This is a monthly series by Charles Read. Charles reviews business books, some newly published, some classics, and some obscure. His goal is to help you in running your business by giving you some insights and recommendations for readings that will make running your business a little easier. And who doesn't want that?! Enjoy!
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Book: How To Win At The Sport Of Business. If I Can Do It. You Can Do It.
Author: Mark Cuban
Why this book:
It had come up on my radar (late of course) and being a Dallas area person hearing and seeing Mark repeatedly I thought I would read and review his book.
I won in business. You can win in business if you can do what I did.
First, it is not a book. It is a collection of old blog posts. The paper is cheap. The pictures are poor. The layout is third rate. If you turned in the book as a class project you would be lucky to get a passing grade on presentation. The glossy cover is the only classy and professional production piece of the whole book.
Second, if you wrote this for English class you would fail because of the plagiarism that abounds, much not attributed. You really can stop reading here. I would not buy or recommend this book for any reason.
One Contradiction After Another
Mark contradicts himself repeatedly in the book. For instance, he says never ask customers what they want in a product. Just invent a better product and they will love it. He also does not tell you how to invent that better product. But earlier in the book he makes the point that all customer complaints are reviewed by him personally and that it is very important to connect with customers and put yourself in their shoes, sit in the cheap seats and see if the beer is warm.
He talks about the “Edge”. Business is “7 X 24 X 365 X Forever”. Part of the edge is telling your girlfriends (4 in a year) that business is more important than they are. Also in the “Edge” is “Blow off steam a couple of times a week”, which does not tie to the 24 X 7 X 365 imperative in any way.
He confuses being well read and educated about a product with being the smartest, not the most learned, man in the world. Not seeming to understand the difference between education and intelligence.
I won’t say he does not make some good business points. But if you have read any business books you have already seen them. I will say I agree with him fully on one point not often written about. “Sweat equity is the best startup capital.” Too many people chase too much VC money. Venture Capitalists don’t have the same goals as a business owner. “Investors don’t care about your dreams and goals. Investors care about money.” Yet every week you see him on Shark Tank as a venture capitalist. What does he really believe?
Personally Mark makes the point that he is a hedonist. “When I am 90, will I smile when I think back, or will I frown and regret not having done it? Success is about making your life a special version of unique that fits who you are – not what other people want you to be.”
An empty book dashed off using old blogs. Mark found a way to make profit off of something he had already given away. Hmmm, maybe he's smarter after all....not!
Action to take:
Pass on this book. Not worth the time, energy, or money to buy it.
Still want to buy the book? Get it here on Amazon.