Upstarts!: How GenY Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit from Their Success

Donna Fenn

McGraw Hill,  September 2009

They're young, they're brash, they're smart -- and they're 77-million strong.

Generation Y is creating startups at an unprecedented rate, and their approach to business is unlike anything you've seen. 

The generation described by the media as spoiled, entitled, even narcissistic, is proving these notions false every day. Inspired by the rock-star entrepreneurs of previous generations and driven by a burning desire to control their own destinies, GenY is rewriting the entrepreneurial playbook one cool startup at a time.

Inc. magazine writer Donna Fenn interviewed more than 150 young CEOs to learn what makes them tick. While upstarts are motivated by similar aspirations of past generations, their way of doing business is radically different -- and it's changing the way everyone must do business now. Upstarts examines and analyzes this entrepreneurial revolution to reveal eight critical lessons every entrepreneur and marketer must learn.

Fenn describes a generation of entrepreneurs that is highly collaborative and team-oriented. It's quick and alert when it comes to new technologies. It's hell-bent on changing the world. And it's totally impatient with out-moded business models.

The sooner you adapt to the new way of business, the greater chance you have to grow and profit in the years ahead. Upstarts provides key insight into:

  • Building collaborative tribes
  • Deploying technology to your competitive advantage
  • Disrupting the status quo
  • Deconstructing the GenY market
  • Generating branding buzz
  • Adopting a social mission
  • Inventing the workplace of the future
  • Reinventing your company

Misreading GenY companies could be the biggest business mistake you ever make. This forward-looking book serves both as a heads-up to the far-reaching changes coming your way and as a detailed guide to meeting the resulting challenges.

The upstarts are here to stay. Are you?

hardcover | ISBN: 9780071601887 | Publication Date: September 2009

"One of the richest veins in startup gold is GenY entrepreneurs. Fenn deconstructs the DNA of this collaborative, tech-savvy generation to illuminate the future of entrepreneurship."
--Guy Kawasaki, cofounder, Alltop, and author of Reality Check

"If your business is stuck in old-school ways of thinking, this book will bring new perspective and insight on how a whole new class of upstarts are thinking!"
--Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos

"In this smart, timely book, Donna Fenn shows us how Generation Y -- probably the most entrepreneurial generation ever -- is radically remaking the business world in its own image, one innovative startup company at a time."
--Jane Berentson, editor, Inc. magazine

"This book will make you feel confident. Confident in the fact that Generation Y has the tools, creativity, desire, passion, energy and smarts to keep this great nation in a position of leadership economically for decades to come."
--Harry Paul, coauthor of Fish! and Instant Turnaround!

"This book will change your perception of millennials and by the time you're finished reading it, you'll either want to work for one, partner with one, or be that age again."
--Dan Schawbel, author of Me 2.0

"With Upstarts! Donna Fenn has given us the most colorful and complete picture yet of the entrepreneurial generation creating our future: who they are, how they think, and why they are going to change the world. She captures and categorizes them with the eye of a scientist and the words of a poet. There are only two choices: Buy this book or get left behind."
--Billy Shore, Founder, Share our Strength

"I'm convinced we're seeing the rise of a new generation of entrepreneurs, and Upstarts! is a storm warning. Fuelled by their initial experiences in the workforce, and empowered by their digital skills and culture of innovation, many of today's youth are setting a new course. This book nails the trend -- a rich and thoroughly enjoyable insight into the future."
--Don Tapscott, author of 13 books about new technologies in business and society, including Wikinomics and most recently Grown Up Digital

"Upstarts is a rallying cry for the next generation of entrepreneurs, and a wakeup call for everyone who hopes to compete with them."
--Steve Mariotti, Founder, The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)

"A compelling analysis of Generation Y-NOT. With the world predicting the death of capitalism, Donna Fenn persuasively makes the case for a coming entrepreneurial boom -- led by a cadre of street-smart young people who are reshaping the business world from the bottom up with their collaborative, tech savvy, and workplace renegade ways. If you want to understand what most entrepreneurial businesses will look like ten years from now, read this book."
--Keith McFarland, author of The Breakthrough Company and Bounce