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The 10 Second Internet Manager Hardcover – September 12, 2000

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Remember the old joke "Instant gratification isn't fast enough"? That was something like the reaction Mark Breier had when he picked up a copy of The One Minute Manager, a book he'd once found profound. Now Breier, formerly CEO of Beyond.com and marketing vice president at Amazon.com, found that he was annoyed by the book's leisurely pace. So he sat down to write the Y2K version of one-minute managing, which essentially shows modern executives how to do the job in one-sixth the time.

Breier tells two stories in Internet Manager. First is how he became one after a career in the very-slow-moving world of food marketing, where he was considered lightning-quick for developing new marshmallow packaging in just six months. His year at Amazon.com showed him anything was possible if you worked hard and fast enough. And at Beyond.com, which as CEO, Breier helped to take public, he put together everything he learned to run a company. The second story is how anyone can more efficiently manage themselves and their employees. Some of the advice on financing toward the end of the book is strictly high-level stuff, but in between there's a lot of information that every busy employee can use.

One of the easiest take-home messages (or, rather, take-to-the-office messages; nobody in this world does much at home except sleep) is this: "E-mail morning, noon, and night, but talk in between." He describes e-mail as "the oxygen of the Internet," because it allows people to stay in close touch without all the forced small talk that accompanies telephone conversation. But he also acknowledges that it has its limits, and suggests this rule: "After the third e-mail on the same subject, walk 'n' talk." In other words, get up, sit down with the other person, and hash it out. Other information--about conducting more effective meetings and developing brand identity--can be used by anyone from ambitious middle managers on up. But the key word here is "ambitious." Anyone who has aspirations for a fast ascent in business today can use all the lessons in this book. And, best of all, it only takes a couple of hours to absorb the entire 10-Second message. --Lou Schuler

From Publishers Weekly

Shaving 50 seconds off the standard Kenneth Blanchard set in his 1982 bestseller, Brier offers "a nice, thin book... about what I've learned in my years of running full-throttle in the fast lane of the I-way. It's a road, sadly, where my old friend The One Minute Manager would probably be found facedown with tire tracks up his back." An e-commerce consultant, Breier has served his time in the Internet salt mines as director of marketing at Amazon and CEO of Beyond.com. He understands how the Internet's "mind-boggling pace" has transformed business, and he also knows firsthand that customers want more, better, faster. Though somewhat flippant, Brier's seven tenetsAact fast and act smart; e-mail morning, noon and night; make feedback your friend; make your meetings effective; etc.Aare sound principles for any competitive business. His advice is particularly good when it clearly comes from his own experiences. For example, he suggests having "power coffees, not power lunches or breakfasts." Meeting over coffee may be in keeping with the recent trend toward lighter meals, but the real benefit is that "you can have three or four power coffees in the time it would take you to do one breakfast or lunch." Breier also recommends that managers check their e-mail several times a day and respond to it quickly, whether replying directly to the sender or by forwarding the message to someone else. Perhaps his most useful tidbit is to clearly spell out the subject of each e-mail to insure an immediate response (e.g., "the future of our relationship"). Filled with snappy tips and a perceptive overview of how successful online companies operate, this is sure to become one of the more popular takes on management in today's Internet economy. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (September 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609607324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609607329
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,274,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is basically an Internet version of Mark McCormack's classic, What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School. His basic point is how you can get more done in less time, with fewer errors, and less effort. That is essential in any fast-paced situation. Anyone who has wondered how an Internet CEO expands a business rapidly will get valuable details that can be applied to anyone's business in shrinking elapsed time.
If I say all of those nice things, why didn't I rate the book higher? Basically, because it seemed to me that all of Mr. Breier's principles serve to create many transactional interactions, but do relatively little to create and extend trustworthy relationships. Just because someone e-mails me three times a day doesn't mean that I feel any closer to them.
Mr. Breier often seems to confuse more activity with effectiveness. For example, his claim to fame is as a marketing thinker, yet the weakest of his principles had to do with picking brand names. In fact, the name of his business, 'Beyond.com,' seems to me to be a perfect example of a name that will be hard to turn into a meaningful brand. With a better brand name, the cost of building could have been vastly less. He is pleased to report in the book that appearing mostly undressed on CNBC got him lots of impressions for the company's Web site. I agree that it got lots of impressions, but at least some of them had to be bad impressions.
I was particularly surprised that he missed the lesson of The One Minute Manager, which this book is supposed to update. The main idea of that book is to encourage people by catching them doing something right, and praising them. They they get things done without much support, other than helping them learn. Mr. Breier's world would not permit the time to do that.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I picked this up because someone in my family lost money on the company that the author was running that he uses as his main example for the book. I now see that this book is emblematic of the entire dot-com disaster -- focus on gimmicks and marketing and cross your fingers somebody won't catch on to how empty most of it is. How could anyone whose company collapsed as spectacularly as Beyond.com (now trading under 50 cents) have the gall to give people advice on how to run an Internet company?
This book is just an ego trip at high speed. Breier is obsessed with speed, from his computer, his employees, his meetings. There is no reason to believe all this run around as fast as you can, email your brains out stuff works in any meaningful way if you don't have the mgt smarts to actually sell stuff and get paid for it, day in and day out. His advice about the importance of branding sort of sounds slick and right -- if you don't realize that when it came time to do it, he so spectacularly botched it. Beyond spent a fortune on its patently offensive "naked man" campaign to build up its consumer profile and then totally pulled the plug in order to refocus on govt and business -- two audiences where having a customer able to order software online while sitting around the house nude would not exactly fly as benefits on the old purchase order.
This book is useful for disorganized people who can't get through a simple list of errands in the course of a day, but as for figuring out how to run an internet company, well, where's Bezos' book?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael P. Mesaros on November 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Don't expect a lot of deep insights in this spare volume, but there are some good ideas here that make it worth reading. The chapter on using e-mail, alone, is worth the cost of the book. I summarized that chapter and distributed it to other members of my department.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
so, I'm standing in the hallway at Amazon.com, and Mark Breier is complaining about having to drink warm Pepsi. The vending machines only had Coke, so he had to bring his own Pepsi in, and was keeping it under his desk.
A passer-by hears this and says, 'Mark, why don't you put the Pepsi in the fridge?'
Breier looks startled, and then shouts at the top of his lungs 'BIG IDEA! BIG IDEA! PUT THE PEPSI IN THE FRIDGE!!!', runs into his office, gathers up several six packs in his arms, and runs back into the hallway, shouting 'PUT THE PEPSI IN THE FRIDGE!!!BIG IDEA! BIG IDEA!' on his way to the fridge.
If you want to take managment advice from someone who can't figure out how to chill a beverage, buy this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book exemplifies the Internet Bubble with a capital B: 95% marketing hype 5% substance. The author gloats about such practices as having the company's system admins optimize the email login services so that he could get his mail few seconds faster. No mention of how much that actually cost the company. Another interesting story, how while Breier was making a presentation to a brick and mortar company (read value oriented) he was criticized by an older manager as not having anything substantive to offer. Breier's explanation: some people just don't get it. P>This is one of the most irritating books I have ever read. The author never takes a break from selling or hyping you -- a perfect example of rich x-Stanford students selling internet hype in Silicon Valley, making millions doing it, and leaving average Joe holding the bag. It all sounds great until you actually start thinking about it. What is scary is how other CEO's had endorsed this book while beyond.com was trucking along; a lot of CEOs who must have a lot of eggs on their faces.
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