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Showing 1-10 of 63 reviews(1 star). See all 1,749 reviews
on April 20, 2015
I'm not just disappointed, I'm actually kind of angry that I spent time and money on reading this book. As a business owner of eight years and experiencing burn out, I thought this book would help reveal the issues that I need to confront to take my business to the next level, but all it did was frustrate me. Here's why:

1. As an information delivery method, the story/conversation format felt contrived, staged, and tacky. It distracted me from what the author was trying to say and I had an unsettling suspicion that the book was trying to cover up the fact that it didn't really know what it was talking about. I doubt that was the book's intention, but nonetheless, there it is.
2. There was little useful information. I think this book would have been better fit for a blog post with bullet points than its current format. Admittedly, there were some good one liners, but that was only surface level. Once I thought about what I had read, I realized that these were just fluff and ambition baiting for gullible readers with a lot of hopes and dreams but no real knowledge of how to run a business. For example, "Life is what a business is about, and life is what this work is about." What does that even mean? It sounds good, anyway.
3. In my opinion, I think the book tried too hard to connect with the reader on an emotional level. When done right, calling on the reader's emotions to make a connection can be a powerful tool. But the book's way of going about it felt, again, contrived and disingenuous, especially after it would follow up with a sales plug which goes into my next point:
4. I understand that books are out there not just to deliver information, but as a marketing tool for their primary business. There's a lot of that going around with self help and pseudo-business books, and it's always a little annoying, but this book kind of went overboard with the self promotion, which again, distracted me from learning anything.
5. The book's made up ideas like, "Your Strategic Objective," and "Your Primary Aim," are actually established and fundamental principles that everyone who owns a business should be familiar with. These terms are usually named, "Mission statement," and "business plan." For example, "What would you like to be able to say about your life after it's too late to do anything about it? That's your Primary Aim." Which sounds like a great existential question if the rest of the book didn't go on talking about it and equate your "Primary Aim" with your business aim which might have been okay if the book didn't contradict itself elsewhere and assert that your business is NOT your life.

I can go on, but I should probably stop here. If I was just disappointed, I wouldn't have gone out of my way to write this review. But this book made me angry. This book is not only unworthy to be read, it is unworthy to exist. Like anti-vaccine advocates, I feel that books such as this bring down society's collective intelligence, and that's saying something because I'm actually kind of dumb. Do yourself a favor: visit your local library and check out a decent business textbook.
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on April 5, 2013
I do not understand why this book seems to have the impact it did on the small business world. While Gerber does present an intersting and inciteful idea that many businesses fail because there is lack of proper balance between the tecnician, the manager and the entrepreneur, he then goes away from this theme and recommends that all new companies should have a process that is detailed enough so your comapny can run without you. He continues to emphasise and recommend this franchise type of business model. He suggests that this will allow a new owner to hire those with no expertise in the product and to rely on the process itself to run the business. While franchises certainly offer a valid business model, to promote this way of business simply as a way to avoid the need to find and hire employees and managers with knowledge of your industry is simply ludicrous.

He continues to return to a ficticious dialogue between him and a small business owner that i found simpy unrealistic and downright insulting. The impropper use of quotation marks as well as the capitalization of The Technician, The Manager and The Entrepreneur were quite annoying as well. His editor(s) must have been those who were following an "operations manual" and had no experience in editing a book.

I also question the length. Most paragraphs in the book were one sentence long. That, along with a painful repetative style led me to believe he was stretching it out as far as he could.

All in all, he makes a few good observations in the first 50 or so pages; after that, a complete waste of time. I would not recommend this book.
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on December 30, 2013
The only reason I finished this book was because it had 5 star reviews and I kept expecting that some piece of information was going to be life changing. Instead, I got an entire book that could have been condensed into a half page yahoo article. I'm pretty sure this book is a primer for buying services from "The E myth Worldwide". If you want a more systematic understanding of how to run a business consider the "The Lean Startup". That book provides a methodology for you to understand and adjust your business strategy using "Lean" methods.

Here is the summary of the E-Myth Revisited so that you don't waste your time:
- Treat your business with the outlook that you're business should be a multinational like McDonald.
- Have run rules for everything, even a checklist for cleaning the bathroom at your business
- Understand that you should hire employees to do work for you and not do everything for yourself.

Done. You think I'm kidding? Then by all means go ahead and read this piece of garbage. There is no technical information on how to accurately track the progress of your business or how to actually grow it outside of buying services from their company so that they can help you do it.

