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Olaf

Portland, OR, United States | Member Since 2008

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 165 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Guy Kawasaki
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (345)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (167)

    What does it take to turn ideas into action? What are the elements of a perfect pitch? How do you win the war for talent? How do you establish a brand without bucks? These are some of the issues everyone faces when starting or revitalizing any undertaking, and Guy Kawasaki, former marketing maven of Apple Computer, provides the answers.

    A User says: "Great Content - Punishing Narration"
    "I wish Guy Kawasaki narrated this book"
    Overall

    The book is full of good startup/entrepreneurial advice, but it loses some of its impact without Kawasaki's presentation style. The narrator is OK, but not nearly dynamic enough for the topic. There are several of Kawasaki's presentations on YouTube so if you haven't heard him talk, check out the videos before you buy this book. If you like the videos, the book is just more of that. If you don't like the videos, you won't like the book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • From Bauhaus to Our House

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Dennis McKee
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    In Tom Wolfe's hands, the strange saga of American architecture in the 20th century makes for both high comedy and intellectual excitement. This is his sequel to The Painted Word, the book that caused such a furor in the art world five years before. Once again Wolfe shows how social and intellectual fashions have determined aesthetic form in our time and how willingly the creators have abandoned personal vision and originality in order to work a la mode.

    Ellen says: "So snarky I kept having to back up and repeat"
    "Good critique/history; wrong narrator"
    Overall

    I really enjoyed this critique and history of 20th century architecture focused primarily on the US and its relation to the academic/purist schools which originated with Bauhaus. Tom Wolfe is insightful, cynical, and tells a good story.
    However, the gravely voiced narrator (more suited for a Western or detective novel) made it difficult to listen to the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Reality Check: Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Guy Kawasaki
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (31)

    In Silicon Valley slang, a "bozo explosion" is what causes a lean, mean, fighting machine of a company to slide into mediocrity. As Guy Kawasaki puts it, "If the two most popular words in your company are partner and strategic, and partner has become a verb, and strategic is used to describe decisions and activities that don't make sense"...then it's time for a reality check.

    Ben says: "The Reality of Reality Check"
    "Listen to "The Art of the Start" instead"
    Overall

    This book has 94 chapters. I made it through about 65 of them. There aren't many books I really can't finish, but this was one of them.
    Listening to "Reality Check" is like having someone read random business blog postings to you. Each chapter is essentially a list of advice in bullet point format. Kawasaki's advice in this book ranges from how to dress, how to send e-mail, how to schmooze, what Jackie Onassis would do, the reasons not to report workplace sexual harrassment, and what he thinks about epidurals during delivery.
    He uses "orifice", "bozo", and "bullshiitake" so many times it gets wearisome. Likewise, there is one chapter on "the no A**hole Rule" and one on "Is your boss an A**hole". Not a lot of business value there.
    To be fair, there are a handful interesting insights on startups and business strategy, but they are so buried in attempts to be clever and irreverent that it's difficult to find any of them.
    I like Guy Kawasaki and really enjoyed "The Art of the Start", but unfortunately this book seems to include the entirely of that book along with a lot of ruminations and advice on random topics like e-mail etiquette, what makes someone an egomaniac, and how to dress for interviews. If you're interested in what he has to say, read "Art of the Start" or watch one of his videos on You Tube. It's hard to tell who is audience might be. If you really, really, really like him and can't get enough of his routine, this would be an enjoyable listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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