Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Eat People

Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler, 253 pages


For once, this is a business book that lives up to its title. In Eat People, Kessler leaves any notion of political correctness at the door and offers up some suggestions on how entrepreneurs can launch themselves into the stratosphere of big business, such as creating a business that cuts out people, carving out a horizontal slice of the market instead of going vertical (for example, creating a better widget that makes the big machine run more efficiently rather than just building a whole new machine), and figuring out a way to make something cost less to make more money. Along the way, he gives lots of great real-life examples, some dating back 150 years, some dating from last year.

There were a lot of things I agreed with in this book, but when I disagreed with the author, wow, I REALLY disagreed with him (he seemed to throw around stereotypes WAY too much). I appreciated Kessler's candor, snark, and laid-back writing style, though at times I wanted him to throw some research at me; too often, he would give a number (say, "eight out of ten" or something like that) and would give no indication of where he came up with it. I also didn't really like the way he kept name-dropping. Yes, every business book will have some quotes or information from moguls/superstar innovators, but Kessler made a point to refer to them as his friends. Not necessary.

I honestly don't know if I'll recommend this one to anyone, though that's as much because of the people at who it's aimed as anything else. Most of the people who come to me looking for business books are looking to start a business, not take it global, and it's the latter to whom this seemed written. Should make for an interesting discussion at the Business Reads book club tomorrow though!

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