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Barack, Inc.: Winning Business Lessons of the Obama Campaign [Hardcover]

by Barry Libert, Rick Faulk
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 15, 2009 9780137022076 978-0137022076 1

Barack Obama's campaign didn't just make history: it teaches lessons that every business can profit from. The Obama campaign was brilliantly planned, strategized, and executed, and built to drive home a powerful, consistent core value proposition: the proposition of change. Moreover, it had an extraordinary understanding of innovation, manifested by its extraordinary use of technology to achieve specific, quantifiable goals. In Barack, Inc., Barry Libert and Rick Faulk present the Obama campaign as a business, identifying lessons any business leader can use to maximize performance. Libert and Faulk cover issues ranging from marketing to leadership, strategy to execution. They reveal how Obama's team identified and honed a powerful core message, and applied it flexibly in response to changing circumstances without ever compromising core brand values. You'll discover how Obama built a focused, "no-drama" organization that empowered local decision-makers without sacrificing nationwide consistency or discipline. Finally, the authors, executives at the world's leading provider of business social networking services, show how Obama leveraged social networking at a scale unprecedented in the history of either politics or business. From start to finish, Barack, Inc. is actionable: packed with ready-to-use strategies and tactics that can help you succeed with any goal, in any marketplace.

Editorial Reviews


As featured on ABC News Now and Marketwatch Radio Network.  Also featured in The New York Post, Investors Business Daily,, The Boston Globe, Globe & Mail, CIO Insight, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and many others.

About the Author

Barry Libert is chairman and Rick Faulk CEO of Mzinga, a leading enterprise social technology and services provider. The company manages over 14,000 online communities, which draw more than 60 million total online visitors every month.


Libert is a recognized authority on entrepreneurial leadership strategies and a pioneer in the business use of social technologies. He recently co-authored We Are Smarter than Me, a critically acclaimed book created in collaboration with Wharton Publishing and more than 4,000 community participants that illustrates how businesses can profit from the wisdom of crowds. A one-time McKinsey and Company consultant, Libert has also co-authored two other highly regarded books about the business value of information and relationships entitled Cracking the Value Code and Value RX. He is also a regularly featured keynote speaker who has delivered speeches to audiences of 20,000+ globally.


Faulk is currently the CEO of Mzinga, and has more than 21 years of executive leadership and marketing experience at some of the world’s most notable high-tech companies, among them Cisco, WebEx,, PictureTel, Shiva Corporation, and Lotus. Early in his career, he also founded First Software, which grew to sales of more than $175 million in less than four years and was ranked on one of Inc. magazine's lists of fastest-growing companies in the United States.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (January 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780137022076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137022076
  • ASIN: 0137022077
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,319,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The book is a very quick read which usually translates to very little substance. This book is no exception to the rule. The authors, Barry Libert & Rick Faulk, seem to have an agenda to push social networking in the marketing space which their company specializes in. The world would be better off if they had not published this book -- there would be more trees in the world.

There is very little in the book regarding business related topics and leadership. The elements that are in the book are very simplistic and nothing new. The description of the Obama campaign makes it sound like Obama did nearly absolutely everything perfect which we know is not possible for an effort over two years long. So, the authors seem to have rose colored glasses on which gets a bit annoying as you read the book.

The book also does not mention that his opponents did not do a good job of using technology, thus making his effort seem that much more impressive. Obama's campaign did a good job of using the latest technology and using their volunteers well. The book would have been much more useful to go into greater detail on how the logistics of the campaign were conceived and executed so well. Also, the book does not try to quantify what types of business would benefit from the social network approach to marketing.

I gave the book two stars as the writing was not bad but lacks anything useful or substative. Do not waste your money on this book!

The keypoints from the book are:

Chapter 2 (Be cool):
* Ignore the sideshows - keep your eye on the center ring.
* Fix the problem; forget the blame.
* Play hardball when necessary.
* Vent outside the tent.
* Adjust to the moment.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sigh... No, you CAN'T.... March 2, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Big white margins, large print, less than 150 pages of actual content, a hard cover... where was the environmental lobby when this thing got printed? Anyway, I ordered this book because of the unlikely success of the Obama campaign, hoping to glean some lessons for my business. I didn't really get it. What I got was a bunch of key points with very little explanation as to how to go about it. I signed up for social networking sites the day I incorporated my business, as the book strongly suggests, but after over a year all I've gotten are people from high school wanting to relive the good old days, not business contacts or referrals. With the authors being in the online social networking business, this was the primary advice I wanted out of the book and didn't get.

