I heard about this book from the podcast "stuff you should know" and I'm glad I took the leap and got it. I am not what you would consider a history buff, but I have to say I couldn't put this book down. You can't help but think of your elementary school's Thanksgiving plays and classes talking about the Pilgrims and Indians and just questioning everything. While there is nothing absolute about what is proposed in this book there is enough credible evidence to challenge almost all of our previous ideas of the native population of the Americas prior to the Europeans landing in 1492. It is quite possible they not only outnumbered us by incredibly large, staggering numbers but they were also culturally and scientifically more advanced.
I'd recommend this to any parent, teacher, high school student or person living in North or South America.
Wow! I have to admit this was a book that forced me to look up quite a few words, but it was worth it to figure out exactly what concept the author was trying to convey. This book has strong biases against "Intellectuals" as defined by the author, but he makes excellent points on how society is sometimes hindered by the elitist mentality that is becoming more prevalent in our higher education system graduates and government officials.
To sum up the author's concept as best I can: There is a select, but growing group of individuals who feel that society should be run by the smartest and most educated. That this group of select few will do a better job of running society and deciding what is best for the not-so-educated, not-so-smart masses.
He fundamentally believes that this approach is complete folly.
The author repeatedly challenges this concept and gives numerous examples (some good and some really biased) of how this method of leading society is flawed.
Well worth the read if only to challenge yourself to look at things differently.
This is quite simply the most practical guide/blueprint for business owners who want to implement social media marketing. I find that it spells out precisely the what, why and how of social media for decision makers and implementers. There are better books that describe and expand upon the changes the web is having on businesses (e.g. Starfish and the Spider, Free, The Long Tail, Microtrends, The New Rules of Marketing and PR) but none of them give the action steps and methods this book layouts and describes for its reader. Now it is time to check out the Hubspot.com blog and online tools and see if they live up to what the authors promise.
At first thought I would give this a 3 out of 5 stars. However it is so comprehensive with regards to social media and the impact it is and will have on commerce and marketing I am giving it a 4 out of 5 stars.
At times I found the author to be right on the mark and quite insightful and at other times I found myself thinking that the incredibly insightful person who wrote the book had been kidnapped, forced to drink the "social media Kool-Aid" and live with Care Bears for 45 days, thus morphing his sense of society.
Having said that, this is absolutely well worth the read. But if you find yourself from time to time thinking "where is this guy coming from?" ignore your apprehension and just read on to the next section, he will come back to reality and it will get good again.
I found this book to be very intriguing. It really peals back some of the mystery behind branding and the core of marketing techniques and methods. It gives excellent examples of the level of depth and extent to which companies will go to make us aware of their brands. It covers some shocking facts and figures of how profoundly today's society has been affected by brand marketing. One of my favorite points was the idea of brand recognition success by judging if an item passes the "smashable" test. If the product is broken into hundred parts would you still be a recognized it? (i.e. a Coke bottle or an iPod).
I would highly recommend this book for anyone looking to further their knowledge of the science/art of marketing and branding.
First off, this book is poorly named. I have an adversity to the stereotype "slick salesman" I think of when I read the name of this book. I believe it is because of the word SPIN. Spin brings up ideas of selling through situational lies, persuasion and manipulation. I would not have read this book it weren't recommended by a person who I regard as an excellent salesman and a person of high integrity.
So to the point, this book is not about unethical selling through persuasion or manipulation as the word "spin" from the title would imply, but rather flipping or "spinning" our perceptions of the right and wrong methods for selling products and services. It lumps selling into two major categories, small purchases and large purchases. The term small is defined by the author as not having a social or major economic impact on the buyer decides the purchase was a poor decision. The term large is conversely defined as having some type of sizeable social or economic impact on the buyer if the purchase was a good or a poor decision. Example of small Vs big being a $14.83 LED flashlight that was impulse purchased at Walmart Vs. a $24,995 Toyota Prius that was carefully researched prior to the purchase.
The book is dated, but is covering arguably timeless concepts of selling that would benefit anyone who sells services or products for a living.
"I probably would've skipped this book if it had not been recommended to me. And that would have been a mistake on my part. Think of the Ultimate Sales Machine as a distillation of numerous other really good books on business and sales. But in the case of this book what you end up with is a great example of the "whole being greater than the sum of the parts".
One of the major shortcomings I find with business books is that they either focus on a 10,000 foot view or a 100 foot view of how to implement one of those veiws/concepts. The average business book author very rarely has the ability to take the reader back and forth between the two views. With this book Chet Holmes succeeds at giving you BOTH strategic and tactical methods/examples for understanding and implementing the concepts that he covers. I believe that this will be one of the all-time great guides to business.
I like patterns. No, let me say that again. I REALLY like patterns. The problem with trending macro views of social changes and cultural shifts is that you tend to be drawn to the obvious and overlook the small stuff. And when it comes to people there is no small stuff.
Microtrends points out, with great detail, over 25 trends that are growing in and outside the US. I have to say I did read this book with some apprehension given that it was written prior to the economic downturn, but I also approached it with the mindset of let's see what I can spot that still holds true. I am now curious as to how the economy will affect some of the emerging trends detailed in this book or possibly not affect them at all. I have my hunches but only time will tell. Hopefully Mark Penn will tell us about the impact the economy had on existing micro trends in a before and after comparison and possible trends the down economy spawned.
This was a surprisingly outstanding book and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about our changing society. I don't think I will watch a TV car ad or walk into a BestBuy without the thinking of what I learned in this book.
It is somewhat less technical than How We Decide but gives different examples of the conscious decision making process vs. the unconscious process. Allows the reader to gain an understanding that while you are heavily influenced by environmental stimuli and data we are consciously unaware of, we can train our conscious mind to identify those influences and adapt/compensate for them. There is a part that even goes into mind reading (no joke). This is a must read for humans.
This book covers great material and is extremely thorough. But DO NOT buy the audio version. I am an unabridged audio book fanatic and I find that once in a while an author can read the material and pull it off (Michael Gerber and Jeff Jarvis for example).
I am sorry to be this blunt but I feel like I wasted money on this audio purchase. The biggest part of an audio book’s quality is its narration and this audio books narration should have been done by a professional narrator, not the author.
I would read this one not listen to it.
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