The Messy Middle: Summary Review

This is a summary review of The Messy Middle containing key details about the book.

What is The Messy Middle About?

The Messy Middle is a guide to navigating the volatility of new ventures and leading bold creative projects by Scott Belsky, best-selling author, entrepreneur, chief product officer at Adobe, and product advisor to many of today's top start-ups.

With insightful interviews from today’s leading entrepreneurs, artists, writers, and executives, as well as the author's own experience working with companies like Airbnb, Pinterest, Uber, and sweetgreen, The Messy Middle will outfit you to find your way through the hardest parts of any bold project or new venture.

Who is the author of The Messy Middle?

Scott Belsky is an American entrepreneur, author and early-stage investor best known for co-creating the online portfolio platform, Behance, Inc. In 2010, Belsky was included in Fast Company's "100 Most Creative People in Business" list.

How long is The Messy Middle?

  • Print length: 413 pages

What genre is The Messy Middle?

Business, Nonfiction, Leadership

What are good quotes from The Messy Middle?

“There is no better measure of your values than how you spend your time.”
“The greatest teams I have worked with over the years were all structured with a few remarkable exceptions to the rules. During my years serving on the board of sweetgreen, a chain of locally sourced seasonal-food kitchens, I was struck by how well the company’s three cofounders, Jonathan, Nic, and Nate, functioned as tri-CEOs. When I first joined the board, many of my peers told me “Good luck—that is nuts!” But the three of them had transformed the traditional CEO role to uniquely serve the company. They divided and conquered most functions in the business but shared the same core values and intuitively knew which decisions could be made by any of them, only one of them, or required all of them. “I feel like we’re pretty lucky because we can share the responsibility of taking action. It’s not just one person’s job to figure something out. It’s not just one person that has all of the weight on their shoulders,” Jonathan told me when I asked him about the arrangement. Nic added,”
“Startups win by being impatient over a long period of time.”
“Sadly, most people are not patient enough to reap the fruits of their own labor. Great teams gain their strength and resilience while toiling their way through the valleys, not just from from relishing the view from the peaks.”
“Great teams gain their strength and resilience while toiling their way through the valleys, not just from relishing the view from the peaks.”
“Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, legendary for his long-term vision, reiterated this point. “Invention requires a long-term willingness to be misunderstood,” he said. “When you do something that you genuinely believe in, that you have conviction about, for a long period of time, well-meaning people may criticize that effort.” To sustain yourself over this time, you can’t look for accolades, and you can’t rely on being understood. Playing the long game is a test of your fortitude, your ability to persevere, and just how genuine your interests are.”
“what determines whether you succeed or fail is grit, a special blend of passion and perseverance directed at accomplishing long-term goals.”
“Sometimes a reset is the only way forward.”
“The perfect question is a key to clarity. It unlocks truth and opens minds. It is distilled by having empathy for your customers’ struggles and ignoring sunk costs and past assumptions to get at the root of a problem.”
“Imagination happens only when your mind has the freedom to run rampant. When you’re always connected and able to find an answer, you stop wondering and wandering.”
“Invention requires a long-term willingness to be misunderstood,”
“don’t talk: do. Care indiscriminately. If you’re willing to actually do the work, you’ll have more influence than those who simply do their jobs.”

― Scott Belsky, The Messy Middle
 

What are the chapters in The Messy Middle?

Chapter 1: Leading Through the Anguish and the Unknown
Chapter 2: Strengthening Your Resolve
Chapter 3: Embracing the Long Game
Chapter 4: Building, Hiring, and Firing
Chapter 5: Culture, Tools, and Space
Chapter 6: Structure and Communication
Chapter 7: Clearing the Path to Solutions
Chapter 8: Simplifying and Iterating
Chapter 9: Anchoring to Your Customers
Chapter 10: Planning and Making Decisions
Chapter 11: Crafting Business Instincts
Chapter 12: Sharpening Your Edge
Chapter 13: Staying Premeable and Relatable
Chapter 14: Approaching the Finish Line
Chapter 15: Passing the Baton
Chapter 16: Never Being Finished

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Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.

 

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Founder

Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.

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