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.