Business Book Summaries

  • This work offers a summary of the book «HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE: The All-Time Classic Manual Of People Skills» by Dale Carnegie.
    How to Win Friends and Influence People is a classic, bestselling book that has set the bar for people skills manuals. It should be part of every businessperson's bookshelf, but is also useful for anyone looking to improve relationships.

    Dale Carnegie posits that no matter your occupation, goals, ambitions of position in a company, dealing with people is your biggest challenge. If you learn how to do so effectively, though, you will reap the rewards in profitability, productivity and morale. It's much better to work together with people, rather than against them. Carnegie explains the best way to criticize people, how best to motivate them and how to become a good conversationalist. He urges the reader to be interested in other people, and strive at all times to make a good first impression. Remember people's names, he suggests, and try to avoid arguments at all costs.

    How to Win Friends and Influence People is based on a simple foundation: you cannot change other people, only change the way you relate to them. Dale Carnegie has laid out a watershed blueprint for how to do that.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «AWAKEN THE GIANT WITHIN: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical & Financial Destiny» by Anthony Robbins.

    If you are in search of a motivating, mood enhancing, go-get-'em, the-world-is-your-oyster kind of read, then this is for you. The fundamental maxim of this summary is that by making a few alterations to what we believe, each one of us has the power to take fate into our hands and to get exactly what we want in any area of our lives.

    The summary devotes one page to the subject of identity - how we see ourselves and how others see us. Our personal identity has a huge influence on our future actions, and this too is something that Robbins believes we have the power to choose and self-correct. The final section of the summary is entitled «A lesson in destiny». It invites us to take full advantage of our time on earth, living each day as if it were the last. It may sound cliché, but it's true. Replete with inspiring quotes by famous thinkers - from Marcus Aurelius to Benjamin Disraeli - this is an inspiring read which will empower you with the right attitude and actions to master your destiny.

  • This ebok offers a summary of the book "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries.

    Why do so many startups fail? The business myth says: A lone entrepreneur - beavering away in a lab or a garage somewhere - through hard work, grit and sheer perseverance develops a great product which then becomes a blockbuster hit. That sounds appealing but the reality is most startups tend to burn through their resources and then disappear because they never get around to seeing what their potential customers think of what they're developing. They worry about the product first and assume customer demand will be there automatically.

    To succeed with a startup, you've got to manage it differently. Instead of developing a business plan, find ways to accelerate your learning and validate customers demand. The best way to do this is to build a prototype (with minimal features) and sell it to some early adopters. Then change the product repeatedly - daily if necessary - and keep supplying your customers with the new and improved versions. Listen to their feedback and use those ideas to make a better version and then get more feedback on that. Keep iterating until you get a fully featured product which your customers love.

    In other words, go through the Build-Measure-Learn loop as often as you can. If you make validated learning the real aim of your startup, you stand a better chance of success. Focus on what customers want, utilize an extremely fast cycle time and take a scientific approach to making decisions. That's the essence of the Lean Startup approach.

    ERIC RIES is an entrepreneur and blog author. He is a cofounder and chief technology officer of IMVU, a virtual community developer. He is also a frequent keynote speaker and is currently entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School. The Lean Startup methodology has been written about in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review and the Huffington Post.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «THE LONG TAIL: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More» by Chris Anderson.

    Chris Anderson is editor-in-chief of Wired magazine. He previously worked for seven years for The Economist and six years for Nature and Science magazines.
    In The Long Tail, Anderson demonstrates that the real mother lode of commercial success for twenty-first century businesses will be in multiple-niche marketing rather than trying to score a few mass market hits.

    According to Anderson, a new business model is arising based on the economics of abundance rather than scarcity. This new model rests on the idea it will be better and more profitable to sell a few copies each into a million niche markets than it will be to try and develop one product which you sell two or three million copies. The great success stories of the future will be the companies which are aligned with the long tail of the demand curve rather than those which bring hit products to market.

