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on 2 November 1998
Jack Trout has always been the master of seeing the forest for the trees. The Power of Simplicity is his latest breath of fresh air to help clear the mind and get marketers thinking straight again. Everyone always talks aobut how difficult it is to "cut through the media clutter" of mass marketing today. But to find a strategy that accomplishes that, you first have to cut through the clutter of jargon, fad-theories and self-proclaimed guru's that litter the marketing landscape. The Power of Simplicity is the self-help book for anyone who wants to come out on top in today's marketing wars. And the best part is, following Jack's advice is so incredibly simple.
Elliot Firestone, Creative Director, Fricks/Firestone Advertising
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on 19 March 1999
I recently purchased The Power of Simplicity by Jack Trout. This book's lack of originality is not my complaint. By page 70 I had bumped into enough interruptions from grammatical and printing errors that the book was quickly relegated to the "don't suggest" shelf of the de Francesca library. It is surprising to find so many mistakes in the printed text, given that so much of this book' s content was cut from earlier works by Mr. Trout and other writers.I would expect, and accept, this as a draft from a college student. I do not accept it from a reputable organization such as McGraw-Hill and under the name of Mr. Jack Trout who has been part of high quality writing projects in the past.
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on 15 June 1999
Trout's concept is great, as is his thesis. Unfortunately, he doesn't follow his own advice. I was less bothered by the typos than by the total inaccuracies (a cynic would say the manufacture of facts) rife in the book.
For example, Trout claims Southwest Airlines has no unions (p. 80) - wrong! Anyone vaguely familiar with Southwest knows they are in fact the most heavily unionized airline in the U.S. -- they just know how to manage them. If Trout really consulted for Southwest, I think they should get their money back!
Trout also self-contradicts: For him, the proof that Gillette does everything right is that they have sixty percent of the razor market (page 44). But on page 62, Trout harshly criticizes the advertising of Quilmes beer in Argentina. Their market share? Sixty percent. Trout wants it both ways.
Trout's summations are not simple -- they are circular or non-sensical: "Build market share and the numbers will come." Circular logic if I've ever seen it. "Goals are like dreams. Wake up and face reality." Huh? A goal by any other name...
Reading this self-contradicting, inaccurate book will be a maddening experience for anyone who cares about facts and clarity. If this book is a good example of the power of simplicity, it's only because it is not. It is just complicated and wrong.
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on 9 November 1998
I have been a fan of Trout (and Ries) for many years, and I am a firm believer in their take on marketing and positioning. This new book is very good at making you re-think your own organization and how things are done. The information explosion has uselessly added too much complexity, and led people to use consultants rather than their own brain power for many things. A thought-provoking book that can be read in a couple of hours, it contains a strong mandate for the need (if not the "how") to simplify the processes we all pursue in business. I will be buying copies for all my managers.
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on 31 March 1999
Simplify what we do and simplify how we say it. I have had two experiences recently that support Jack Trout's ideas. A large and well respected chemical company hired a statistician to follow the executive team around to watch how they spent their time. Then he tracked their activites against decisions and actions taken and the results. He found that 85% of what they did was irrelevant. They were reacting to blips rather than trends. Second, a recent research study showed that almost half of the executives interviewed siad that poor and confusing communications in their companies result in decreased efficiency and higher employee turnover. I applaud Mr. Trout's efforts to bring us back to basics, while realizing that technology is changing what basics mean. Infomation will increasingly be available, which places the burden on asking the right questions to know what information you need. Understanding how to measure, develop and exceed best practices and find ideal but simple new ways to do things creates the best results. You can read more about this new management process for increased progress in THE 2,000 PERCENT SOLUTION by Mitchell, Coles and Metz. If you combine THE POWER OF SIMPLICITY with this management process for rapid progress by asking the right questions, you will find your 2,000 percent solutions.
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on 29 March 1999
The typical organization spends a lot of time communicating, but gets very little understood and and turned into action. One of the best ways to improve communications and accomplish more is to simplify the message and make it match the common sense of the hearer. In pointing this out, the authors have done a service. They have, however, missed many of the other ways that you can improve communications and get more done. If you would like to learn more about this subject, you should visit the American Management Association Web site for their new survey on how poor communications create problems in organizations and if you want to read more about how to overcome communications stalls you should read about stallbusters in this area.
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on 6 November 1998
Somehow Trout and Rivkin always seem to find whatever the 'next thing' is in business. Then they explore it and present it in their extraordinarily simple, easy-to-digest style. I have never read one of their books without finding several things to apply to my business, and Simplicity is no exception. It's common sense, but it's the kind of information that made me say 'Why didn't I think of that?' It made a plane ride go by very quickly, and I found myself considerably enlightened (in a 'simple' way, of course) upon arrival.
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on 7 November 1998
This book is yet another in a line of great work by Jack Trout. Time and again, Jack cuts through the nonsense so commonplace in corporate thinking and spells out an approach to marketing and management that is direct and powerful. This book is a great one to challenge the corporate world as we enter a new millenium. Terrific work.
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on 18 October 1998
Last I checked, Baltimore should be capitalized and I think "gegan" must have been intended as "began". It only takes 2-3 hours to read the book. You would think that the publisher could find someone to invest that amount of time to proofread the book! Otherwise, some nicely summarized ideas regarding business.
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on 16 January 1999
This book makes us look at how silly and complex the business world has become and what to do about it. Simple to read, funny, full of comments and valuable lessons to take into battle. Excellent despite a few editting oversights. (George Fisher is not the former CEO of Kodak, he's the current CEO of Kodak)
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