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Every few years a book through a combination of the authors unique voice, storytelling ability, wit, and insight simply breaks the mold. Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods is one example. Richard Feynman's Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! is another.
Now comes Youngme Moons Different, a book for people who don't read business books. Actually, it's more like a personal conversation with a friend who has thought deeply about how the world works and who gets you to see that world in a completely new light.
If there is one strain of conventional wisdom pervading every company in every industry, it's the absolute importance of competing like crazy. Youngme Moons message is simply Get off this treadmill that's taking you nowhere. Going tit for tat and adding features, augmentations, and gimmicks to beat the competition has the perverse result of making you like everyone else. Different provides a highly original perspective on what it means to offer something that is meaningfully different in a manner that is both fundamental and comprehensive.
Youngme Moon identifies the outliers, the mavericks, the iconoclasts the players who have thoughtfully rejected orthodoxy in favor of an approach that is more adventurous. Some are even hostile, almost daring you to buy what they are selling. The MINI Cooper was launched with fearless abandon: Worried that this car is too small? Look here. It's even smaller than you think.
These are players that strike a genuine chord with even the most jaded consumers. In fact, almost every success story of the past two decades has been an exception to the rule. Simply go to your computer and compare AOL and Yahoo! with Google. The former pile on feature upon feature to their home pages, while Google is like an austere boutique, dominating a category filled with extras.
What members say
By Douglas C. Bates on 04-20-12
Winning at Marketing by Breaking the Rules
"Different" is probably only of interest to people involved in marketing.
Through a variety of examples author Youngme Moon illustrates that breaking the rules of conventional marketing wisdom is often the right path for companies to follow. All too often marketers and senior management aim for the big middle, but in markets where the middle is already reasonably well served, this is often a mistake. Instead, radical positionings can be far more effective. For success in the marketplace, it doesn't matter how many people think your product is okay. What matters is how many people love your product. Moon describes and gives examples of ways this can be achieved by breaking various rules of marketing, such as taking what may be considered a product's weakness and exaggerating it and promoting it as a positive feature; whereas conventional marketing wisdom would dictate playing down the negative attribute and focusing on other attributes.
If you're a marketer, this is a great read which may stimulate your marketing thinking.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By alex on 01-11-17
Different is different in every GREAT way
If you could sum up Different in three words, what would they be?
insightful, fun, creative
Any additional comments?
Loved her approach to writing this book - different than any other book I've read and one that should be on the must read list for all entrepreneurs and investors
By audidudi on 10-01-10
Waste of Time
I loved the author's comfort with big words, but beyond that the book is painful listening. There are no new ideas here, just different words to describe branding, market life cycles and so forth. If this is the sort of dreck coming out of Harvard Business, it is no wonder we're in the state we're in.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful
By R. H. Mcdonald on 10-07-12
different is a different plan for success.
Would you consider the audio edition of Different to be better than the print version?
I always like audible version better.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Different?
I like seeing the thought process of becoming successful, but not following the crowd! Being different can be cool and work!!
Which scene was your favorite?
Discussions of Ikea and Mini cooper
If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
All of you guys follow the cowd and the trends, I'll be over here, being successful!
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Gerardo A Dada on 10-10-15
Hard to listen to, very few insights
I love reading books and I love the topic. I had high hopes for this book.
The first thing you need to know is that you should not listen to this book while driving. The narrator could make you go to sleep. Her tone and rhythm are so monotonous I had to really concentrate to the words.
Then, the author is one of those who likes using big words. While my vocabulary, thank good, is ample enough to understand them, she makes every sentence longer and more complex than usual.
Now, combine that with text that is long, slow, full of fluff and with very little emotion and mostly absent of practical value - it is a boring book. I have listened to over 100 audiobooks, this is probably the third I stopped listening to after an hour . I skipped to the beginnings of the other chapters hoping it would get better, but no.
Her example of Yahoo vs Google misses the heart of the story and the reasons why Brin and Paige designed Google they way they did it. The author gets the causality and intent wrong
For the time I invested in this book (about an hour and a half total), I got no value. I am returning it. If you want a book on differentiation may I suggest Differentiate or Die by Jack Trout,.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Matthew on 10-04-16
great book with great insights
I'm constantly looking for these business psychology books. I find psychology fascinating but it's good to see examples of how it's been used in business. there are no shortages of examples in this book. yes the companies named were going to be obvious. apple. Google. IKEA. but what's interesting is how theyve stuck to their values. some interesting ones that now make complete sense. Hollister. I don't mind the clothes but I hate the darkness and loudness. so they get me there. thank you for such a good book.