    In this interesting book, Anderson manages to explain a murky trend in clear language. The Long Tail makes entrepreneurs and the rest of us think about this new business model.

  • This ebook offers a summary of the book "THE CHECKLIST MANIFEST - HOW TO GET THINGS RIGHT" by Gawande.

    When solving problems, it's easy to get caught up in the complexities whilst ignoring the obvious, simple solutions. Atul Gawande suggests that every business sector can take some tips from the commercial aviation industry's emphasis on checklists: «Avoidable failures are common and persistent, not to mention demoralizing and frustrating, across many fields. the volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably. Knowledge has both saved us and burdened us. That means we need a different strategy for overcoming failure. And there is such a strategy - though it will seem almost ridiculous in its simplicity. It is a checklist.» Atul Gawande has case studies in both arenas to demonstrate its brilliant commonsense. We have developed such sophisticated, complex systems, that we cannot prevent error by memory alone. Despite the growth of superspecialisation, steps are sometimes missed, which demonstrates that problems often exist not because of a lack of knowledge, but just because routine can create complacency. One especially compelling case is the construction industry, which by using checklists has reduced building failures to 0.00002 percent: given such statistics, why would any business not follow suit?

  • This work is a summary of the book «WINNING» by Jack Welch and Suzy Welch.

    In Winning, J. Welch and S. Welch raise a question: «What does it take to win?» This is the sole question everyone in business should be focused on each day. When your business wins, there are many great flow-on effects and benefits - people have the opportunity to grow, more jobs are created, more taxes are paid, shareholders get a return on their investment and the list goes on and on. Winning companies are literally the engine of a healthy economy, and the pinnacle of the free enterprise system.

    In Winning, the authors encourage the readers to develop a personal business philosophy, and advise them on how to look at their company and their competition and how to build their company.

    Pure and simple companies and people have to find a way to win day-in and day-out. There are no easy formulas that can be used, or any exotic or mysterious shortcuts involved. Winning can be brutally hard to achieve but when everything comes together and you win, great things happen. As Jack Welch puts it: «Business is a game, and winning that game is a total blast».

  • "This work offers a summary of the book «10 INSIDER SECRETS TO JOB HUNTING SUCCESS: Everything You Need To Get The Job You Want In 24 Hours - Or Less!» by Todd Bermont.

    Based on the responses of over a million employee interviews, Wagner and Hartner have identified 12 fundamental requirements which make a good manager. The authors are closely associated to The Gallup Organization, which conducted the research that underpins these theories. Stating clear common objectives, providing sufficient training, giving appropriate feedback, encouraging personal development and providing opportunities for growth are just a few of the key elements which motivate employees, and foster a healthy working environment. What's more, if people feel valued and encouraged by their managers, this results in a greater loyalty to the employer and a more ambitious work ethic.

    This summary not only provides 12 key principles of management, it also outlines the benefits of good management on a personal and organisational level. Although some of it may seem intuitive, this succinct guide will be truly valuable in bringing together all the elements in your management toolkit in a coherent and synchronised way."

  • This work offers a summary of the book «2020 VISION: Transform your business today to succeed in tomorrow's economy» by Stan Davis and Bill Davidson.

    «By the year 2020, the way everyone lives and makes a living will be totally transformed by information technology and biotechnology».

    Companies are under pressure to constantly update themselves and their products to keep up with adjustments in technology. Over the next 30 years the challenges that face today's businesses will be so dramatic that they will have to make extremely creative and bold changes to keep ahead of their competition. Information technology is evolving at an astonishing rate and a company's competitive advantage is far more important than its age.

    This summary helps you to take a critical look at your company and identify ways to create a sustainable infrastructure for growth and survival. Its authors believe that we are currently in the Information Age, which followed the Industrial Age. However, they believe that this information economy is swiftly moving towards a bio-economy in which mind-like computers, genetic engineering and miniaturization will have a huge impact on the business that exist today. 2020 Vision is a revolutionary read, logically laid out and filled with persuasive facts, examples and references.

