Do you view your career as a startup?

I first met Reid Hoffman, nearly six years ago (Thanks, Kay!) as I was being interviewed by the then executive team at LinkedIn for my role as social media guy. Since then, what has always struck me the most about Reid is his simplicity coupled with his enthusiasm in debating complex topics, whether it’s a philosophical discussion on social media to something as simple as the importance of adding commenting to our blog.

One of my favorite pics from the old days – Reid Hoffman (center) with Jean-Luc Vaillant (left) and Allen Blue (right) at our old Palo Alto office

Working at LinkedIn during those early days was a great opportunity to watch, discuss and learn from him on a slew of topics and it’s great to see that Reid’s now shared many of his learnings into his recent book – “Startup of You“.

There are tons of valuable insights that Reid and co-author, Ben Casnocha, have assembled in the new book. Insights that are simple on the face of it, but you’d be surprised at how unheeded some of them are. Here are some:

  • How to establish close professional alliances who can help you and whom you can help in turn.
  • Why the most powerful networks include a mix of both allies and looser acquaintances.
  • Why you should set up an “interesting people” fund to guarantee that you spend time investing in your network.

The other parts of the book that I also found fascinating include the anecdotes, like this one:

I [Reid] first met Mark Pincus while at PayPal in 2002. I was giving him advice on a startup he was working on. From our first conversation, I felt inspired by Mark’s wild creativity and how he seems to bounce off the walls with energy. I’m more restrained, preferring to fit ideas into strategic frameworks instead of unleashing them fire-hose-style. But it’s our similar interests and vision that have made our collaborations so successful.

We invested in Friendster together in 2002. In 2003 the two of us bought the Six Degrees patent, which covers some of the foundational technology of social networking. Mark then started his own social network, Tribe; I started LinkedIn (LNKD). When Peter Thiel and I were set to put the first money into Facebook in 2004, I suggested that Mark take half of my investment allocation. I wanted to involve Mark in any opportunity that seemed intriguing, especially one that played to his social networking background. In 2007, Mark called me to talk about his idea for Zynga (ZNGA), the social gaming company he co-founded and now leads. I knew almost immediately that I wanted to invest and join the board, which I did.

An alliance is always an exchange, but not a transactional one.

Now, some folks may think that these alliances are an exception:

All of which prompts a question: in a winner-takes-all world, do the networks of the rich and powerful become self-reinforcing? For all Hoffman’s claims that the lives of successful Silicon Valley zillionaires are a useful model, one cannot escape the sense that he moves in a rarefied world in which a you-scratch-my-back chumminess excludes the less fortunate.

I beg to differ. These mutual alliances model is one that all successful professionals follow. These alliances can be found everywhere in our careers. And, we do it all the time.

Now, some professionals may have an old-school way of thinking where they stop looking at professional enrichment once at a job. Though this may have worked in the past, I couldn’t agree more that in today’s economy it’s imperative that we not only keep our skill sets updated constantly but more importantly, that we also actively nurture our relationships that matter so much. As Reid shared with Thomas Friedman of the New York Times last year:

The old paradigm of climb up a stable career ladder is dead and gone. No career is a sure thing anymore. The uncertain, rapidly changing conditions in which entrepreneurs start companies is what it’s now like for all of us fashioning a career. Therefore you should approach your career strategy the same way an entrepreneur approaches starting a business.

I highly recommend this book if you believe the world of work is undergoing a dramatic change and if you’d like to learn some of the basic lessons to equip you to deal with those paradigm changes successfully. So, I wanted to share some reasons why I think it may be worth your while to take a read. Tweet me your reactions to the book.

I look forward to your stories.

Originally Posted on Marketing Nirvana.

13 Responses to Do you view your career as a startup?

  1. cheap louis vuitton handbags April 30, 2012 at 12:20 am #

    Nice post.Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful!
    I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post thanks
    Herve Leger Dresses
    oakley sunglasses
    Burberry Bags
    cheap louis vuitton bags

  2. john June 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Excellent web site. Plenty of useful info here. I am sending it to a few buddies.

  3. Suzanne November 25, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Mulberry Outlet UK
    mulberry bags outlet

  4. darnell066 November 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    High fashion for men is a really tricky area.michael kors outlet store It requires a great deal of care and deliberation to get michael kors handbags outlet the looks just right. Men are at a disadvantage when it comes to high fashion because they do not have the variety that women get to choose form. http://www.michaelkorsonlinestore.org So they have to make do with certain basic building blocks and use them to create great combinations.

  5. replica hermes handbags December 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Fashion Centre’s Dining Dollars Program is for groups who are looking for a pre-paid voucher replica hermes bags program to use. These vouchers can be used at any of their 18 participating Food court eateries. Every voucher has a catalog of hermes replica bags choices birkin replica at each restaurant to save ordering time.

  6. Pre Owned Rolex Watches December 27, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    Nike Free shoes are my favorite sneakers. In the past I got them at the Chicago Nike Store but I just bought my fourth pair of Nike Free on-line Rolex GMT Master II from ShoeDeals4U. At this time of the year, there are not many choices left at this Cheap Rolex Watches on-line store nor others but I am sure there will Fake Rolex Watches be more after the holidays. Low waist. Long in length. Intricate stitching on back pockets. As well as their versatility, women are also falling for Rolex GMT Master II Price nude shoes because of their leg lengthening effect. When worn with bare legs or skin coloured tights they give an unbroken line from the leg down to the foot making the wearer appear taller and slimmer. For the ultimate leg-lengthening look, go for high-heeled court shoes or platform courts with a low front and no ankle strap.

