The Fallacy of Hoffman's the "Startup of You" Mentality

Tom Friedman in the Times touts today the "Startup of You" mentality that is prevalent in our business community these days. The world view contains ideas like these:
...LinkedIn’s founder, Reid Garrett Hoffman, one of the premier starter-uppers in Silicon Valley — besides co-founding LinkedIn, he is on the board of Zynga, was an early investor in Facebook and sits on the board of Mozilla — has a book coming out after New Year called “The Start-Up of You,” co-authored with Ben Casnocha. Its subtitle could easily be: “Hey, recent graduates! Hey, 35-year-old midcareer professional! Here’s how you build your career today.” ...

Hoffman argues that professionals need an entirely new mind-set and skill set to compete. “The old paradigm of climb up a stable career ladder is dead and gone,” he said to me. “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 career strategy the same way an entrepreneur approaches starting a business.”

To begin with, Hoffman says, that means ditching a grand life plan. Entrepreneurs don’t write a 100-page business plan and execute it one time; they’re always experimenting and adapting based on what they learn.
What is wrong with such a thought process? It sounds inspiring, no?


The rest of the people in the world want steady jobs, maybe even careers, just like in the past. DO YOU GET IT TOM? No, Tom is in his own world now, surrounded by a handful of big money makers and he thinks that has something to do with the reality of the rest of the world. It does not.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comment. I share your view that these books are written by elitists, for elitists. The majority of humanity is not given the gift of entrepreneurism.

I am entering the second year of a startup business. My partner is a "fire-breathing entrepreneur". I am smart and hard working, but I cannot keep up with him.

Those that have this entrepreneurial fire-in-the-belly must use their unique gift for the common good- that is to say, use their gifts for all of us who are not likewise gifted.