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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2013
I was suspicious of the abundant reviews of this book either on the same day or a day apart so I automatically thought they were bogus. I still decided to get this book just because I am launching a new product for retail and it's completely out of my marketing forte.

I have to say that this book is quite good. It's easy to read, especially from the beginning when the author, Stephen Key, talks about how he got started designing, creating, and selling products through retail channels. It made for an interesting read.

I think he started irritating me when he would talk about a success story (coincidentially there were many women success stories in a row, which is fantastic) then mention a sentence about how they survived cancer. There were a couple of such stories and, although the success stories themselves were inspiring, why mention that they had cancer out of the blue when it didn't have anything to do with their successes or the story about their product? It didn't make any sense.

Then he goes onto talk about patents and how they are mostly useless, especially in the early time of your business. I do agree with this just because there will be so many design changes by the time you get a prototype that it's too costly and time-consuming to get a patent on a product that will ultimately be different, even slightly, by the time your first "model" or prototype is created. Plus copy cats will change your design very slightly and trump your patent with their rip-off model of your product anyway, especially if it becomes a hot seller.

But...for something that the author doesn't believe in, it's like the guy continually wanted to talk about patents seemingly forever in the book. I'm not sure if this was to fill space or what. For something that he articulated that is mostly a waste of time and money, especially in the beginning, why keep talking about it page after page after page? This is where I started losing interest which was about 2/3 into the book.

Shortly thereafter, he goes on and on about having a business plan. I've found business plans as mostly useless and I'll agree with MJ Demarco who wrote The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime. (a highly recommended book, by the way) who also can agree that business plans are a waste of time to put together unless you are seeking out venture capital.

I really did like what Stephen Key had to say about trade shows and learned a lot. In fact, I got more out of his short section on trade shows than many of the other books I have solely on the topic of trade shows. One small part I did disagree on about trade shows is that he stated you won't be able to get a list of the attendees of a trade show. This is incorrect and misleading. I just signed up for a trade show for wholesalers and I'm getting the complete listing of attendees to send mailings to before and after the event. So, I don't know if he's talking about trade shows for consumers or what he's talking about but to throw out a blanket statement and claim that no trade show offers the contact information for the attendees is false and irresponsible on his part. Even the other book I'm reading right now on topic of trade shows (which is highly recommended, by the way, if you're doing a trade show soon) called Trade Show in a Day: Get It Done Right, Get It Done Fast!, the author says that not only do you get mailing lists of the trade show attendees before most shows but also talks, at length, about how to do a multi-step mailing to these prospects before the show starts. So, I think it really sucked that Stephen Key not only doesn't talk about this marketing tool but misleads people into believing that you can't even get a listing of the prospects/attendees going to a trade show beforehand when really you can get these lists provided that you're registered as a booth exhibitor.

I did like how the author covered the process of retail distribution, especially through wholesalers, because it's very difficult to find a book ANYWHERE that covers how to distribute your product via retailers by contacting buyers, going to trade shows, etc. For that reason, I highly recommend this book just because you won't find this information elsewhere. I didn't like how he mixed consumer-direct sales at the end (i.e. doing radio commercials or using television commercials to sell your product...huh?) when the whole idea is to sell to small, medium, and large retailers or wholesale distributors and not selling consumer-direct (which sucks since I've done it for years) via direct marketing channels.

I do love how easy this book is to read. I really love Stephen's writing style because it's quite engaging, interesting, and makes it extremely easy to read through the entire book in a few hours. I also like how easy he makes the process seem and how he motivates you into knowing that all it takes is ONLY ONE simple product idea with kick-ass packaging to make millions (even billions) of dollars. I don't think there's another book out there that can simplify, motivate, and effectively explain exactly what types of simple products to sell and package and exactly how to do it.

In his updated version, I'd like to see him correct the stuff I mentioned above (especially about the trade shows) and maybe showcase some much bigger types of products that were truly a One Simple Idea such as 5-hour Energy Shot and others out there that ended up being much bigger, highly successful operations with literally one simple product that went wild in the marketplace.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2012
For young entrepreneurs like myself, the idea of starting a business from scratch could be daunting. There are so many questions and seemingly so many answers. But no question is more important than "will my idea have traction?"

