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Finished Reading: Competing with Unicorns
Feb 05, 2020

Competing with Unicorns is a book written by Jonathan Rasmusson (at the moment of writing this post, this book is still part of the Beta format program), it is going to be published in June 2020 by The Pragmatic Bookshelf.

Competing with Unicorns discusses differences between, what some people in the industry call, Unicorns Startups (companies using tech as the principal driving factor when building products) and the traditional big/old-fashioned Enterprise (companies developing software as a side requirement).

In this book the term Unicorn refers to some of the big Tech Companies popular at the moment, such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Spotify; and how their culture, mindset and hiring practices improve the overall performance of the products being built.

I’ve been lucky enough to work for both the normal startup and the big enterprise, and I can assure you the examples in this book are real, there’s a significant mindset shift when working for a startup, where things are chaotic yet smoother but also with a high risk, and a big enterprise, where everything is slower, too much gatekeeping and red-tape but also job stability and benefits are a norm; pros and cons.

Competing with Unicorns is a short book (2-3 hours) that should be useful for leaders looking for new ways to improve the way software products are built in their organization, however from time to time it reads like PR book published by Spotify encouraging engineers to join that company, I suppose that’s because that author worked for Spotify.

Verdict Feel free to skip it

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