Live in permanent Beta; Pivot; Plan ABZ; weak ties; serendipity

Brilliant inspiration, please read this with the utmost concentration and focus, you’ll see that your career or business will never look the same again. The book includes many great case examples, which will show the mismatch of the contemporary business incubation thinking and the real world activities. I personally loved his thinking of “living in permanent Beta”, so ask for feedback and be prepared to fix the bugs, also in your personal expertise and motivation. Permanent Beta also encourages you to pivot when needed. So keep on planning, but don’t make plans.

The book is mostly written from personal career perspective, but as well it can be understood as a guidebook for self-employment, life style entrepreneurship. The illustrated way of thinking throughout the book can be seen as one way of adopting “harnessing serendipity” thinking. The ABZ planning principle is introduced and as a mental platform it gives you the preparedness needed for taking action, when you feel the call of serendipity. Just only following strictly the plan A, and be sure you will miss many serendipitous chances. The importance of weak ties is well articulated, shortly but enough to get a brief understanding – even giving a great quote from Herminia Ibarra’s book “Working Identity” … sometimes it’s the strong ties who know us best who may wish to be supportive of a transition but instead tend to reinforce or even desperately try to preserve the old identities we are seeking to shed. Diversity and breadth in your network encourages flexibility to pivot.

Some randomly taken readers comments from Amazon Reading Lists:

“I read this book because of my understanding of the importance of networks. I learnt of the book through the Economist book reviews. I thought the authors provided great insights into modern networking, emphasizing that it starts with a mindset of mutuality and not a one way flow. What also struck a chord with me was the idea of each of us being in permanent beta mode. ”

“I like the phrase ‘Permanent Beta’, you simply have to constantly evolve and adapt now. This is probably essential reading for anyone who wants to grow and develop in their working life.”

“So far this is a great book! A good mix of practical advice coupled with thought-provoking ideas. Highly recommend!”

“Excellent read! Authors do a a great job to explain practical approach to increase probability of serendipitous situations which can help you to generate breakout opportunities. Has some great tips, directly from Reid, to use LinkedIn as a tool to your advantage. ”

“Nice to get inside Reid’s head a little. Some of the middle’s a little generic, but very good read reinforcing what I’ve been trying to convey to today’s students. Welcome to the freelance world of You vs. several hundred million elsewhere on the planet who want YOUR job…”

“Just finished listening to this audio book! Feeling very pumped up and inspired! I highly recommend it to everyone. Even if you are not looking for a job, Reid and Ben offered many good tips on how to leverage your network of friends and business contacts to make your professional world better! After all, no man is an island!”

“This book follows in the footsteps of a well-worn path trodden by Tom Peters (Brand You, 1999), Daniel Pink (Free Agent Nation, 2002) and Seth Godin (Linchpin, 2010), among others. Unsurprisingly, given that the lead author is a co-founder of Linkedin, there are plenty of references to how being active and purposeful on Linkedin can be very valuable in assisting you to get ahead in your career. However to dismiss this book as being a lengthy promo for Linkedin would be doing it a disservice, in fact, in some ways this book is the pick of the bunch on this topic.
I particularly enjoyed the take the authors put on building your network of weak ties, investing in yourself, assessing and managing risk and gathering and using intelligence. My eldest son is in grade 7 and turns 13 in August. This is the first non-fiction book I am going to recommend he reads.

“Half-way through the book, and at the risk of seeming disingenuous, it is a great read! It definitely feels like the right kind of perceptive career advice for our time. Totally illuminating without a hint of business mantra demagoguery. Refreshing.”

“Intriguing list of 10 memorable quotes from the book on Forbes.com (Dan Schawbel) http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2012/02/14/10-memorable-quotes-from-the-start-up-of-you/
1. All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA.
2. Entrepreneurship is a life idea, not a stricly business one, a global idea, not a strictly American one.
3. Before dreaming about the future or marking plans, you need to articulate what you already have going for you as entrepreneurs do.
4. When you’re doing work you care about, you are able to work harder and better.
5. You remake yourself as you grow and as the world changes. Your identity doesn’t get found. It emerges.
6. Whatever the situation, actions, not plans, generate lessons that help you test your hypotheses against reality.
7. No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.
8. The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.
9. If you want to build a strong network that will help you move ahead in your career, it’s vital to first take stock of the connections you already have.
10. What will get you somewhere is being able to access the information you need, when you need it.”