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The Barstool MBA

Why Running a Bar Beats Running to Business School
Narrated by: Dan Maccarone, Bob Sullivan
Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
4 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What can working in a bar teach you about launching a successful startup? The answer - as bar owner Dan Maccarone and best-selling author Bob Sullivan reveal in The Barstool MBA - is just about everything.  

In February 2009, Dan Maccarone, a digital product design executive who works with some of the world’s top brands, walked through the doors of what would be his new bar, Destination, in Manhattan’s East Village. The overwhelming stale-beer smell, ruined floor, and “Happy New Year 2008” banners that hung from the walls were the least of his worries. He had just six weeks and a budget of $150,000 to turn the place into the neighborhood’s new favorite hang-out - and start turning a profit.     

For Maccarone, the experience of building out Destination was an unlikely crash course in conceiving, launching, and running a startup. From hiring the right staff to keeping the lights on, from getting patrons through the door to keeping them on their stools, Maccarone saw that the lessons he was learning day in and day out in the bar could be applied broadly to the challenges many of his clients on the digital product side faced when trying to get their businesses off the ground and keep them alive.     

To tell this story, Maccarone teamed up with best-selling author Bob Sullivan, whose side-gig as a musician sends him to bars around the country. They spent two years interviewing dozens of bar owners, managers, bartenders, and industry insiders to uncover the secret wisdom behind running a successful bar and what it can teach us about business. With strategies and a-ha insights that can be applied to any new venture, The Barstool MBA is a delightfully unconventional and surprisingly practical resource for anyone weighing the cost of business school versus jumping right in.    

This Audible Original is read by the authors. 

©2019 Dan Maccarone and Bob Sullivan (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Informative and Entertaining!

Whether you're thinking, "Help! I'm running a business and can't afford to lose everything," or "I'm just looking for an enjoyable read," this step-by-step guide has you covered. Using their day-job business expertise, personal experience, and the entertaining backstories of popular companies they've advised, this book is a great resource and read for any listener. I have no interest in opening a business, yet loved it!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Funny. Informative. Inspiring.

As a bartender of 15 years, I love hearing the tales of the bar. Also love hearing other discuss all the small details that go into everything. Dan and Bob’s stories are funny, informative, and ring true. Also, their mentions of the little things are great reminders of how important those little things are.

Also, love the correlation between the bar world and the start up/tech world. All these little things they discuss apply to not only every business, but just how to approach every day life.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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not my normal book

I am getting ready to start college. Been getting ready for a few years now but serious this time. Anyways business is my degree path so i have been looking for books i can listen to while i drive to help get a better understanding ahead of time. The authors did a great job of teaching the underlying concepts while explaining them in ways i could relate to experiences I have had in the military, maintenance, and my current job. Good job.
One small thing if the authors ever read this. Trust but record, I think it was. Try the military term. Trust but Verify because at the end of the day as the manager you are responsible.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Fun, engaging and informative.

This is a funny, engaging and informative book. Dan and Bob do a great job of balancing humour, with tips on running a successful bar, linking these to to online and startup business. I forgot i was learning, but have loads of takeaways. Highly recommend this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful