• The Messy Middle

  • Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture
  • By: Scott Belsky
  • Narrated by: Scott Belsky
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (533 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
The Messy Middle  By  cover art

The Messy Middle

By: Scott Belsky
Narrated by: Scott Belsky
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $28.00

Buy for $28.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The Messy Middle is the indispensable 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.

Creating something from nothing is an unpredictable journey. The first mile births a new idea into existence, and the final mile is all about letting go. We love talking about starts and finishes, even though the middle stretch is the most important and often the most ignored and misunderstood. 

Broken into three sections with 100-plus insights, this no-nonsense audiobook will help you: 

  • Endure the roller coaster of successes and failures by strengthening your resolve, embracing the long game, and short-circuiting your reward system to get to the finish line. 
  • Optimize what’s working so you can improve the way you hire, better manage your team, and meet your customers’ needs. 
  • Finish strong and avoid the pitfalls many entrepreneurs make so you can overcome resistance, exit gracefully, and continue onto you next creative endeavor with ease. 

With insightful interviews from today’s leading entrepreneurs, artists, writers, and executives, as well as Belsky’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.

©2018 Scott Belsky (P)2018 Penguin Audio

More from the same

What listeners say about The Messy Middle

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    365
  • 4 Stars
    121
  • 3 Stars
    34
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    306
  • 4 Stars
    101
  • 3 Stars
    45
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    321
  • 4 Stars
    90
  • 3 Stars
    35
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

It's for leaders starting with a big team.

It you want to work or at least start on your own, this book won't help you. There is a lot of theory, with some practical advice but more as concepts. Not recommending for a person, tiny teams...

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really excels after the first 1/3!

I was worried that it was just going to be another simple written and for-everyone -book, when I heard the first few chapters, but then after about 7 chapters It completely changed gear. It's possible that I think that because I'm a product designer, and my boss is not the best at priorities, but damn the last 2/3 was amazing. Definitely going to re listen in the near future.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great insights

Scott gave some great insights! His concept on Free Radical employees hit home. As I go through the start up process including meeting VCs, bringing on new employees, etc. this book was perfect timing!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A little long but good

Belsky has some incredibly good and worthwhile discernments.. He goes on a little longer than I think is ultimately necessary and this book definitely has slow parts. Of course like every other tech entrepreneur, he trafficked in lexicons of same, i.e. core, mission and paradigm, But hey, his grandfather was Stanley Kaplan who got me into Boston College Law School. Belsky has enough credibility to be as comprehensive and tedious as he wants to be. This book is definitely worth a listen. I listened to all of it and I’m glad I did

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazingly insightful!!!

I just finished The Messy Middle and I’m still not quite over the journey that I just took.

To cut to the chase and be clear, your book is brilliant! It’s insightful, thoughtful, honest, humble, and at the same time quite entertaining.

It’s full of advices, tips and hacks, and each one is combined with a compelling anecdote, example or personal experience.

I was attracted to The Messy Middle because its title because it’s a relatively ignored topic, despite its relevancy. I had no idea that it would become one of my toolbox on such a vast array of important topics.

It’s a must read!!!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A real account on success

Success is never a straight line. News outlets love to talk about overnight victories and catastrophic downfalls, but such triumphs and failures rarely happen in an instant. Instead, they take place during the messy, confusing middle of a journey — the part this book focuses on.

Personally, I found the subject of this book to be very relevant. I also think it's extremely important on a societal level. The media LOVES sensationalism because it sells. But most stories and journeys rarely follow fairy-tale paths. Instead, they're often mired in confusion, uncertainty, and doubt.

Throughout this title, Belsky works to bring these concepts to light. He uses his own story of building his company (Behance) and eventually selling it to Adobe to show the reader that things are often extremely messy and confusing in the middle of any journey. He specifically focuses on the middle of Behance's journey to give it purposeful weight; he shows the reader how important it is and explains that it's okay, even normal, to be uncertain and afraid during such times.

It's a very good read, one that's full of great entrepreneurial wisdom. Heck, the parallels between life and business are often quite strong, so even someone not in the tech or investment spaces could benefit from it as well.

-Brian Sachetta
Author of "Get Out of Your Head"

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Nothing new

Not bad but I’d you’re generally on top of the news and blogs around the startup ecosystem then you have already heard the case studies and the suggestions.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DB
  • 03-27-19

Fantastic

I just finished listening to this and its impact on me compelled this review. I am currently "in the thick" of extremely trying times while simultaneously building a software of considerable magnitude. Scott Belsky's humble approach to dealing with both obvious and obscure situations (and everything in between) will give you a new sense of calm, confidence, and excitement for what lies ahead. Fave so far for 2019.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A helpful collection of anecdotes

Read this in our team's book club. A pretty nice read that reminds you of many things you most probably know or heard if you have built a product or team or something of that sort. Reassuring that yes like many others you'll be most excited when you start or when you'll make it to the last stop, but it's the middle that's messy and not endurable by everyone. So, if you're in the middle of one of those jounries, just keep calm, endure and optimize later!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Read this!

One of the best books I have listened to in the last 5 years. As a young person in the business world the lessons that Scott talk about are directly impactful on my day-to-day life. Highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful