ISBN 9780884271789 Published July 2004
North River Press
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Posted Oct. 21, 2011 8:21 a.m. by sally-haldorson
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
While Dylan is relaxing on his honeymoon in Costa Rica, I'm going to take a stab at my version of Friday Links. Enjoy!
There has been a lot of talk both online and around the water cooler about the New York Times article "Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal" published earlier this week that made the bold statement:
Amazon.com has taught readers that they do not need bookstores. Now it is encouraging writers to cast aside their publishers.
The author, David Streitfeld, goes on to detail the moves Amazon has made to establish itself as a competitor to more traditional publishers which, right or wrong, are made to seem submissive in the face of Amazon's emergence, depicted here quite colorfully with references to fear, confusion, and anger. Amazon, in turn, sounds nearly benevolent to authors and their struggles to get published. Needless to say, the article has sparked some strong opinions. Here are two of them:
Friend of company and all-around-smart-publishing-person, John Eklund, a rep for Harvard University Press, The MIT Press, and Yale University Press, takes issue less with the article itself, than with the assertion made by "a top Amazon executive" that “The only really necessary people in the publishing process now are the writer and the reader.” In his Paper Over Board blog post, who needs editors? writers, Eklund counters:
[N]obody- or precious few anyway- has written a book worth reading on their own. Someone taught you to write, someone took care of the kids and the bills while you wrote, perhaps someone even gave you ideas. And once an editor recognized quality and meaning in your work, and persuaded her house to take a chance on you, a complicated publishing apparatus improved on your creation.
That’s not always how it works. And one solution might be more publishers, not fewer. But as a reader, I’ll continue to buy books that have been brought to market by experienced professionals with a publishing legacy, and will be wary of books that make a virtue out of scorning them.
The AARdvark blog, "created by the AAR Digital Rights Committee to educate the membership on all aspects of and issues surrounding the emerging digital publishing marketplace" takes on the article itself, in a post titled, Really, New York Times??, asking readers not to just find it either 'yesterday's news' or even revealing an uncomfortable truth, but to feel some "rage" over it.
Monday’s New York Times front page article on Amazon’s “writing publishers out of the deal” has been much commented-on. But I think it calls for some rage. As someone who really cares about this industry, the simplistic and narrow focus is infuriating; and the message it conveys to people outside the business is misleading at best and damaging at worst. I would have expected more insight and at least some analysis from ‘the newspaper paper of record.’
Author, Brian DeFlore, whose vitae provides ample evidence of this knowledge of the subject, takes offense at the tone of the article which, as he reads it, paints Amazon in a most favorable light.
And yes, it is sexy to think of Amazon as the great democratizer, and the Times uses that for effect. But of course Amazon could swat any publisher out of existence with a flick of its mighty wrist. If there is a Goliath, it ain’t the publishers. You’d think the Times would address that.
No doubt the evolution of the publishing industry will continue to stir up great passion, and it is impossible to predict just how it will all shake out. Look at the evolution of the music business: it still hasn't ceased to change. But we can take solace in the fact that there is indeed such passion over our passion for reading.
On November 3rd, the winner of the 2011 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award will be announced. The Financial Times has posted a number of videos to their YouTube channel of business leaders discussing great business books.
Cynthia Carroll, CEO of Anglo American, talks about Michael Porter's On Competition
Pete Redfern, Chief Executive of Taylor Wimpey makes an unconventional pick, Red Plenty by Francis Spufford.
Samir Brikho, Chief Executive, Amec, explains how he uses Eliyahu M Goldratt and Jeff Cox's The Goal in his organization.
In our The 100 Best Business Books of All Time, Jack chose Personal History by Katharine Graham as one of his favorite biographies. Graham ran the Washington Post Company from 1963-1991, an amazingly long time for any business person to helm a company.
But her success was not without struggle. Throughout her tenure as publisher, she had problems garnering the respect of her peers and subordinates, and, in this book, she discusses her struggles with trusting her own instincts. But it is indeed her obvious success as a leader and as a moral icon that makes this book essential reading.
This book came to mind this week when I watched this story on CBS News about Jill Abramson who has been named the new Executive Editor of the New York Times. She will have an incredible challenge in the coming years to intertwine the paper and digital visions of the paper. And, of course, the challenge of being a woman in the top newspaper job. About this, Abramson says:
"I'm very conscious of the past battles that woman journalists waged to rise up in the newsroom, and that happened here at the Times, too," Abramson said. "It would be nice to think we would get to the point where it wasn't so remarkable when a woman rose to the top job at an important institution. But we aren't there yet."
Indeed. But both Graham and Abramson have helped advance the process.
Jeff Hayzlett's Business Library
Posted April 27, 2010 8:35 a.m. by dylan
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
If you know who Jeff Hayzlett is, it is probably from his appearances on television or his Twitter footprint. But the chief marketing officer of Kodak is now venturing into the wonderful world of analog with his new book, The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing?, being released by Business Plus in May. And he has done something in that book that I wish more authors would do. He has included an appendix in which he lists his "Business Library 'Must' List." It gives you an idea of what has influenced him most over the years (and, just maybe, an idea of what to expect from his book). It includes:
- The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson
- Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco by Bryan Burrough & John Helyar
- How to Win Friend and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't by Jim Collins
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R Covey
- The Practice of Management by Peter F. Drucker
- The E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don't Work and What to Do about It by Michael Gerber
- The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
- The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M Goldratt & Jeff Cox
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- Iacocca: An Autobiography by Lee Iacocca with William Novak
- What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis
- Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. by Mitch Joel
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money-That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T Kiyosaki with Sharon L Lechter
- Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business by Jay Conrad Levinson
- Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition by Harvey MacKay
- The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino
- In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies by Tom Peters & Robert H Waterman
- The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
- Trump: The Art of the Deal by Donald J Trump with Tony Schwartz
- The Art of War by SinTzu
- Sam Walton: Made in America by Sam Walton with John Huey
- Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
Not only does his book get extra points from me for including a list of his favorites, Hayzlett himself gets extra credit for using a Garrison Keillor quote to introduce the list: "A book is a gift you can open again and again."
