Book Review: The Upstarts

The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the WorldThe Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reading the story of Uber feels like watching Narcos Season 1 on Netflix. Just that Kalanick is 10 times fiercer than Escobar.

Brad Stone is a brilliant storyteller. Fine writer, well researched and risking to write about the two stories that are being played out in front of our eyes.

Silicon Valley superheroes are typically stereotyped as nerdy, ‘don’t be evil’, business savvy and introverted. But the stories of Uber and Airbnb are exactly the opposite. Brass balls, bravado and sheer use of force to navigate the maze of political and PR challenges is the only reason they have survived this far. And these traits are just reflections of the personalities of their company founders.

While Uber and Airbnb are similar in many ways, Brad takes us through the leadership styles of its leaders that are entirely different.

One thing for sure, while pundits critique the ways and means of how Uber and Airbnb operate, these two have changed two archaic dysfunctional industries forever, more than they are willing to admit. This books explains how they did that as a gory, fast paced, nail biting story.

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