Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simplify for Success, November 5, 2012
This review is from: One Simple Idea for Startups and Entrepreneurs: Live Your Dreams and Create Your Own Profitable Company (Hardcover)
I have worked with so many entrepreneurs who believe coming up with a successful product means they need to develop something which is totally new and different - and by definition, very complex. Unfortunately, following that path more often than not leads to frustration and failure.

Stephen Key, the author of One Simple Idea, takes the opposite view. He preaches that to be successful, all you need is one simple idea - with an emphasis on simple.

The book is built around a case study of one simple idea which he and his partner developed into a very successful company. The company was Hot Picks - and the product was guitar picks. It would be difficult to find a simpler, more straight forward product than a guitar pick. But what Hot Picks did was to find a niche in the market - a void - and then develop picks that fit that niche, filled that void.

The book takes you step by step through the process of 1) deciding if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, 2) stressing the importance of keeping things simple 3) how to outsmart the competition and protect your ideas 4) how to launch your product 5) how to develop packaging and how to find contract manufacturing 6) how to market your product 7) how to get retail distribution and 8) how to manage and grow your business.

This book is basically about physical products. But there are lots of lessons which apply to a service business - even thought that is not the primary target market. The one page business plan is one of the more valuable insights in the book - and it applies to any business. When you are developing a business plan for the business - as opposed to a business plan to raise financing - Mr. Key makes a real case for a one page plan is all you need. You would be surprised to learn how much valuable information you can fit on one page. Again keep it simple.

The book gives you plenty of ideas and resources for getting your idea off the drawing board and into the real world. Mr. Key also gives lots of info on who to pitch your product to and how to make an effective pitch. He illustrates all the concepts he discusses with a dialogue on how Hot Picks implemented the concepts he discusses. So you basically get a step by step narrative of how he took the simple idea of special guitar picks and developed a highly successful business. Scattered throughout the book are inserts of stories of different entrepreneurs and their particular story. So there are lots of different examples of successful implementation of the concepts presented in the book.

The book is well written, very interesting and filled with actionable ideas. The book has plenty of specific ideas but the concepts are general enough to apply to any product being brought to the market.

If you are developing or thinking about developing and marketing a product, do yourself a huge favor and read this book before you spend lots of time and money going down the wrong path. I am very confident you will gain some valuable insight into what to do or not do, which will save you many times the cost of this book.

The Appendix at the end of the book contains a ton of valuable resources which will be extremely helpful as you go about developing and launching your product.

To be successful, keep it simple. Use this guide to simplify your business and keep it on track.

I was provided a review copy of this book.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 12, 2012 9:14:40 PM PST
Monica Main says:
Why are the only reviews on this book all on the same day and suspiciously they are all 5 stars yet NONE of them are verified purchasers?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 6:25:44 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 6:30:54 AM PST
Monica, I cannot speak for other reviews - generally I don't read them. But please read the last line of my review. I was provided a review copy of the book. Even though I am provided a review copy there is no obligation to post a review or to post a favorable review.

In reviewing books, my goal is to provide the potential reader some insight into the book in order to help them decide if the book will be of value to them. I try to give an overview of the content and who specifically might benefit from reading the book.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 7:06:48 PM PST
Monica Main says:
I just happen to notice that every single review was written on the same day and they all sound like they were written by the same person. Very strange.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 6:16:24 AM PST
Monica, there are two things I can say. I did not read any other reviews of this book, I generally never read other reviews because I do not want my review to be biased by someone else. I read the book and posted my review. I give my assessment of what the book is about and who might benefit - I also try to give guidance to people who might expect unrealistic things from a book. In this case, this book is primarily about physical products - which I clearly state.
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Location: Spring Hill, TN

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