The era of Facebook and Google has left us with the impression that in order for a business to be successful, it needs to attract millions of users and change human behavior.

However, author, inventor and entrepreneur Stephen Key takes a different stance. He explains that in business, it is the simple ideas that make the most profound impact.

He could have stopped there but he goes on to outline the process and strategy of launching a business with your new idea.

This book doesn't contain any magic formulas and won't tell you to "think" your way to the perfect product. What it does do is provide time-tested advice and real-life examples of everyday people and their businesses.

Stephen also goes into a deep discussion on how he started his Simple Idea Business, Hot Picks. Stephen re-shaped and re-created an existing product, the guitar pick. He talks extensively about how he came up with the idea and how he pooled resources together to launch his idea. I cannot tell you how many times I found myself pausing and applying his advice from Hot Picks to my own ideas.

For me, reading the real world examples of how others started their own business was wonderful. It shows that people from ANY background can start their dream business. You don't need an MBA or engineering powers, you simply need your idea and the resources provided by the book.

One Simple Idea for Startups And Entrepreneurs gives you various resources and advice on how to see if your idea is viable and then how to go about making it a reality.

As a read, the book is very clear and easy to follow. Stephen's personality shines through the chapters as it's engaging style keeps you interested, page after page.

There is no doubt about it, if you have ever considered the idea of starting your own business, this is a MUST read.

The resources, real life examples and advice are priceless. I mean, if you're going to take business advice, you might as well take it from someone who has successfully (and repeatedly) done what you want to accomplish.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2012
Got home from work last night at 10pm to be welcomed by Stephens new book. Read until 3am and could not help but think while turning every page what a valuable work it was. I only wish Stephen had brought this book out sooner, it would have saved us from "learning the hard way" on many of the steps outlined in the book. The chapter covering Retail is extremely useful and has made me re-think our approach. Will be ordering further copies for my business partner, friends and family. Thanks Mr. Key :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2015
The book is great, but Mr Key has apparently moved on. All the reported "resources available on my internet site"? Gone, replaced with an ad site for a new $2144 inventRight web course. I'm sure it's great - it has all the things the book promised to offer as free resources - plus 1 year year coaching! From some guy named Andrew Krauss.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
I was lucky enough to read this book a couple of weeks ago. Mr. Key has all the experience and knowledge to help you succeed with your company/inventions. This is a must read for anyone trying to succeed with a business or and invention. I am an inventor who benefited greatly from his knowledge. It would take you years to learn this on your own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2014
Stephen has taught me that keeping your idea simple is the best way to invent and start a business. If you are looking for a book that is no nonsense and gives you clear and SIMPLE instructions for venturing this is it! The book is an easy read and Stephen keeps it entertaining.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2013
Great book with lots of info...its good for the common person with no experience on starting a business. Best of luck
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2012
A must have book for anyone looking to start a business based around their product ideas. Stephen takes you on the journey from the beginning at idea conception and testing all the way to getting on to retail shelves. He tells you from his personal experiences how he did it, how you can too and how to save money in the process. Definitely well worth the cover price! I only wish he had written this sooner.
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on July 24, 2015
This book has been my go-to guide for starting my own business. Stephen Key gives very practical guidance based on years of knowledge taking his idea for a new shape of guitar pick and successfully building a business around this 'One Simple Idea'. After taking 8 pages of notes, I’ve concluded this book is a must have for anyone wanting to build a business from their idea. From ideation, to building your brand and business, to leveraging a successful exit - it’s all in there.
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on September 15, 2014
This book seems like it was tailored specifically for me. I've taken virtually every step of the process even before I read this book and now I absolutely feel I am on the right track with my product!
Skip and learn the startup mistakes that Mr. Key and I have had while bringing a product to market. I am now in stores and all over the web with my product because of his advice. A must have for inventor entrepreneurs!
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