A look deep inside the new Silicon Valley, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Everything Store.
Ten years ago, the idea of getting into a stranger's car, or a walking into a stranger's home, would have seemed bizarre and dangerous, but today it's as common as ordering a book online. Uber and Airbnb have ushered in a new era: redefining neighborhoods, challenging the way governments regulate business, and changing the way we travel.
In the spirit of iconic Silicon Valley renegades like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, another generation of entrepreneurs is using technology to upend convention and disrupt entire industries. These are the upstarts, idiosyncratic founders with limitless drive and an abundance of self-confidence. Led by such visionaries as Travis Kalanick of Uber and Brian Chesky of Airbnb, they are rewriting the rules of business and often sidestepping serious ethical and legal obstacles in the process.
The Upstarts is the definitive story of two new titans of business and a dawning age of tenacity, conflict and wealth. In Brad Stone's riveting account of the most radical companies of the new Silicon Valley, we discover how it all happened and what it took to change the world.
Stone (The Everything Store) turns his attention to the sharing economy in this dual portrait of two of the fastest growing startups in the "post-Google, post-Facebook era of innovation" in Silicon Valley. At both Uber, the ride-sharing app, and Airbnb, the homestay rental platform, Stone finds commonality among the CEOs, who lead their respective companies with an idealistic vision and aggressive business practices. Uber's Travis Kalanick comes off as the more pugnacious of the two, while Brian Chesky of Airbnb operates with a softer touch. Beginning in 2009 with President Obama's inauguration, the book follows the companies and their founders from the early days to their current status as leaders in the global market place, upending their respective industries and local economies around the world. Both Uber and Airbnb are currently valued in billions, but as Stone shows, the road to success over the past 8 years has not been an easy one. Both companies persevered through financial woes caused by investor rejections, struggles with local governments, scuffles with rivals, and publicity disasters. The writing is solid and the sheer magnitude of the book's subjects demands attention for this book.