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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Find Your Lightbulb: How to Make Millions from Apparently Impossible Ideas
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on 19 January 2017
A truly fantastic and insightful book on finding a great idea and executing that idea into a world class start up business!!! The Author Mike Harris has founded at least 3 multi billion pounds businesses and he has been a mentor to many new entrepreneurs!!! Highly recommended!!
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on 4 September 2017
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on 14 February 2010
I was looking for some practical advice was extremely disappointed with this book. It is stuffed full of quotes from the likes of Henry Ford, Roosevelt, Pathos, etc. They failed to motivate me as I have read them all before in the many other business books on the market. This book contains nothing new; except for the author's own personal experiences (how he has met Bill Gates and bumped into Warren Buffet) and how terrified he felt when embarking on a new venture. I also doubt whether the average person can relate to the start up business examples the author includes in the book such as Egg, First Direct bank, etc.

For those of you who are trying to start a new business from scratch, with no previous track record, or cash of your own to invest, the author offers little practical advice other than to state the blindingly obvious, E.g. the banks won't touch you, go find a business angel and/or fund yourself with the help of friends and relatives; and then goes on to recommend that you will need sufficient funds to live off for at least one to two years, whilst you get your business up and running...

If you are looking for a book with practical constructive advice and information I can strongly recommend "From Acorns: How to Build a Brilliant Business by Caspian Woods", which is an excellent book.
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on 21 August 2012
I had very high expectations for this book, as I had researched Mike Harris before buying "Find Your Lightbulb". During my online browsing, I discovered that Mike Harris was very good at helping people come up with their "perfect pitch" through his involvement in Daniel Priestley's "Become a Key Person of Influence" programme. Amongst other things, Mike Harris had also been involved in some heavyweight businesses. Which lead me to believe he would be an interesting person to learn from. Especially when promised that a business idea, no matter how crazy it may seem, could potentially be successful, or in his words, turn into a million dollar company. Although I've never been interested in running a multi million dollar company. And that's perhaps exactly where the problem is. That and the fact that I feel like the title is both misleading and accurate.

You see, Mike Harris draws from his vast experience in the corporate world, but really doesn't come up with anything worthwhile for the 'average guy'. Don't get me wrong, there are things you can learn from and no doubt you will learn from his book. I particularly liked the passage on Apollo 13 and why according to Mike Harris is the best example of Leadership (funnily enough, I've seen this example used in a few different books lately). But if like me, you're not a large multinational in the making, and you're looking to launch a business that has a social impact, rather than an ever growing bank account, this book is not for you.

And if you're wondering why I mentioned that the title of this book is both misleading and accurate, well I don't believe by reading this book you'll find your lightbulb. At least I didn't find mine. Still very much in the dark. Mike Harris covers this aspect briefly with some strategies which don't necessarily apply to you and me. Non of which will help you find your lightbulb. If it has, I'd like to know how.

But on the other hand, I'm sure that if you're after a successful corporate venture you'll get to the top of the corporate ladder in no time. After all he's done it over and over again and has been successful at most of his ventures.

Now what I'd like to see, is a book on Perfect Pitching. I've learned more from watching a few of his videos online about that subject than I have from reading his book on finding your lightbulb. And even though I didn't particularly enjoy Find Your Lightbulb, I have no doubt "Find Your Perfect Pitch" would be a much better book.
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on 4 July 2012
A lovely read including how to fire up your team

Mike Harris launched FirstDirect and Egg and has just sold Garlik. His book "Find your Light Bulb" is an entrepreneur's handbook and step-by-step guide to move successfully from idea, through start-up and launch to revenue and expansion.

With many quotes, stories and models, Harris shows us in clear and manageable chunks, what is required to launch your business - unquenchable enthusiasm and a vision of a Bold and Inspiring Future - BIF.

He flips the inevitable criticism that you will encounter into constructive research and advise, calling them insights.

He details how to brainstorm properly and to create your brand identity (name what you promise to deliver and expand upon your company's personality and values.)

My favourite part is his explanation and examples of the Dynamic Action Plan for the first year of your business, with its flexible means and non-negotiable ends.

Another excellent contributions was in explaining what makes a team "hot" and how you can engineer a winning culture from the outset and therefore bypass the default and uncertain culture that will emerge unaided.

If there is a criticism, and there must be one in every review, it is that he inevitably refers back to his own war stories many times. Whilst the stories make a good point, they may distance the reader not involved in digital security or consumer banking.

His wisdom is at its best, and it is where most text books and leadership training do not go - Phase two when you have successfully launched.

After initial success a new enemy emerges. The danger shifts from time and cash flow to the activity of the competition. You can patent and protect technology and method but not your ideas.

Success has many fathers and your main competitor wants to become your prison daddy.

Bonus material on moderating meetings when things are not going well more that pays back the cover price.

Mike Harris has delivered a valuable guide to the phases and actions required to move from thinking about it to succeeding with your idea.

Matthew Hill is the author of the new book "Learn How to LEAD; Believe, Behave and Become" [...]
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on 7 July 2008
I've been devouring books by CEO's and management leaders for the last few months as I'm starting my own venture. Most offer good advice interspersed with anecdotes and a bit of self congratulatory trumpet blowing. They tend to lack the day-to-day and long term tactics you need to get your idea out into the world. You pick what you can and try to shoe horn the scattered ideas into your business plan. However, I was totally knocked over by the impact this book has had on me. Mike describes in simple to understand terms how to ignite and fan an unstoppable fire of enthusiasm in both the inventor or leader, and how to transmit this to a team around him or her.

I've been struggling to put together an inspiring and compelling business plan for my idea for about 6 months, which has led me to doubt the idea, and therefore make the task of creating interest amongst potential supporters difficult.

I put down the book having devoured it, and penned a concise, grand and unashamedly bold plan. The impact it has had is difficult to measure. Suddenly everyone around me is really enthused and excited for the project. My enthusiasm has become infectious. The future looks so exciting!

What is clear is that this special little book is a must read for every manager, leader or team. It is the distillate of 20 years of cutting edge management techniques and distinctions which I'm sure you will find blessed to have read. His straightforward approach makes it accessible to all.

I'm not normally somebody who writes reviews with such fervour and gushyness, but something definitely shifted in my outlook on business life when reading this book. I strongly recommend it to you unless you are a competitor! In which case forget you read any of this review at all.
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on 16 May 2008
I met Mike Harris when he was helping his friend Dr Mosaraf Ali build a web site to publicise his work on integrated health. I know something about the challenges of creating a new business as I started my own business, Pukka Herbs, in 2001 and it's still going strong.

I haven't seen Mike for about 5 years but the book really brings to life his clarity of thought. I have really enjoyed the read. Knowing what you want your buisiness goals to be(or any other goals for that matter) before you set out creates an intention and a focus that will help you achieve your goal. Its an easy read, an inspirational read and a highly motivational book. Go and enjoy it.
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on 5 March 2016
Love this book.
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on 16 July 2016
Good read.
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on 10 May 2008
I read this book on the recommendation of a friend and it's unlike any other business book I have ever read. I think that anyone would enjoy reading it whatever their background because it's so well written. It starts with a conversation that the author had with Bill Gates and then goes on to tell fascinating stories about the creation of famous brands illustrated with quotes from lots of other business people like Richard Branson. I like the fact the author has created 5 huge businesses and if you want to set up a business of any sort this book would guide you through the whole process from thinking up the initial idea, to funding and then onto growth. The best thing I can say about it is that it doesn't read like a business manual it's much more interesting than that. My boyfriend is now reading it and can't put it down despite not having read a book since 2002.
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