There is a bunch of nonsense about you being a "Technician" and it uses the word "you" as if you're a huge moron that has a total lack of common sense. I'm literally questioning if there is some type of review fraud that has gotten this book a 5 star rating.
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on August 6, 2017
I desperately tried to read through it, I simply could not finish it. It starts out like a Novel on the mindset of those who go into business and then blabs on from there. All this book does is blab about what the Author perceives one should do to be successful but he does NOT give ANY real information. Honestly, I feel cheated even though I did not pay for this book.
Anyone who thought this book has ANY useful information is either a fraud or a total novice to entrepreneurship. PLEASE read the other one or two star reviews.
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on June 27, 2014
Gerber is just perpetuating the myth that you can start a business and have other people run it for you so you can go retire on an island. It is bogus. Very few businesses succeed in the long term that rely on a operations manual to guide the company with little input from the entrepreneur.

If Gerber's system is so effective, why do most highly successful entrepreneurs still spend so much time with the companies that they created?

Why do you want to hire employees with no skill and pay them as little as possible? All that method does is promote high turnover and HR nightmare associated with that.

Why does Gerber think that this model can be applied to highly skilled and technical areas of business?

It is baffling that there are so many good reviews for this book. I can only imagine that they are from people that haven't yet started their own business and are excited by the false hopes that this book sells.
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on October 5, 2016
The author talks down to the reader and takes five pages to say what could have been said in a small paragraph. If you are halfway intelligent be careful because you will probably want to gauge your eyes out.
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on July 20, 2017
This is truly a waste of time. It could've been a magazine article for bathroom reading, not a book.
What a worthless piece of junk.
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on May 27, 2017
I am on page 65 of this crazy ramble, and am still not sure where the author is going with all this. It's like the author is just trying to generate pages to make it into a book. His thoughts are incoherent, his writing style is inconsistent. I really don't have time for this. I can't believe someone recommended this book to me!
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on April 13, 2011
Not recommended. There are definitely some nuggets of good information here: on why many people who start a business fail, the need for market research, the need for a real business plan, etc.

Then there's the bulk of the book. Some ideas from the book: if you don't want to sell your business in the future, you have no business starting a company. In the history of mankind, nobody has ever made a rational buying decision - they couldn't if they wanted to because NOBODY knows how. It's all rote, it's all formula, it's all a system from which you must not deviate.

One chapter gives an example: the author will never go back to that barber again. The three times he went the haircut was very good. The problem is the barber used scissors-only once and a combination of a trimmer and scissors another time. One time they offered him coffee and the next time they offered him wine. That just drove him nuts. Consistency is not more important than quality. For this writer consistency is the definition of quality. McDonalds is the best hamburger in the world because it is the same each time you order it. There is a whole chapter on how much he adores McDonalds.

Finally, what I really did not like was the black-and-white tone. This is the ONLY way to do it. Do it any other way and you will lose all your money, your business will fail and everybody will know you are a loser. When he compared two ways of doing something to prove his point, it was his way vs a ridiculous way. He says you must wear a blue suit. As proof, would you buy from someone wearing an orange suit with alligator boots and a 2-carat tie pin and... You get the idea.

Worst part is I listened to the book on CD and had to slog through the entire thing. I kept hoping for a good part, but never found it.
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on December 8, 2012
I first encountered this book at the hands of a CEO I once interviewed with. He was quite proud of forming a small business based on this philosophy. I read his personal copy after I had introduced him to the FIFTH DISCIPLINE developed at MIT. I was quite alarmed when he thought his employees should all wear uniforms and follow a strict dress/behavior code. His objective in the end was to franchise and then sell his business to retire wealthy. Emyth insists that a company does not need "expensive" trained employees; anyone can be taught from a book of procedures what their duties are. Therefore, all the owner needs do is hire "dummies" and keep the profits to himself. Today that CEO is still struggling to expand beyond the small group it was seven years ago (now 14 yrs old). They have won several small business awards, but they were all on account of the abilities of his hired help, not for the Emyth philosophy. It is fortunate indeed I was not hired there. An engineering service cannot operate on the same principles as a fast-food chain. He will never achieve his objectives because Emyth is about exploiting unskilled labor, and engineering requires highly skilled labor. No CEO has the savvy to generate a list of prescribed problem solutions to his staff, which is what engineers are taught to do. Corporate feudalism is what Emyth is about. Look at what has happened to Wendy's since Dave passed on. Did Dave need two years of market research and to spend several million to figure out how to beat BurgerKing (and they still haven't pulled that off)? Dave set the standard which competitors strove to emulate. Emyth isn't about setting the standard, it is about being a ME-TOO kind of owner.

Like other one star reviewers, I second their opinions which do not need reiteration here. Spend your money on The Fifth Discipline and its companion workbook. THAT's a dynamic, thriving philosophy that doesn't require conformity, but builds on diversity. It was the Fifth Discipline principles that made the Saturn car such a hit, and its abandonment that brought it down.
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