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This review is from: Poke the Box (Hardcover)I have a pretty high tolerance for generalisations and unsubstantiated claims in management books. Usually they have enough concrete information to fill an HBR article then the author spreads it out with fluff to fill a book. But this book breaks new ground with a fluff to fact ratio of about 99% (though it is true I can't be bothered substantiating my claim...). If you are into self help books maybe you'll love it - it is basically watered down Tony Robbins.
Here is a typically profound excerpt from a section titled 'How to Walk to Cleveland':
'You decide to walk to Cleveland. So you take a first step in the right direction. That's starting. You spend the rest of the day walking toward Cleveland, one step at a time, picking your feet up and putting them down. At the end of the day, twenty miles later, you stop at a hotel. And what happens the next morning? Either you quit the project or you start again, walking to Cleveland. In fact, every step is a new beginning. Sure, you're closer than you were yesterday or last week, but you're still heading toward Cleveland. Keep starting until you finish.'
If you found that excerpt inspiring, I thoroughly recommend the rest of the book.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Apr 2011 10:16:51 BDT
Last edited by the author on 13 Apr 2011 10:17:19 BDT
R. Brownsdon says:
This review is funny. I like it. However, I do also like Seth Godin, and although I haven't read the book in question, I thought Purple Cow was full of useful tips.
Posted on 20 Apr 2011 12:42:09 BDT
G. Gibson says:
Well, that description of 'How to Walk to Cleveland' sounds exactly like how I wrote my first book, and I've gone on to be a fairly successful writer, so to me it sounds like excellent advice. One day at a time, one step at a time, I suspect, is how many projects are best approached, since otherwise the enormity of the task, if confronted all at once, can be quite overwhelming. So there is, in fact, a great deal of useful truth in that excerpt.
In reply to an earlier post on 1 Nov 2011 13:40:09 GMT
E. A. Williams says:
... I'm a little confused: not sure if you're saying you're in agreement with M Henderson's posting that the book is 99% fluff-through-simply-stating-the-obvious but in addition you've also proved people can make a career out of stating the obvious in books, or whether you feel this book actually has substance and is worth buying. Having purchased many such books, I agree with MHenderson that my bookshelves (and Kindle disk space) could be substantially reduced through some 'de-fluffing' of many authors' key messages. Equally, as a bit of a 'box-poker' myself I'm interested to know if Seth deals with the fact that many Strategic Managers do NOT like people who step outside the accepted norm because then you become a threat to them: you have to be a talented CEO comfortable in your own skin to empower box-pokers and there's not many of those around. What normally happens is people see you as a threat to them/their position, panic, and do everything they can to shut you down and return to the comfortable Status Quo. Now, if Seth has the answers to solving THAT in the book I'll buy it ... but if it's more of 'How to Walk to Cleveland' been there/done it (*'How to Climb Everest' ... revisited ;o) ).
Posted on 2 Oct 2013 13:00:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Oct 2013 13:01:29 BDT
Mr. T. White says:
An interesting point you make, reviewer! What's more of a shame than that this book seems to do an excellent job rehashing normative sense into profit, is that you've so few reviews here!
We need more folk who, in their reviewing, cut through the bunkum which infests so many popular texts, and then present to the rest of us the bare truth: which ultimately saves wasted money! Thank you
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Oct 2013 14:19:07 BDT
M. Henderson says:
Thanks! I'm feeling guilty now as my own shopping has always been guided by customer reviews/ratings but I have submitted so few reviews of my own. By the way, if you're looking for good business books with an emphasis on marketing, I really liked Contagious and Made to Stick - both of which are much more grounded in evidence and specificity than Poke the Box of course.
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