Cover of Life Is a Startup by Noam Wasserman
Life Is a Startup
What Founders Can Teach Us about Making Choices and Managing Change
Noam Wasserman


192 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503601758
Ebook ISBN: 9781503607422

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Gold Medal in the 2019 Axiom Business Book Awards - Success / Motivation / Coaching category.

After two decades of research on founders, a best-selling book on the subject, and experience teaching and mentoring thousands of students in this field, Noam Wasserman is a prominent authority on startups. Hearing from countless readers and students that his insights helped them with important life decisions, beyond the incubator and boardroom, Wasserman brings us a new book that applies to everyday life his research on the methods of successful startup founders.

Like entrepreneurs, we all deal with uncertainty, tough decision-making, and necessary problem-solving. Whether we freelance or work for large organizations, whether we're married or single, have kids or not, we must be able to think on our feet, assess risks and opportunities, and recruit others to help us navigate them. This book offers important advice for envisioning change in our lives—from contemplating the next step in a relationship to making a radical career move—and managing changes to which we've already committed. We can learn to recognize our own well-worn patterns and keep our tendencies and habits in check, recruit a personal taskforce—our own board of directors—to advise us, and plan ahead for growth. With his extensive database of entrepreneurship case studies—from Pandora to Twitter to Nike—complemented with data on 20,000 founders, Wasserman is able to go deeply into the entrepreneurial mindset and show us how startups provide specific lessons for crafting our most successful lives.

About the author

Noam Wasserman holds the Lemann Chair in Entrepreneurship and is Founding Director of the Founder Central initiative at the University of Southern California's Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. He is the author of the best-selling The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup (2012).

"Life Is a Startup is an essential book for anyone seeking wisdom on making better life decisions. Drawing from decades of research on entrepreneurship, psychology, and adult development, Noam Wasserman lays out the big life choices and changes we all face, and offers guidance that is often surprising and always entertaining."

—Teresa Amabile, Harvard Business School and co-author of The Progress Principle

"Noam Wasserman is a leading expert on founders, and he makes a compelling case that an entrepreneurial mindset can help us make important decisions in every part of our lives. This book is a practical resource for reflection and action."

—Adam Grant, New York Times best-selling author of Originals, Give and Take, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg

"Noam Wasserman has been bringing to light the most potent lessons from successful entrepreneurs for nearly two decades. Now, he takes the winning tactics of founders and points them at something even bigger: our everyday lives. Wasserman offers innovative – often counterintuitive – advice on how to manage life changes, thrive as partners and friends, and build good habits. Life Is a Startup offers a real roadmap to success for every aspect of our lives."

—Eric Ries, New York Times bestselling author of The Lean Startup and The Startup Way

"Writing for people entering new endeavors—switching jobs, relocating, or entering a creative activity—the author seeks to tap the wisdom of successful entrepreneurs and their counterintuitive thinking for their relevance to life decisions, and he provides numerous examples...A delight to read, this book will be especially relished by those with entrepreneurial mindsets. Highly recommended."

—C. Wankel, CHOICE