I had listened to the earlier, abridged version previously, and this unabridged version is far superior. In fact, I would say it's superior to the printed book too, because a lot of this book is "coaching", where you're expected to be doing something in conjunction with the book. The unabridged version goes into way more depth than the abridged one.
Plus, Allen is again his own narrator, which adds to the feeling of having a coach guiding one into these new practices.
Those who claim this is outdated in the 21st century are missing the point. As Allen repeatedly points out in the book, it's not the medium that's important but the principles behind the method. Once you understand the principles, you can apply them in any medium you like. The good news is (as Allen would say), the principles are not at all difficult to understand. And believe it or not, most of the working world is still paper-based and/or document-centric. So, paper-based examples are the most accessible to the greatest number of listeners. I'm using the GTD method, and about 95% of my working world is digital (I'm a web developer).
Overall, this is a very good book. In audio form, it's occasionally obnoxious with its repetition. I'm guessing that in written form, there were pull quotes scattered throughout the text. The author just reads those, as if they were part of the text. A bit weird.
On the other hand, the material is great. On the face of it, "start with why" is practically self-evident. Yet, as Sinek illustrates, many companies (and individuals!) forget their "why" and focus too much on the whats and hows of business.
If you're not following this material closely, it might sound like just another business book making hay out of the obvious. Don't get stuck too much on his frequent use of Apple as an example -- it's just one that's easily accessible. However, I do think this would make a more compelling book if Sinek had chosen a better example for the corporate part, told their story, and then kept coming back to *that*. The MLK example was pretty good though.
Other reviewers didn't like Sinek's reading. Aside from reading pullquotes, I think he did quite well. The sound quality isn't superb, but it was perfectly acceptable.
This book has definitely influenced me personally and professionally. I am rethinking what the heck my business (and life!) is about.
I normally listen to audiobooks when doing housework, driving or something similarly menial. But then the dishes would be done, and I'd find myself sitting still, listening to Nelson Runger's reading. Wonderful! The story itself is fiction, but with a fair amount of historicity providing a tremendous reminder of the fascinating and revolting history of the Roman empire. As a bonus, Graves has Claudius end on a sardonic joke. Highly recommended.
Yes, the narrator is the author, so maybe that counts for something. But man, he just goes so far over the top over-weighting his words so often, it's pretty comical at times. The sample is a bit misleading, because Collins is just getting warmed up in that. A few more pages in, and He Is Speaking Like A Triumphant Graduate Student Who Has Just...Found...The...PROOF...That...Discipline -- DISCIPLINE! -- is the Key!
Narrative comedy aside, there is a lot of worthwhile information here, though when you boil it down there's a lot of the obvious here. Also in late 2010 the discussion of Circuit City and Fannie Mae as "great companies" is a bit ridiculous; and some of the companies discussed as great have attained their greatness in part by less-than-moral means that have come to light in the years of increasingly ubiquitous internet since the book's publication. Still, Collins' articulation is highly accessible and well-ordered, making "the obvious" easier to digest and retain. 4 stars for content, 2 stars for narration = 3 stars.
I'm a newcomer to investing and especially to investment books. But the little stock market investing I've done has been lackluster, and Solin's book offers some compelling evidence why. I'd recommend getting a print or ebook copy, as there are some numbers and symbols that would be easier to take in visually.
Still, overall the book is quite interesting, informative and an easy listen. I'd definitely recommend it, except that it'll take me some time to put this information to the test!
The reader is just a little over emphatic at times, but generally decent. There are some puzzling repeat references to Vanguard, which make me wonder if Solin is really just selling Vanguard with this book. However he adds in other examples too in the "nuts and bolts" of part 4.
Also -- the audiobook gives an incorrect URL for the Asset Allocation Questionnaire on the author's website. The correct URL for the site is http://www.smartestinvestmentbook.com.
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