otherwise you have launched too late. I learnt new thi It's a blend of stories altogether - and kudos to the team for pulling the stories of the biggest companies that have scaled up in the recent years. Some are interesting (e.g. AirBnb, yahoo.), while most anecdotes I am already familiar with (e.g. Spanx, Canva, Nike, 23andme) and it feels a little generic (e.g. don't say no). Also, too much plug of his own Blitzscaling term. He does advocate that you should have an MVP you are embarrassed of, otherwise you have launched too late. I learnt new things about how AirBnB scaled by giving their solid few customers the super VIP treatment and taking their feedback seriously; and how Yahoo's Marissa Meyer also grew well by focusing on the team within first because they know key areas to improve in. Overall, I felt the flow was quite disjoint and sometimes I don't see the clear theme across the examples. Nonetheless, still a good reflection of successful companies in recent times. Good to pick up and read several snippets, but too many may not be most effective.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Steve Brock

    This book was Stevo's Business Book of the Week for the week of 9/12, as selected by Stevo's Book Reviews on the Internet and Stevo's Novel Ideas. From Reid Hoffman: The first truth of entrepreneurship and investing: The biggest new ideas are contrarian. When you have a contrarian idea, it leaves you the space to create something. Being contrarian and right gives you a critical head start on achieving scale. The investors for your contrarian enterprise are out there and they have the resources to This book was Stevo's Business Book of the Week for the week of 9/12, as selected by Stevo's Book Reviews on the Internet and Stevo's Novel Ideas. From Reid Hoffman: The first truth of entrepreneurship and investing: The biggest new ideas are contrarian. When you have a contrarian idea, it leaves you the space to create something. Being contrarian and right gives you a critical head start on achieving scale. The investors for your contrarian enterprise are out there and they have the resources to take you to the next level. Hoffman shows you how to find them and get them to "Yes!" Find more Business Books of the week on my Goodreads Listopia page at https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/9..., and find many more recommended books on my Amazon Influencer page at https://www.amazon.com/shop/stevo4747 or by searching for me on Google.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bob Page

    minimal data refried into "counterintuitive principles" to help you start a VC-backed startup in 2005-2012. most of the companies mentioned inevitably eroded in product quality or did slimy things to meet their growth needs. they're all spoken of in glowing terms - it's all about the entrepreneur and the returns, not about whether anything was materially improved for the better. I am not inspired helpful VC entrepreneurship cheatsheet you won't find in the book: - LinkedIn: use dark patterns to tr minimal data refried into "counterintuitive principles" to help you start a VC-backed startup in 2005-2012. most of the companies mentioned inevitably eroded in product quality or did slimy things to meet their growth needs. they're all spoken of in glowing terms - it's all about the entrepreneur and the returns, not about whether anything was materially improved for the better. I am not inspired helpful VC entrepreneurship cheatsheet you won't find in the book: - LinkedIn: use dark patterns to trick users into spamming everyone in their inbox - AirBnB: screw over renters and delete their reviews when something bad happens. it's all about the landlord - Bumble: use a gimmick ("women message first") to convince investors. :wave: - Instagram: create a social network for vanity and don't mind the increase of teen suicide in girls

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Tarter

    The most comprehensive source of entrepreneurial wisdom I've found yet! And not only that–the lessons in this book are relevant for anyone interested in innovation, leadership, career acceleration, or just simply learning how to build a vision and act on it. I love that the lessons don't just come from one perspective, either. There are valuable takeaways from a wide range of successful leaders, like Tory Burch, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Brian Chesky, Stacy Brown-Philpot, Phil Knight, Caterina Fake, a The most comprehensive source of entrepreneurial wisdom I've found yet! And not only that–the lessons in this book are relevant for anyone interested in innovation, leadership, career acceleration, or just simply learning how to build a vision and act on it. I love that the lessons don't just come from one perspective, either. There are valuable takeaways from a wide range of successful leaders, like Tory Burch, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Brian Chesky, Stacy Brown-Philpot, Phil Knight, Caterina Fake, and more–with each story wrapped in a helpful analysis from Reid that makes the lessons even more memorable. My key takeaway? Entrepreneurship is a mindset that can be cultivated: and this book will tell you how.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Asha

    Masters of Scales was Richard Brandon’s October Literati pick. This business leadership book explores topics of successful entrepreneurship, creating a culture of innovation, raising money/getting investors, facing challenges, and growth. The one part I did like was how companies were forced to change the way they operated last year and how they went about it. However, I felt that none of stories were fresh or had a new perspective that I didn’t know before or that I couldn’t just Google myself. Masters of Scales was Richard Brandon’s October Literati pick. This business leadership book explores topics of successful entrepreneurship, creating a culture of innovation, raising money/getting investors, facing challenges, and growth. The one part I did like was how companies were forced to change the way they operated last year and how they went about it. However, I felt that none of stories were fresh or had a new perspective that I didn’t know before or that I couldn’t just Google myself. Before reading this book, I didn’t realize this was based on a podcast. If I knew that, I may not have picked it up. Overall, I wasn’t really impressed. If you are interested in entrepreneurship or business leadership, I feel like there may be better books out there to pick up

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nicky Chalabi

    Truly enjoy reading the books written by Reid Hoffman. They provide numerous practical advices and he manages to share with us experiences of various founders and entrepreneurs. They are also highly inspirational and pragmatic. Every book and story emphasize that the road to success is paved with countless obstacles and as a founder / CEO you should be eager to learn and adapt quickly. If you are working in a startup or plan to start your company eventually, I highly recommend this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joe Zhang

    Well written. Well argued I particularly like the section on not listening to customers. Feedbacks from customers are sometimes misleading. We should examine what customers are doing not saying.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Everett

    This book goes beyond the podcast. Although it is true that they do reuse some of the podcast material, such reused sections are relatively sparse throughout the book, and the book is chalked full of insights that are nice to have spelled out on paper.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jim Tincher

    While the stories are familiar, I found myself inspired by the book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lorie

    Most of what's said in the book can be found on the internet. There's almost nothing new in this book. Most of what's said in the book can be found on the internet. There's almost nothing new in this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mohamed Al-Ali

    less of a book experience, more of a curation of notes and summaries put together. great advise, but felt like listening to a podcast, not a book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Truong Dac Binh

    Nothing new, I prefer Blizscaling book than this one.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Toi

    Great complement to the podcast, as it organized information in a way that’s easy to follow and digest. Also listened via Audible. Couldn’t resist! WaitWhat’s productions are always next level!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tanushree Pal

    A good followup after blitzscaling

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tony Dee

    Want to grow your business? Read this book! I was so excited after I read it, that I went back for a second time.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michael Trup

    I enjoy business books but this was an unusually helpful and fascinating one. Having done my own start-up to exit (on a more modest scale) and mostly in the analogue era it was fascinating to see many of the same experiences and parallels in the digital, scale-up environment of the last 10 years.

  20. 4 out of 5

    João Vaz

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ashish Arora

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jess Macallan

  23. 4 out of 5

    Fernando

  24. 4 out of 5

    N

  25. 4 out of 5

    Văn Phòng Luật Znalcikomora

  26. 4 out of 5

    Meen Teeraniti

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emilymcmc

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paul Cullen

  29. 5 out of 5

    Andreas Eenfeldt

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bodhi Hwang

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