Friday, May 30, 2008

Daily Thoughts

The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice helped ban the famous book Ulysses by James Joyce for a time.

I was not particularly impressed with The One Minute Entrepreneur. I read it while I was coming in on the train this morning to work. It is very much a feel good book about having a very positive outlook on life. The premise of the book, someone opening a successful speaking and motivation bureau is too close to the writers of the book.

It turns the book into a giant hundred page cliche. If you want to read something upbeat for a customer service or salesperson this book would be good. It is too focused on sales and touches too lightly on other aspects of entrepreneurship. I am not sure I would even call this book a book about entrepreneurship. It is really about running a motivational sales business. If you sold greeting cards with positive sayings this would ring true. However, if you were selling copy machines you would be at a loss for words after reading this book.

This book is like so many of the positive spin books out there, great for motivating your people, but impractical. There are places in the book which are so full of wishful thinking that they are astounding. For example, you should open your account books then people will be understanding when they get their salaries cut and there is a hiring freeze. However, if you want a positive story which will help you feel good about selling just about anything, this book is for you.

There are a lot of very simple tips at the end of each chapter. These are about basic success in life, not just as an entrepreneur. Things like read every day, keep a journal, be upbeat, make sure you bring in more money than you spend, customer service is important, take time for god, balance your life between work and family, be honest, and various maxims for success in life and business.

At the end of the book, they have a brief bibliography which lists various self help business books. These are pretty basic things like The One Minute Manager, Raving Fans, Life Is Tremendous, and Kingdomality. There is a mix of sales training with evangelical Christian ministry in this book which is a bit over the top. This is the kind of book which I would not buy, but might check out of the library.

Just as an afterthought, my favorite motivational book is by Dr. Seuss, it is meant for someone just graduating high school or college, and is quite entertaining. Oh The Places You'll Go.

I put another book on hold today, Sagramanda by Alan Dean Foster. It is supposed to be a near future thriller set in modern India. Near future thrillers are kind of interesting, they extrapolate changes in technology in the near future. They usually have some kind of espionage or disaster happening. The last near future thriller I read was William Gibson's Spook Country

Right now, I am holding Full of Bull, Do What Wall Street Does, Not What It Says, To Make Money In The Market by Stephen T. McClellan. This is an analysis of what analysts mean when they are reporting by an analyst with 32 years of wall street experience. It talks about biases, blindspots, and manipulation in financial reporting. I think I put the book on hold about four weeks ago. There is often no telling when a book will come in that is on reserve.

I was looking around on the web again. This time, I found a nice little article on how to read business books by Seth Godin. I am posting a link to this article, because it seems relevant for the moment.

I also looked through Kirkus Reviews this morning. They have a book which I hopefully will get to read. It isn't coming out until August 18, 2008. A Universal History of the Destruction of Books From Ancient Sumer to Modern Day Iraq by Fernando Baez.

One of the things this blog is about is the relation between social networking and books. There are three major social networks that combine social networking with books , , and . Please let me know about any others you can think of. I intend to look at them a little more closely in the next week.

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