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ISBN 9780671792275 Published Sept. 1992
Simon & Schuster
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Posted Aug. 3, 2010 3:43 a.m. by sally-haldorson
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
Penguin's Portfolio imprint specializes in business books, and their Portfolio Javelin blog ("Business, Business Books, and the Business of Books") is a great read for any of us business book geeks. Yesterday, Will Weisser, Vice President and Associate Editor of Portfolio, wrote an entry inspired by a post in the Guardian's blog in which the author, Robert McCrum, confessed, despite his education and exposure to great books, that he had never read Middlemarch by George Eliot (if you too have not read Middlemarch, I highly recommend remedying that this summer--it's one of my favorites.) McCrum then invites readers to share their book humiliations by listing the books that they regret never having read.
In his post, Weisser agrees to play along, but specifies that he has "focused on the business category for 15 years but still haven’t read some of the most acclaimed and influential business books, the ones we use as benchmarks and role models."
Weisser's list of regrets:
Barbarians at the Gate by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar
Den of Thieves by James B. Stewart
In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters and Bob Waterman
The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clay Christensen
Only the Paranoid Survive by Andy Grove
Why We Buy by Paco Underhill
The HP Way by David Packard
Then he was kind enough to mention our book, The 100 Best Business Books of All Time, as a great resource for determining which books you've missed out on. (When preparing the "lost chapter" of The 100 Best, we added Barbarians at the Gate by Burrough and Helyar, and it would be the perfect book to take on vacation yet this summer.)
Intrigued by this challenge, I posed the question to Jack, our in-house encyclopedia of business books, what Business Book Humiliations he may still have. He replied that Michael Porter (author of Competitive Advantage and Competitive Strategy comes to mind. Personal History by Katharine Graham was Dylan's choice. If I had to choose one, it would be Men and Women of the Corporation by Rosabeth Moss Kanter.
What's your business book humiliation, the one business book you most regret never having read?
Forbes' 20 Most Influential Business Books
Posted April 21, 2006 3:52 a.m. by todd-sattersten
In Lists - 800 CEO Read Blog
In the Forbes' article that Tom referred to yesterday, the writer Dan Ackman pointed to a list of business books the magazine put together in 2002. Forbes calls these The 20 Most Influential Business Books. As you look down the panel experts, you'll notice our own Jack Covert was among those called to contribute. Since this was put together before the blog was born, I thought we should get it put up here.
- In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman (1982)
- Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras (1994)
- Reengineering the Corporation by Michael Hammer and Jim Champy (1993)
- Barbarians at the Gate by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar (1993)
- Competitive Advantage by Michael Porter (1998)
- The Tipping Point by Malcolm Galdwell (2000)
- Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore (1999)
- The House of Morgan by Ron Chernow (1990)
- The Six Sigma Way by Peter Pande et al (2000)
- Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey(1990)
- Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis (1989)
- The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton Christensen (1997)
- Japan Inc. by Shotaro Ishinomori (1988)
- Den of Thieves by James Stewart (1991)
- The Essential Drucker by Peter Drucker (2001)
- Competing for the Future by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad (1994)
- The Warren Buffet Way by Robert Hagestrom (1991)
- Jack: Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch with John Bryne (2001)
- Good to Great by Jim Collins (2001)
- The New New Thing by Michael Lewis (2000)
Getting Great Ink
Posted Jan. 28, 2005 7:54 a.m. by todd-sattersten
In The Company - 800 CEO Read Blog
People have been saying a lot of nice things about us and we just wanted to thank them. Robert Scoble told me he uses us for market research as he develops his new book (he also blogged it here.), Hello World gushed about a little gift package Aaron sent them, and Brendon at Slacker Manager yesterday listed us as a great place to go to find out about business books.
We have also being getting real physical ink. Jack had a letter to the editor published in Fast Company about their Was "Built To Last" Built To Last? article (he sided with the book). Jack was also recently quoted in a Crain's New York article about business scandal books [sub. needed]. Here is the opening from the piece that has Jack's blurb:
Back in December 2002, the future looked bright for publishers eager to bring out nonfiction books about greedy executives intent on corporate deceit. Wall Street Journal reporter Charles Gasparino had no trouble inking a deal in the middle six figures with the Free Press for a book on how prominent analysts cheated investors out of millions of dollars.
"The stars aligned very well for me," says Mr. Gasparino, whose book Blood on the Street has just hit bookstores. "We had a tremendous number of bidders.
Mr. Gasparino might face a different set of stars today. Following a parade of money-losing Enron titles, the business scandal category stands close to collapse, a victim of the exhaustive coverage found in newspapers, on cable television and on the Internet. Sales for Blood on the Street and the upcoming Conspiracy of Fools--the last of the big Enron books--may decide if the stars ever line up again for major books on financial villains.
"This will be a test," says Jack Covert, president of 800-CEO-READ, an Internet supplier of business books to corporate clients. A fan of Conspiracy of Fools author Kurt Eichenwald, Mr. Covert is betting that title will succeed when it comes out in March. "If it doesn't, maybe the genre is beyond resuscitation," he says.
The category goes back to the financial scandals of the 1980s and the books that dissected them, Barbarians at the Gate and Den of Thieves. Both titles came out in the early 1990s, and each sold more than 300,000 copies nationwide in hardcover.
The rub is that it has been pretty much downhill from there. In recent years, the merger of America Online and Time Warner inspired three high-profile books that were commercial failures, while the Enron scandal led to about half a dozen hardcover titles that made rapid progress to the remainder table.
Even The Smartest Guys in the Room, a book which sold an estimated 70,000 copies, was a money-loser for the Penguin business imprint Portfolio, which paid $1.4 million for the publishing rights. Some of the other major Enron titles sold as few as 25,000 hardback copies.
"There is still a market for these books when they're done well, but whether it's a best-seller market is the question," says Publisher David Rosenthal of Simon & Schuster, which is releasing 200,000 copies of James B. Stewart's Disney War in March. "You may not be willing to spend a million dollars."
Lowering their sights may be all that publishers can do, as they gradually run out of blockbuster categories.
Our last mention just hit newsstands in the current issue of Business 2.0 (Feb. 2005). I was quoted in a short piece about the podcasting phenomenon. And I quote (myself):
"Audio on the Internet is not interesting, " says Todd Sattersten, who runs 800-CEO-READ's podcasts. "What is interesting is getting it on your audio player so you can listen whenever you want."
It been a good month for us. Again thanks for all the support. I think you will be excited by some of the things we have planned to roll out over the next three months.