  7. cheap hermes bags January 2, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    Christian Louboutin Uk is a popular style manufacturer. Folks even chat on discussion boards dealing with the modern Louboutin Sale made, types and developments michael kors shoes. A completely-company airfare is a variety of the economy training as well as erina jordan kors primary-class airline flight. His just leather – based used to is the greatest available. Hermes Scarves One can locate fairly easily a variety of generations. Which is why they are also highly rated. In May, I began doing all my running barefoot and I must say, this has been my most enjoyable summer Hermes Scarf of running ever. I am running about 15-20 miles a week now (at an outdoor track, same as when I ran in shoes), and I have lost 20 pounds in the last hermes birkin bags four months. Hermes Bracelet No foot pain, no knee pain, no back pain, no hip pain, no sweaty socks or smelly shoes.

  8. hermes bags for sale January 4, 2013 at 1:27 am #

    WELCOME TO THE FIRST SALE ON LOFTISS CLOSET!!!! After my very successful sale on Loftiss Says I was asked by numerous friends to sell their clothes online. My plan is to have different friends every few weeks show their closets. That way there will be many different sizes, styles and tastes. J in hermes bags person create, eliminating this intense blue hermes scarves sale blossom leopard zoysia grass ought to determined by carry is viewed as a standard magnet intended for yellow metal uncovered handbag,Prada Shades Profit giving you several beautification model’s as well as shrewd convenience, that replica hermes handbags backup apparent. ‘Take interest bolsas eileen kors associated with equally Extreams, or ordinary in addition to valuable Safety measures next to Popery and in some cases Presbytery, in only two portions,Lol 8vo, Manchester,Guru hermes handbags Factory Retailer 1675. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.
     
    http://eyeuser.com/u/s25565559
    http://europeanball.com/u/s25565559

  9. prada outlet January 8, 2013 at 12:54 am #

    Con un colpo semplice sullo schermo trasparente, l’acquirente può adorare tutte prada outlet online le sue funzioni, bussola, altimetro, allarme, ecc per il suo contenuto di affetto. Al tempo di cui sopra, questi orologi sono di abbondante valore accumulare. In conclusione, se sei un uomo che sognano di assorbire e cosa comprare sometthing di attualizzare il proprio stato, non alternativo per acquisire un orologio Tissot. Non ti consente di down.Bored con il taglio di un vincolante accettato orologio tra la folla? Vuoi essere prada outlet aggiunto adorabile e la fiducia del corpo? Beh, attualità si può sentire il cambiamento già si tenta gli orologi Tissot, orologi anormalmentesuoi uomini. Rispetto ai marchi aggiunto, orologi Tissot accompagnare non solo l’architettura, ma ambrosia funzioni in grado pure. Allo stesso tempo, questi orologi hanno un valore grande  borse prada raccolta.
    http://gaynetwork.altervista.org/index.php?do=/blog/view_my/
    http://www.afrikameet.com/index.php?do=/blog/view_my/

  10. sacs louis vuitton January 8, 2013 at 1:28 am #

    l’assassinat de philippe bertrand louis vuitton sacs homme .Pascal sait la force de l’imagination, laquelle ” a le grand droit de persuader les hommes ” (78) : l’originalite de sa strategie reside dans le rattachement de son discours a une situation fictive, ou plutot a une multitude de situations louis vuitton en ligne fictives. Il devient alors malaise de mettre en doute des indices par trop ambigus et erratiques. La fiction, reduite a des amorces referentielles, s’est en quelque sorte diffusee. Sac Louis Vuitton homme  Il y a 12 ans, le labo etait dirige par le Dr Blackwell, et Hill en assurait la securite. Ils etaient donc complices. Blackwell est apprehende par le NCIS. Les effigies, plus petites que nature, etaient autrefois rehaussees d’or. Les souverains tenaient un sceptre dans leur main louis vuitton sacs droite. Sur leur poitrine est figure le sac de cuir destine a contenir les entrailles.
    http://doyouhavefiveminutes.com/groups/
    http://ladiescarinsurancewomencheapdiscount.com/groups/

  11. Louis Vuitton Mahina January 12, 2013 at 1:53 am #

    After having at least 6 months of blogging, you can apply with bog blogging networks. Knowing your clientele through online surveys gives an idea of what they like and dislike about . And the inner beauty of a woman enhances Louis Vuitton Antheia when she is confident with what she is wearing for the LV Collection Beach perfect time. The designer won’t just be in France though, he is also going to spend time in the UK. His company recently opened a Bookmarc store there, with Kate Louis Vuitton 2010 Moss appearing to sign copies of her new coffee table book this week. Jacobs is planning to be there to lend support to the British supermodel.. http://11isfree.com/groups/for-be-audio-books-replica-lv-handbags/
    http://doyouhavefiveminutes.com/groups/australia-is-lumped-in-fake-lv-handbags/