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a classic of the business genre, and a worldwide bestseller. It's easy to see why: Stephen R. Covey has written a book which is simple yet persuasive, and demonstrates clearly that it's possible for all of us to become more effective whilst expending less time and energy. He moves the reader from dependence, to independence, then interdependence (when others rely on him or her).

    Covey looks at each of the habits in turn, explaining why they are necessary, and how to develop them. One should always be proactive, for example, keep the end goal in sight, and prioritise. Everyone should begin with private victories, then move on to public ones and then work to synergise all parts of their life to create something that is more than the sum of its parts.
    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is based on a compelling premise: that we will succeed more in life if we decide to effect change first within ourselves, then project that change out, rather than let circumstances control us. Covey encourages the reader to be in charge of his or her own life: a message that's inspiring and motivating.

  • This work offers a summary of "The e-Myth revisited".

    The entrepreneurial myth is that most small businesses are started by entrepreneurs. Not so, says Michael E. Gerber, most are started by technicians who enjoy hands-on work and making new products. Therefore, they are too focused on issues within the business, rather than the business as a whole. Gerber proposes an ingenious solution to this problem: the owner should look upon the business as a prototype that they want to expand in the future. In this way, the company itself becomes the hands-on product.
    In The E-Myth Revisited, Gerber shows how to implement this process, using examples from successful business leaders. As Thomas Watson says, «[w]e didn't do business at IBM, we built one.'' Gerber explains how to develop a franchise mentality, and how much of your resources should be spent on each sector of your business. He suggests what type of management systems should be put in place as your business grows.

    His argument is a simple one: in order to end as a mature company, you must also begin as one, at least in your thinking. The theories and strategies within The E-Myth Revisited have been proved effective by a number of large, successful businesses.

  • This ebook offers a summary of "Made To Stick" by Chip and Dan Heath.

    «Sticky» ideas are those which are highly memorable and exceptionally long-lasting in their impact: it's the ideas that every business would like to develop. Made to Stick analyses «sticky» ideas, finding that, whilst there are no hard-and-fast formulas for developing a sticky idea, there is a short checklist of six principles which most of the successful sticky ideas of the past have tended to use. Sticky ideas are usually simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional and story-based.

    In practical terms, this means that there must be one, central message. In the 1980s, the US Army developed a concept called «Commander's Intent». This means whenever an order is given, there is a crisp, plain-talk statement included which specifies the order's goal. This has been very effective. Try to think in terms of what you want the customer to ask, rather than what information you want ton convey. Images and «fun facts» will also be more powerful than a regurgitating advertising «message». Make an effort to find ways to make your product emotionally appealing.

    Some of these concepts will doubtless be familiar, but Chip and Dan Heath present them together in a coherent structure, with specific examples and clear recommendations. This is a very useful book.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «THINK AND GROW RICH: The Way To Personal Achievement» by Napoleon Hill.
    Napoleon Hill was a great American author who is considered to have influenced more people into success than any other person in history. He became an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 to 1936. His work stands as the cornerstone of modern motivation. Think and Grow Rich is a best-seller in this field.

    In his book, Napoleon Hill explains that all achievement, including every fortune ever built, have their beginning in an idea. The wealth comes from turning the idea from something we can see in our mind's eye alone into something that serves other people, and for which they are willing to pay. This is done through auto-suggestion, organized planning, master-mind association and an inner harmony between the thoughts of your mind and the actions and achievements of your life.

    According to Napoleon Hill, you literally become and achieve what you think about all day long. To control your life, control your thoughts.
    Think and Grow Rich reveals money-making secrets which will bring you to success. This best-seller is an amazing book which can change your life.

