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Get Back in the Box: How Being Great at What You Do Is Great for Business Paperback – January 30, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Rushkoff's first book about digital culture, Cyberia, was canceled by Bantam in 1992 because they thought the Internet would be "over" by the time the book came out in 1993. It came out the next year with HarperCollins. When he told his publicist there about listing the book on Amazon, she replied "that sounds great! Is Amazon for the Mac or the PC?"
Top Customer Reviews
Drawing largely on his own experiences as a cyber-world observer, the author comes to conclusions that are solidly supported by many other works that he does not cite (out of his primary area of interest) but that strongly support his independently derived conclusions. I refer to the various works on collective intelligence (Atlee, Bloom, Levy, Steele, Wells), additional works on the power of knowledge driven organizations (Buckman, Wheatley), and on the sources of innovation through intrapreneurship (Pinchot, Christensen, Raynor), and finally, the wealth of knowledge (Stewart) and infinite wealth (Carter).
What I found most helpful in this book was its preamble, in which the author systematically pointed out that the war metaphors of business, the survival of the fittest, the assumption that we are all in competition with one another, and the centralization and manipulation of money, have all led to pathological behavior and distorted priorities that actually diminish what can be shared and created. In this the author is consistent with Tiger (The Manufacture of Evil) and various works today on immoral capitalism (Greider, Prestowitz, Perkins).
He carries the argument further by suggesting that big is bad and that most giant enterprises have lost sight of their core competencies. They are so busy making money and outsourcing to cut costs that they literally "lose it." At the same time, they struggle desperately to "brand" to manipulate customers, to reinvent old products, etc. At the same time, the constant focus by merchants on short term profits reduces trust--as the author says, no long-term focus reduces trust. This is an important point.Read more ›
Douglas Rushkoff writes from the perspective of a netizen, a cyber enthusiast, and above all, a member of the silly, fascinating, innovative and always moving culture that has been made possible by the Internet. Get Back In The Box captures that sense of play and optimism that I've always found online but never in a standard "business" text.
Although he does occassionally cross over into almost over-hyping the change in thinking, the illustrations of what makes innovation possible are fascinating and inspiring. His example of satellite radio, of how Sirius has spent $$ on marketing and big names all the while losing money while XM has focused on solid ground-building support with the music coming first, was one of my favorite sections.
I wish the higher-ups at my company would read this book. I work in IT, as server support for a large company (very large). When I started, we used to do support of one business unit, with a great deal of in-depth knowledge of how our systems worked to support that unit. As years have gone by, we've taken on more and more systems to the point where now most of us don't really have any idea what these systems actually do. And now, as we're slowly being segmented by function into more "efficient" units, any unique value that we used to be able to bring to help our clients, is basically lost.Read more ›
This is illustrated by his example of BMW motorcycle owners, who have formed a fiercely loyal community of peers. When BMW offered to help with the coordination of riders, the community politely but firmly declined; they can manage credibility and coordination just fine without official corporate mojo, thank you very much. And BMW got the message.
The point isn't to stop being innovative, but to keep faith with one's core in the midst of innovating. In the wild ride of the late nineties, too many caught whiff of a new craze and mistook it as a call to be different for different's sake. Rushkoff's advice to us as a culture is the recognition that both supplier and consumer are collaborating in bringing this experience to fruition. The challenge for consumers is to pony up to the responsibilities of taking the reins. For corporations, the charge is a bit more challenging: how to entrust your customers with your core competencies as they take hold and do with it as they will. The surprise to all may be just how much the line has blurred between these two roles, as we attempt to discover who really is in the driver's seat.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Throughout the 20th century business has been fine-tuned to deliver incredible amounts of productivity. Read morePublished on October 17, 2011 by Raymond Jepson
Douglas Rushkoff's Get Back in the Box is more than a "business book." It's a powerful schematic that can be just as useful in every other venture of life, as it can for the... Read morePublished on June 27, 2011 by Michael S.
After reading 'Get Back in the Box' and watching the press run up to Rushkoff's latest, Life Inc., I'm puzzled. Read morePublished on August 1, 2009 by Matthew Reinbold
A great book. Reading this was like a breath of fresh air and really changed my thinking about technology, innovation, design and the hope for creating a livable world.Published on April 26, 2007 by KMD
One of the best books on taking an outside look into how we do business, live and experience the world as people, not just consumers. Read morePublished on April 1, 2007 by Peter Zehren
I have read tons of books on business practice and ethos. Rushkoff brought a great mix of theory and practical examples that are working in the real world of business. Read morePublished on March 16, 2007 by J. Lengel
I'll admit, it took me awhile to really get into this book. Once I got through the first couple of chapters of "Get Back in the Box" though, I couldn't wait to read more of... Read morePublished on February 24, 2007 by Joe Wikert
Where to start...
I rated this 4 stars; 5 stars for being thought provoking and reinforcing my notions of what businesses should be concerned with, and 3 stars for the... Read more
This is an excellent book about understanding what you do best, how that best makes the world a better place, and a bit about how to reach the public with what you do best. Read morePublished on July 12, 2006 by José Angel Santana, PhD