One problem as mentioned in other reviews is that while the authors at least point you to the various technology-based portions of the Obama campaign, they fail to mention how the McCain campaign failed so miserably in this respect. As a lifetime resident of Indiana, a swing state for the first time I can remember, I was pummeled with Obama advertising. Everything from ads on local conservative radio stations to pressing "select" on my Dish Network remote gave me opportunities to learn about Obama, where the McCain campaign did absolutely nothing. Not only was I not told how they did what they did, I was not taught how not to fail by learning the mistakes of Obama's opponent.

There is very little here on general leadership or business tips, new or old. The book mostly a big praise-fest of the Obama campaign without getting into the nuts and bolts of the execution. I need the details, guys. If you love Obama obviously you'll love this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The fact is more young people, under 35 yrs old voted for Barack Obama than did those over 65. Considered the 1st true internet Prez, Obama knew & more importantly was surrounded by those who knew the way to stay connected with his young core audience. As noted in Barack, Inc., he embraced change...made it his platform. Afterall, that's what the people wanted. He made folks feel included noting his slogan "Yes WE can". Social Media is here to stay and businesses most learn how to use it and not ignore it. This book is good for businesses to take note on how to best use social media to their advantage. We all see the results of embracing these winning lessons. Former candidate Barack Obama is now President Obama. This man even fought hard to hold on to his Blackberry. Love it!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for life lessons as well as business August 17, 2009
A Kid's Review
If you are a Obama supporter, enjoying this book is a no-brianer -- but even if you are not, you can't deny the sober-minded logic and plain sense that it espouses.

This compact, easily digestible tome follows the last Presidential campaign and examines the Obama organiaation's responses and actions, as well as how the man himself reacted and proceeded. It's a helpful reminder of, more than anything else, grace under pressure. It's the sort of book to keep handy when you need a dose of sanity in the insance life we all lead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative July 16, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a book for anyone who is researching winning business strategies and sound advice for a successful career in any venue, not necessarily just politics. No matter what side of the political street you're on, I truly believe anyone can glean some great winning strategies in this insightful, well researched book.

Chrissy K. McVay
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Coffee table book for Barack supporters
As a MBA student, I can't imagine which business theories could be applied to a presidential campaign. I did not learn about TV ads or public speeches. Read more
Published 21 months ago by 365BeautySecrets
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick read, informative
This book was a very quick read. The author wrote objectively and gives the big picture. Whether the reader is an Obama fan or not, he/she will get a good grasp of Obama's... Read more
Published on July 21, 2011 by gorjis1
4.0 out of 5 stars Good info... but
This is an interesting book that explores some of the winning strategies and approaches Obama employed and lived by that won him the election. Read more
Published on August 19, 2010 by Robert Kall
2.0 out of 5 stars Obama INC review en español
Ya han pasado un par de años desde que Blue State Digital sorprendió al mundo con una de las campañas más grandes, efectivas, mediaticas y sorpresivas... Read more
Published on July 16, 2010 by Cristian Guajardo Garcia
2.0 out of 5 stars On the bandwagon
I ordered this book out of curiosity. It was exactly what I expected it to be. The authors have provided us with a series of stories on how brilliant Obama ran his campaign in a... Read more
Published on June 23, 2010 by John P. Stamper
3.0 out of 5 stars Typical Hype on Barack Obama
This book conveys the typical "Obama can do no wrong" sentiment. If you are a staunch supporter, you will love this book. Read more
Published on June 17, 2010 by K. Lue
2.0 out of 5 stars Fluff for Obama supporters
"Barack, Inc.: Winning Business Lessons of the Obama Campaign" is another here today, gone tomorrow political book that serves as little more than campaign literature for a... Read more
Published on April 15, 2010 by Brian W. Fairbanks
5.0 out of 5 stars Barack is the Social Media Poster Child
Up until the 2008 Presidential Campaign, when Barack Obama officially announced that he was running, no one really paid attention to social media as a way to get known - not... Read more
Published on February 18, 2010 by Pamela Perry
4.0 out of 5 stars Great piece of work
I thought this book was awesome. It was short and sweet, had a lot of good examples, and portrayed in a positive light our president in his run for office. I would recommend it.
Published on November 25, 2009 by Michael G. Holmes
2.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed
This book feels like it is less about business lessons from the campaign and more about a report of how people worked. As a person who works with businesses I found it a bit thin. Read more
Published on November 24, 2009 by Ana Kritis
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