  • A wonderful summary of the rags to riches story by Richard Tedlow. The book describes Andy Grove's early childhood in war-torn Hungary, and how his departure along with thousands of other refugees landed him in America. From his humble beginnings his career led him to a central position in silicon valley working at Intel. From a young age Andy understood the value of getting an education and was determined to get one even if he could not afford the fees of more prominent institutions. «In 1998, Andy Grove said that 'a lot of what is good in America I learned at City College. They accepted me with respect, without condescension. They gave me a start, and they gave it in a classy way. It's an institution that is crucial to the working of America, and America should be proud of it. I am.'» We learn about the challenges Andy faced during his time at Intel, and the incredible decisions he made with his colleagues when faced with major competitors like IBM. The summary ends with a few key principles that Grove presented to the board of directors at Intel. They in themselves summarize his winning business strategy, making this an interesting read for directors, managers and technology fans.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «AOL.COM: How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Netheads and Made Millions in the War for the Web» by Kara Swisher.

    This summary starts with the story of Bill Von Meister, a telecommunications entrepreneur. In his early days von Meister's career looked somewhat like an exercise in trial and error. He spotted opportunities to develop useful telecoms business models but had a series of failures before finally joining up with right man, Steve Case, and landing on the right path.

    The company we now call AOL was built on the shaky foundations of a declining gaming industry. In its early days it worked fiercely against all odds, faced with harsh competition from Microsoft, and frequent technical slip ups which put them out of favor. But there was one thing they did exceedingly well, thanks to the guidance of their marketing executive Steve Case. AOL focused on communications, community and clarity - three areas which would enhance their users' online environments and their interaction with each other. They also launched an extensive marketing program in 1993 which received a phenomenal response and sent their stock price soaring. The summary concludes with a useful list of the factors that led to AOL's success, as well as giving some insight into the challenges which face it in the current market.

  • This ebook offers a summary of "Bad Boy Ballmer : The man who rules Microsoft" by Frederic Maxwell.

    Bill Gates is a name inextricably linked to Microsoft, and it always will be. What many people don't realize is that Steve Ballmer works so closely alongside him that they almost act as a single unit. «Gates is the techie, the strategist, the commander-in-chief, whilst Ballmer is the business guy, the tactician, the field marshal.» Although neither of his parents had the privilege of attending college, Steve Ballmer's parents always assumed he would. Fredric Maxwell describes Steve as «the brightest of the bright. Everybody, after a few minutes, would now his amazing intelligence.» He was smart, loud, and hard to miss. He started at Harvard in the summer of 1973 where he met Bill Gates. There different personalities drew them together and they became close friends. Gates was anti-social, entrepreneurial, rich and highly opinionated while Ballmer was very sociable, thrifty and outgoing.

    After college Steve got a job at Proctor and Gamble, after which he applied to Stanford Business School. At the time when he was applying for his summer internship he was approached by his old friend Bill Gates who offered him a job at his newly founded company, Microsoft. After some hesitation, Ballmer accepted the job of 'assistant to the president', making him the 28th employee of Microsoft (which, at the time, was essentially a group of programmers). From managing the firm's recruitment, to fending off competitors, and eventually becoming the company's CEO, this summary tells the amazing story of a highly intelligent, focused and inspiring individual.

  • This work offers a summary of «BECOMING A CATEGORY OF ONE: How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity and Defy Comparison» by Joe Calloway.

    Joe Calloway is a business consultant specializing in branding as well as a public speaker and restaurant owner. He consults with companies in a wide range of industries ranging from newspapers in Sweden, hotels in Great Britain and computer companies in South Africa to world brands like BMW and IBM.

    In Becoming a Category of One, he argues that instead of aspiring to lead your product category, you should create a new category and be the only one in it. That's the goal of true business differentiation. The very best way to win and keep customers today is to create compelling customer experiences. If you can do that, you place your company beyond the reach of price wars and into the realm of genuine competitive advantage.

