The Upstarts Book Cover

The Upstarts

Book by: Brad Stone
Publishing Year: 2017
Reading time: Key takeways: Quotes:

What’s inside

Did you ever wonder how successful startups like Uber and Airbnb started? Did you ever want to know how they reached great heights and managed to become tech giants? Investigative author Brad Stone provides answers to all those questions in his book, ‘The Upstarts.’

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Lesson 1. Introduction.

In the book “The Upstarts”, Silicon Valley journalist Brad Stone talks about the reign of giant startups in the new age world. He chronicles the journeys of Uber and Airbnb, the new giant businesses. 

Brad narrates on how these small San Francisco start-ups expanded to become major international businesses. He also mentions how these companies dealt with resistance from local industries and regulators whose models they disrupted.

The book provides brief information about how the modern start-up founders are rewriting the conventional rules of business with utmost confidence. It gives us an insight into how the founders Travis Kalanick of Uber and Brian Chesky of Airbnb managed to overcome serious obstacles and continue to grow.

A decade ago, the thought of getting into a stranger’s cab or staying in a stranger’s home would have been immediately discarded. Upstarts like Airbnb and Uber pioneered new ways of doing business, taking the personal transportation and hospitality industries by storm.

Well, you know what they say; times change, people change and so does the technology.

Lesson 2. What are Upstarts?


There are many start-ups out there in the market. Most of them are still struggling to get better and grow their business. When you look at it practically, not every start-up can grow on to become a giant success. 

Some companies fade away as fast as they enter the market. On the other hand, some companies experience immense success and stay strong in the market for several years. 

Companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon were all start-ups once. All of them started with minimum experience and a few workers. But soon, they managed to carve a niche for themselves.  Today, they have grown to become industry giants acquiring huge customer bases.

Companies as huge as that aren’t called start-ups anymore. They are called Upstarts. Businesses like Uber and Airbnb experienced exponential growth in a very small period of time. Hence, they are referred to as Upstarts. 

Lesson 3. Uber and Airbnb.


Companies like Airbnb and Uber have several things in common. They broke the conventional ways of doing business by thinking outside the box and by following unique methods to expand their businesses.

They fought hard to make it to the top by causing huge disruptions in their respective industries. They reacted quickly and fought to make sure that nothing came in their way. Today, these companies are very popular around the world with an enormous following and activity.

But, their journeys weren’t easy, to say

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About the author

Brad Stone Image

Brad Stone is senior executive editor of global technology at Bloomberg News and the author of the New York Times bestseller The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, which won the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Aw...

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Chapter List
  • Lesson 1. Introduction.
  • Lesson 2. What are Upstarts?
  • Lesson 3. Uber and Airbnb.
  • Lesson 4. The Success of Uber.
  • Lesson 5. The Growth of Airbnb.
  • Lesson 6. The Controversial CEOs.
  • Lesson 7. Staying true to the principles.
  • Lesson 8. Conclusion.
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In the summary of The Upstarts book, there are 8 key lessons. These lessons include:

  1. Lesson 1. Introduction.
  2. Lesson 2. What are Upstarts?
  3. Lesson 3. Uber and Airbnb.
  4. Lesson 4. The Success of Uber.
  5. Lesson 5. The Growth of Airbnb.
  6. Lesson 6. The Controversial CEOs.
  7. Lesson 7. Staying true to the principles.
  8. Lesson 8. Conclusion.

The Upstarts by Brad Stone was published in 2017.

Once you've completed The Upstarts book, We suggest reading out Building Product, Talking to Users, and Growing as a great follow-up read.

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In the printed version of The Upstarts book have over 300 pages and usually takes 8-10 days to finish. However, with the Wizdom app, including its summary and audiobook, it can be completed in just 15 minutes.

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