I am very disappointed with this book.
First, this book is mostly about marketing and business related topics. It talks about the obvious need to align business tactics (“what” ) to the overall strategy (“why”).
The book claims that success of companies such as Apple, Harley Davidson, South West Airlines, Costco, Toyota comes from knowing WHY they do WHAT they do, whereas failures of companies such as Microsoft, Walmart, GM comes from focusing on WHAT they do rather than WHY they do it. (The very selection of successful/failed companies shows clear bias).
The most absurd statement is that features, price, quality are actually a manipulation on the side of companies, whereas true loyalty is earned by sticking to underlying principals of WHY the business exists in the first place. So, basically, Apple’s claim that they “Think different” is the real thing, while PC’s superior features, price, quality are actually a manipulation.
IMO this is completely absurd. The book itself admits that people buy Macs because they want to make a claim about themselves. If that’s the case, then Apple/Steve Jobs cleverly positioned the company and created an aura around it, so that people could “feel different”. This is the supreme manipulation – to sell inferior products (price/value) under ideological slogans.
The only interesting part of the book, for me, was that people tend to rationalize their emotions rather than think logically. It just reinforces my suspicion that Apple’s gadgets are bought because they are “cool” and “prestigious” and make people “feel different”, rather than offering real rational benefits.
Overall, I did not find any convincing and realistic explanations of companies’ successes or failures.
I would not recommend this book to anybody, unless you have really too much time and money.
This book really connected all the dots for me. I've been reading about the differences between conscious/rational mind and unconscious emotions and instincts, but only after listening to this book everything fell in place.
I have long believed that human behavior cannot be explained solely by rational-mind models. At the same time, reason does play an important role in human life (albeit lesser role in some than in others:)). It's the interplay between them that was illuminated by this book that finally answered so many of my questions.
The book is also highly empirical and brings tons of relevant studies that clearly demonstrate and provide evidence to the theory.
Overall, this is probably one of the best books i have ever read or listened to. I highly recommend it to anybody interested in human behavior in general and decision making in particular.
Few months after finishing the book I can honestly say that it helped significantly to improve my efficiency. The book is very practical. I found part 3 especially useful even though it contained the material already introduced in previous parts. The insights that it gave me really put everything in its place.
The only minor disadvantage is that book appears slightly dated and it would be nice to have more information on organizing computer-based workflows.
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