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The Elastic Enterprise: The New Manifesto for Business Revolution
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2012
I'm the owner of a small home-based business and was intrigued by the title and description of this book. But I wondered if it would apply to me. Besides being eye-opening and highly insightful about what has led to the exceptional success and growth of some companies (despite the economy), I found that there were many concepts that I could indeed apply to my small enterprise -- specific questions to ask myself, and options to consider as I expand. (And many that I would not have thought of!) So I'd very much recommend this to the small business person.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2013
Every once in a while a book appears that when read opens the window to a new way of looking at the world and those who move on the idea are its beneficiaries. I know, my life was changed by the kind of book that is "The Elastic Enterprise." I envy those of you who are just starting out because I am now in my 60s and have built a multi-million dollar business using ideas like these as my guide. I never got to finish high school because my VP at school was convinced I was a drug dealer. I wasn't, just a musician with long hair at a crossroads in cultural time. But I loved to read and a decade later found Alvin Toffler's "Future Shock" back in the 70s. It changed my life with one powerful idea: the future would be so filled with information, that at a certain tipping point, information would become its own currency. I got the message and acted on it. It changed my life, as well as the people's lives of those who work for me and have benefitted from the idea as well. When I read "The Elastic Enterprise" I found that same kind of truly visionary thinking, the kind on which lives can be built and fortunes and futures changed. If you are deciding on whether or not to buy this book, let me help you make the decision: would you like a secret window into the future and what's driving many of the forces in it? Buy the book. You will not regret it. It's truly a cornerstone work for the 21st Century thinkers and builders.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2012
There is so much of our thinking that is rooted in the 20th Century (and even 19th Century) mindset: among them, command and control, being secretive and proprietary in our attitudes, the use of blunt force to solve problems (vs. finding micro-solutions, almost surgical-like, solutions), that has its repercussions in all fields (not just business; but education, politics, public policy, non-profit, your family).

It takes a bit to get beyond some of the new terminology (which borders a bit on being jargon-ish) to wrap your head around the ideas -- but once the reader does, it opens up a whole new way of thinking about how flat the world really is, where our solutions lie, and the qualities needed for dealing with the new world. It's not unlike what people must have had to deal with when Columbus set sail at the end of the 15th Century and a whole new way of thinking -- because there was a New World that was being discovered -- had to be embraced. There is a lot to commend this book, especially the summarizing questions at the end of each chapter which help focus the topic adroitly.

People are either going to come to grips with the new order of life ... or possibly get really scared and angry at what is happening around them. But technology and discovery is happening with such rapidity that it is an especially wonderful time of human history to be seeing so much progress be made possible, because human connection is being facilitated so well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2012
I've always enjoyed Nick and Haydn in the past, but reading The Elastic Enterprise gave me a new perspective and appreciation of their work. In starting ReadyPulse ([...]), I am constantly thinking "platform" vs. "product" and this thinking is 100% inspired to their book. Though I would challenge their (over)use of Apple successes, I know they had been looking at and using Apple as an example long before most. I'd be interested in seeing how other emerging companies, especially in retail, are putting The Elastic Enterprise principles to work for their business. Its fun to see their blog post in Jan challenging Barnes and Noble [...] and their follow up last week on the potential MSFT has [...]. I also enjoy their examples and perspectives of smaller, innovative companies, like Pebble ([...]) with those of Nike, Google, Apple. I will continue to look to Nick and Hadyn for inspiration and interested in connecting with others who are doing the same.
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on November 24, 2014
Most business books offer a distinct and useful approach on how to operate or think about business problems. In my opinion, the result, even when effective and powerful, is often narrow and gets taken on by policy and rule-driven individuals. Results are also almost always in the limited context of the existing product and production milieu. Most business books are also what I call one-chapter reads: the first chapter says it all, the next ten chapters just add fluff.

The Elastic Enterprise offers very functional leverage for business strategy, thinking, and behavior. It is a roadmap to generating a successful business platform strategy. Success in this area - Apple's iTunes mastery, iPhone and apps dominion, etc. - looks and feels like a Zen koan to outsiders. The Elastic Enterprise authors studied and elucidated the components of these strategies and how they interact to bring about success. This book uses real world examples for doubling, tripling, and beyond, your business. It is straightforward and concise, and every chapter is germane and useful. It does not prescribe specific behavior, but rather imparts principles that you can apply within the context of your products, your employees, your customer base, etc.

It will make you stretch...
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on September 6, 2012
I have the great pleasure of knowing Haydn and it is no surprise to me that he has yet again absolutely nailed it. I am the CEO of a rapidly growing Cloud company and the Elastic Enterprise encapsulates in an easy to read way the essential characteristics of why and how a small group of companies consistently outplay and outperform. This is a book we can all learn from, and is a must read for any serious entrepreneur or student of business in today's highly dynamic and competitive market place.
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on May 4, 2012
I really like the insights that Nick and Haydn have shared in this book. The 5 dynamics are really powerful and offer an actionable framework for creating a successful enterprise in today's business environment. I particularly like the fact that while there is a clear technology perspective in this book with the call out of the cloud, platforms, and social technologies, it is still a book written for the general senior leader/C-suite executive. In the right hands, this book provides really value. It gives CEOs and general managers a clear vision of what could be. At the same time, it gives CIOs and insightful IT leaders a manifesto to follow to provide strategic ideas for their organizations. Let's hope the C-level executives see the opportunity this book creates for them.
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on May 3, 2012
I recently finished reading the Elastic Enterprise and couldn't be more impressed with the quality of research, insights, and knowledge in this book.

I work in an internal corporate function at a large organization and have started adopting the principles in this book to enable our small but mighty group to offer great services on a large scale without increasing our headcount or sacrificing quality.

This is a must read for leaders (in both profit and non-profit industries) that want to truly make a difference and help as many people as possible.
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on April 19, 2012
The Elastic Enterprise isn't about a single idea, but a fascinating group of concepts, and the authors clearly know their material exceptionally well.

Business books can be heavy-going, but The Elastic Enterprise is a really engaging read. It sets out a new paradigm for how companies succeed. I personally found it very convincing, but of course any new idea is going to take time to gain ground.

In particular take a look at the authors' thinking on radical adjacency, a new strategy that takes companies into wholly new domains. For decades we've been told strategy is about the core but now it seems a new core competency allows companies to take on new markets with new products. That's a breakthrough. Their thinking on new ways to scale business, breaking the bounds of Adam Smith's labour specialisation theory is also a highlight. If you get it, then you know how to grow a business without growing an overhead.

Finally a large part of the book covers the new leadership skills needed to manage this new enterprise operating system or model. The most compelling part is the need to grow leaders who have strong resource attraction skills, rather than leaders who command.

Well worth a read.
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on March 29, 2012
In the next couple of years, also your industry may well be disrupted as dramatically as the music industry or the publishing industry have been hit by companies like Apple or Amazon. If you want to reflect on this and want to understand how some companies have been successful in changing the name of the game in a complete industry, then this book is a "must read".
This is not about traditional innovation, aiming at improving what leading companies already excel in. This is about how new business models can quickly appear and overtake traditional models, often based on platforms that make all participants in the ecosystem to collaborate, owned by a company who is becoming the controller of the ecosystem. For me, the term "Radical adjacency" - referring to companies who radically expand their businesses in complete new domains - was one of those concepts that resonated strongly.
The authors come up with a solid analysis of what they call "The Five dynamics of the Elastic Enterprise" and come up with strong concepts and some list of questions, to make you reflect on your own situation.
This book is for those that don't want to be disrupted by others, but rather would like to drive the disruption themselves.
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