Book Review: Misfit Economy

“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

- Rob Siltanen

One of my first mentors in the world of entrepreneurship had this quote written on his notebooks. I always liked it but didn't understand what it meant. Not really.

I've often felt that the word "entrepreneur" is far too exclusive. For a group that thrives on diversity and inclusion, often we build walls to prevent others from taking the same title.

It's weird.

"You're not really an entrepreneur until_____"

"Unless you've done ______ you're not an entrepreneur"

"Yeah that's great, but _______ is really the thing that makes you an entrepreneur."

It's backwards and it's wrong to be quite frank. There isn't a single one of us that owns the definition of that word, and Misfit Economy is a celebration of that.


One of the things that the authors make a point doing in the book is addressing the fact that they don't necessarily condone or approve of the black and grey market activity that they study. But with that being said, it's just as backwards and wrong to not think we can learn from those same individuals. There's inspiration wherever you look, and these individuals have found and created value in real ways.

Really this book comes down to celebrating innovators and changers and studying the underlying behaviours that make them who they are. It follows a wide array of those grey market types and learns from them.

The biggest standout to me were the five principles used by the individuals they talked to in order to unleash their inner misfit.

  1. Hustle

  2. Copy

  3. Hack

  4. Provoke

  5. Pivot

Why did these stand out? Because while most of them sound familiar, the authors do a phenomenal job of actually defining them and putting them in the lens of the entrepreneur. They're things we all do in our business, whether we understand them or not.

In each of these principles, the book takes us through masters who have used that principle to their advantage in growing incredible businesses and ventures. All of it typically driven by a strong purpose tied to what a person can do.

Drive and purpose finding balance.

The rest of the book?

Well it has some great information about how to grow misfits in your own company. How to embrace them and use their creativity to push the bounds of what you thought possible. It also can highlight and show you the risks of not allowing this to flourish? We have the tendency of forgetting these entrepreneur skills as our business grows, and we suffer for it.

The point is that if you're going to successfully navigate the quickly changing world, you need misfits. You need rebels and troublemakers and round pegs for square holes. And you need to know how to manage them successfully.

Long story short? Definitely worth the read. Expand your idea of what makes an entrepreneur and know how to grow your business in an agile and adaptable way.