    The goal, therefore, is to become extraordinary - to become a Category-of-One company by doing what no one else does. This is the only rational way you can lift your company out of the commodity trap and into the ranks of the high achievers. Don't just try and compete in your industry - create and dominate your own unique business category.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «BEHIND THE CLOUD: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company - and Revolutionized an Industry» by Marc Benioff.

    Marc Benioff founded Salesforce.com in 1999 and currently serves as chairman and CEO of that company. Salesforce.com is a leader in enterprise cloud computing and has received a Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award.
    In Behind The Cloud, Marc Benioff explains how he grew his own billion-dollar company.

    «The future wasn't about simply improving on what was already done; it was about being bold enough to make big, sweeping, dramatic changes. With those ideas in mind, I started Salesforce.com with a mission to do enterprise software differently. We wanted to take advantage of a new platform - the Internet - to deliver business applications cheaply through a Web site that was as easy to use as Amazon.com.» «Now, ten years later, our small company is a big one. The few initial employees who gave Salesforce.com everything have grown into a few thousand employees. Revenue has escalated to more than $1 billion a year.» In Behind The Cloud, Marc Benioff demonstrates how you can successfully develop your company to becoming a billion-dollar company.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «BEING THE BEST: Learn How To Replace Self-Destructive, Popular Myths with Life-Changing, Practical Truths» by Denis Waitley.

    Denis Waitley is described as «one of America's most respected authors, keynote lecturers and productivity consultants on high performance human achievement.» In Being The Best, he argues that success in life is not measured by what a person gets, but by what they continue to do with what they have. The concept of success is very personal. Therefore, happiness and fulfillment are actually generated through the richness of the experience on the journey to success and not in the fleeting moment when someone feels they have arrived. In the final analysis, success is not a destination at all - it's a way to travel.

    According to Waitley, success must be built from the inside out if it is to be sustained over an extended period. It has nothing to do with comparisons to other people, and everything to do with the exhilaration that comes with doing something that is extraordinary, excellent and heart warming.

    Being The Best is a very valuable and inspirational book that will help you unleash your potential and help you be the best you can.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «BEN & JERRY'S: THE INSIDE SCOOP, How Two Real Guys Built a Business with a Social Conscience and a Sense of Humor» by Fred «Chico» Lager.

    Fred «Chico» Lager is a former CEO of the Ben & Jerry's ice cream company. He joined the company in 1982, and together with Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, he built this successful company.

    In Ben & Jerry's: The Inside Scoop, Fred «Chico» Lager tells his own experiences creating this brilliant business. Indeed, in less than 15 years, Ben & Jerry's grew from an ice cream parlor in an abandoned gas station in Burlington, Vermont, to a publicly traded corporation with annual sales of over $100 million.

    But what characterizes Ben & Jerry's is that this company made it to the top while remaining one of the most innovative, progressive and socially responsible businesses in the world. They stayed true to their vision, fought for what they believed was right, and were generously rewarded.

    Ben & Jerry's: The Inside Scoop is an inspirational business book for entrepreneurs struggling with their own young business as well as a great read for ice cream lovers.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «BEST PRACTICES: Building Your Business With Customer-Focused Solutions» by Robert Hiebeler, Thomas Kelly & Charles Ketteman.

    Robert Hiebeler is the Managing Director of KnowledgeSpace, an Arthur Andersen project dedicated to the productive leverage of knowledge. Thomas Kelly is the Managing Partner of Arthur Andersen Knowledge Enterprises, a business focused on e-commerce and Internet based businesses. Charles Ketteman is the Managing Partner of Arthur Andersen's Business Consulting Practice.

    Arthur Andersen conducted a $30 million research project to identify specifically what world-class companies do better than anyone else. Six business processes were identified and labeled ''best practices'' because they represent the optimum way for companies to achieve extraordinary results.

    Taken together, these six business processes combine in a total commitment to and focus on the customer. Best-practice companies vigorously attempt to understand markets, form close associations with customers, design, market and deliver products that customers want. In the process, best-practice companies provide unequaled levels of service to their customers. When everything in the company is focused on learning and responding to what the customer wants, world-class performance can be achieved.

