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Saturday, September 5, 2009
The 10 Commandments for Business Failure
This book was written by the head of Coca-Cola during the "New Coke" debacle. Many of the best lessons are from his experience as an executive of the company during that time, it was the time dominated by cola wars, for any who are too young to remember cola advertising was on everything and in an obnoxious way. Pepsi challenges were the centerpoint of state fairs and you couldn't breathe without knowing whether your oxygen was sponsored by Coke or Pepsi.
Truthfully I found this book to be pretty light. All the points about running a business such as don't lose your passion, listen to your customers, don't send mixed messages to your customers, be willing to change your bureaucracy and so forth are pretty simple and well known. I'd would have liked to see a more in depth look at the subjects.
For example listening to your customers and being responsive to feedback is a well known business success factor, but what gets in the way of companies doing that? Cost, and how do you make decisions on when to listen to them and when to lose their business to a competitor? Cost analysis based on good guesswork. I would like to see more business books that aren't full of platitudes and more full of case scenarios of decision making. I guess you don't find much of that outside of business school and more specifically finance school.
Oh well I guess the book serves it's purpose well enough for a feel good four hour read for corporate drones. Other than that skip it and spend your time elsewhere.