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

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McGraw Hill Professional, Sep 8, 2009 - Business & Economics - 272 pages
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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 outmoded 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 headsup 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?


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The Upstarts Are Coming
Building Cooperative Tribes to Compete
Technology Is the Great Enabler and the Best Differentiator
Disrupting the Status Quo and Altering the Playing Field
Marketing Fast and Furiously to Their Own Generation
A Brand Is a Dialogue Not a Monologue
Capitalism and Social Mission Make a Lovely Couple
Redefining the World of Work
Knowing How to Morph Scale and Grow Up
Chapter 9 The Future of Upstarts
Upstarts Survey
Expert Advice for Upstarts from Rock Star Entepreneurs

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About the author (2009)

Donna Fenn is the author of Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become a Leader of the Pack and a contributing writer at Inc. magazine. An expert on small business trends and entrepreneurship for more than 20 years, she is also a community leader on, a featured expert on, and a blogger on She lives in Pelham, NY, with her husband, Guian Heintzen, and is the proud mom of two GenYers. For more information, go to

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