    Best Practices is the book you need if you wish to learn from the best companies.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «AUTOMATIC WEALTH FOR GRADS... and Anyone Else Just Starting Out» by Michael Masterson.

    After finishing university, most students dream of becoming financially independent by finding a good job. Masterson, a highly published author and well-seasoned business entrepreneur, has a substantially more ambitious vision of financial independence than more students even aspire to. He believes that people should earn ten times what they need to live on each year in order to live off interest generated by investments. After much experience in the matter, Masterson has proposed a fail-safe principle - you should commit to saving 15% of everything you earn and spread it across five important areas which will increase your wealth.

    This succinct summary includes key quotes from Masterson's book, including one where he defends his focus on 'becoming rich'. He says that it is not the be all and end all of life, but it certainly makes life more enjoyable and can be achieved more easily than you think once you set the wheels in motion. It is simply about learning how to save and invest the right proportion of your income to see long-term rewards! This is a really helpful and practical read for college students or recent graduates.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «B2B: How To Build a Profitable E-Commerce Strategy» by Michael Cunningham.

    As the founder and CEO of an international technology consulting firm, Michael Cunningham is well placed to be giving advice about e-commerce. There are huge advantages in B2B e-commerce that have come about thanks to the dynamic marketplace at our fingertips. The trick is, not to hang around. Now is the time to act and get involved, becoming a leader and pioneer rather than a second rate follower. Amongst the many advantages to B2B e-commerce, Cunningham lists the speed and quality of communication between firms, the reduction of transactional expenses, and the increased buying power of the two firms.

    /> This summary helps you take immediate action by outlining the steps you need to take. B2B is a really indispensible guide to incorporating B2B e-commerce into your company's strategy. Cunningham tells you how to go about things the right way and fast, including advice about how to train your staff, and how to ensure you have a fully integrated plan that is sustainable and effective in the long term.

  • This ebook offers a summary of "Be Your Own Brand : Achieve More of What You Want by Being More of Who You Are" In this brilliantly articulate summary, David McNally and Karl Speak argue for the importance of developing one's own personal brand. Companies know and understand the importance of building their brands, and people should do precisely the same thing. Strong brands are fuelled by loyal, lasting relationships, consistent service and added value. Your personal brand involves some of these elements but also the following key components which are outlined by the authors:

    A list of your personal competencies Your personal standards - how you like to get things done Specific style elements - your personality and how you relate to people Your brand promise - what you propose to deliver Your brand platform - your personal signature character trait The summary goes into detail on each of the above points giving a very lucid concept of what a personal brand could and should be. Using real life examples and a series of probing questions, this summary will give you the tools to define your personal brand, as well as the confidence to use it at work and at home. It also encourages you to keep refining and developing your brand manifesto to ensure that it is always authentic and aligned with your goals.

  • This work offers a summary of the book «BEATING THE BUSINESS CYCLE: How to Predict and Profit from Turning Points in the Economy» by Lakshman Achuthan and Anirvan Banerji.

    Lakshman Achuthan is managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, a private research group which analyzes business cycles and sells its research to Fortune 500 companies, major fund managers and government agencies. Anirvan Banerji is director of research at the Economic Cycle Research Institute.

    Many people now assume the business cycle has been mastered, and there is no need to worry about economic recessions or recoveries any more. This point-of-view, however, might be overly optimistic. The economy will continue to rise and fall in the future, and those who accurately forecast these future turning points will have the greatest opportunity to position themselves advantageously.

    In Beating The Business Cycle, Achuthan and Banerji give concrete advice on how to use the ebbs and flows of the general business cycle advantageously. It will help you break from the pattern of basing economic decisions on the recent past, and will show you how to use a decision-making framework that can see through the delusions of the crowd, and anticipate the next turn in the economy.

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