Jack Covert Selects - Velocity
Posted Jan. 15, 2010 7:03 a.m. by 800-ceo-read
In physics, velocity is a simple equation: speed + direction = velocity. AGI-Goldratt Institute’s new book, Velocity, takes that simple equation and applies it to business: operational speed + strategic direction = immediate gains. But where to apply such a simple equation is often the problem. When seeking improvement, should an organization improve everything? Or concentrate its efforts in one direction? If not improving everything, then what does an organization choose as its focus? Velocity endeavors to answer these questions.
You may be familiar with the name of the AGI-Goldratt Institute because its founder Eliyahu Goldratt is the author of the bestselling business novel from 1984, The Goal. Velocity is also a business novel, and its set up is similar to that of The Goal, which centers around a new plant manager who is tasked with improving productivity of his unit. Applying principles he learns from his “guru” (a common feature in business novels and fables), a physicist named Jonah, the plant manager learns the proper metrics for which to judge productivity and introduces Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC) which is a way of looking at a process as a physical entity in order to determine the bottleneck that is slowing production.
This novel adds TOC with two other well-known continuous improvement systems—Lean and Six Sigma. The authors explain: “Velocity—as a concept—is the means by which the organization orchestrates all of its resources, as well as all three improvement disciplines, and achieves both speed and direction toward its strategic goals.” In the story, the main character is Amy Cieolara, a high performing head of the sales and marketing division of Hi-T, a manufacturing company that has been bought out by a larger company that prides itself on using a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) approach to their operations. In the chaos that inevitably happens as a result of this change of leadership, Amy is made interim president of Hi-T based solely on her good record, not on her experience. Through the course of the book, Amy gets a crash course in lean manufacturing and Six Sigma quality principles from Wayne Reese, the new vice president of operations, an LSS expert. Not to give away too much, but the approach works quickly once Amy gets a team in place and a strategy set, and Hi-T’s “improved operations had pleased the customers, and pleasant customers had re-energized the sales force, who in turn had delivered more sales.”
Velocity is really about the three main continuous improvement methodologies, working together, that can be applied and sustained no matter what changes take place in a company, including staffing and leadership, or in current market conditions. The benefit of reading this information in business novel form is that readers learn the theories and problems through real world scenarios—not just academic conjecturing. By bringing real human emotions, including the fear of change and new responsibilities, to the application of LSS and TOC, Velocity inspires rather than intimidates. And when it comes to change and the demand for improvement, particularly in an economy such as ours, making improvements manageable is really the first step toward success.
Posted May 2009 9:05 a.m. by todd-sattersten
In Publishing Industry - 800 CEO Read Blog
We posted quite a bit over on twitter this week. We tried pulling together what we saw people saying about business books, recommendations for business books and some ideas around the future of publishing at large. Here is the what we found:
# RT @TalentAcquisit The Art of War by Sun Tzu is 1 of the best business strategy books. For business strategy check out http://www.sonshi.com 9:18 PM Apr 29th from web
# @kennypratt yes, here is the mystery box url: http://800ceoread.com/mysterybox 10:04 PM Apr 28th from web
# RT @tomewing:The Cluetrain Manifesto is the Velvet Underground of biz books: everyone who read it formed a dodgy start-up. (via @ricklevine) 3:57 PM Apr 28th from web
# RT @whgtoga Cool book ! One of the top 100 biz books of all time. (CEO READ) The Story Factor- Annette Simmons. 2:57 PM Apr 28th from web
# Great to see @jack_welch joining Twitternation today.2:38 PM Apr 28th from web
# @sarahcannon Finished reading Tribes over wkend, halfway thru The Tipping Point this wk. Both read too easily to be biz books...2:35 PM Apr 28th from web
# Looking for what business books to read? Check out our 377 reviews - http://800ceoread.com/blog/... 3:52 PM Apr 27th from web
# RT @Techmeme Amazon Acquires Stanza, an E-book Application for the iPhone (Brad Stone/Bits) http://bit.ly/JkHFz (via @debbiestier)3:42 PM Apr 27th from web
# You can follow Nancy at @nancyduarte.12:00 PM Apr 26th from web
# RT @chinasolved Pirated biz-books now @ my sbwy sta. Saw 'Black Swan' 'Essential Drucker" & 'Outliers' for 10 rbm each. 10:51 AM Apr 26th from web
# RT @fredwilson: Kenny Lerer is co-founder of HuffPo & here's his thoughts on newspapers http://bit.ly/v8Z0y
You can follow us at @800ceoread or jump over to our twitter page.
100 Best: Jack interviews Jeff Cox, co-author of The Goal
Posted May 2009 9:02 a.m. by jon8cr
In Audio - 800 CEO Read Blog
In this podcast, Jack Covert talks to Jeff Cox about how he got involved in co-authoring the book The Goal -- a parable about the Theory of Constraints, and how people can overcome barriers to make more money. Enlightening and revolutionary still today, the book itself sold over 2 million copies. Listen to the podcast to hear about some of the idea gems found in the book.
This book is one of the books in Jack and Todd's book The 100 Best Business Books of All Time.[podcast]http://800ceoread.com/blog/audio/jeff_cox_the_goal.mp3[/podcast]