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The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business Paperback – August 28, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
Kaufman, a former middle manager at Proctor & Gamble and founder of personalmba.com, argues that those interested in business would be better served by skipping the M.B.A. and focusing on the critically important concepts that really make or break a business. According to the author, much of what is taught in business schools is outdated; you're better off saving the expense and finding other ways to learn about these core principles--which Kaufman synthesizes--in such areas as value creation, marketing, sales, and finance. He also explores the psychological side of business and examines how consumers take in information, make decisions, and decide what to do or not to do. Acknowledging the panoramic overview his approach necessitates, he includes a fairly lengthy list of sources to seek out if more information is needed. While Kaufman's rallying call will not eradicate the need or desire for M.B.A. degrees, he does provide a surprisingly solid alternative full of information that even those already in the workplace will respond to. (Dec.) (c)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"No matter what they tell you, an MBA is not essential. If you combine reading this book with actually trying stuff, you'll be far ahead in the business game."
- Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of Wired and author of What Technology Wants
"File this book under NO EXCUSES. After you've read it, you won't be open to people telling you that you're not smart enough, not insightful enough, or not learned enough to do work that matters. Josh takes you on a worthwhile tour of the key ideas in business."
- Seth Godin, author of Linchpin
"I've run across few people who conceptually 'grok' how to get things done better than Josh Kaufman."
- David Allen, author of Getting Things Done
"A creative, breakthrough approach to business education. I have an MBA from a top business school, and this book helped me understand business in a whole new way."
- Ali Safavi, executive director of international sales and distribution, The Walt Disney Company
Top customer reviews
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Everything is organized into topic with detailed outlines, so that you can pick and choose as needed. So many books (see any Tim Ferriss book) throw everything and the kitchen sink with no focus or filter just to fill pages and put out another crappy round of sales; they're all fluff and the meat they contain is so basic that the author tries to pass it off as something complicated and essentially passes off mystique as value. Not the case here. I have a very sensitive BS meter and it wasn't triggered at all. Everything included is purposeful, and while there isn't much of any depth, this is more like what you'd get from an actual MBA (minus the network) - a big picture view and the memory/awareness of what to consider and whether to look it up when the time comes around. The only caveat is that this is all meat, so this is a book to study and write notes on a few times and memorize.
As a techie-turned-entrepreneur who likes clear APIs and expects good crunch-bang documentation (think C++ interface guides), this is the perfect format and just what I was looking for. If you want a lot of depth, you'll have to sacrifice scope and go for a book that covers one or two topics. For what it is, this is about as good as it gets (and I've read TONS of books on business, organization, 'self-help', marketing, negotiation, etc.).
Thanks Josh for putting this out.
Cons: none. Pretty good.
Overall: I would buy it again. I don't know that it is a stand-out over the other handful of highly rated MBA books, but it is still a solid overview. You won't go wrong buying it.
This book is a great overview of many business topics and will help you identify which topics you need to learn more about. It also provides several other resources to learn about those topics more in-depth if you think you're weak in a topic.
My only wish was that the book had more case studies from the author's clients rather than focusing on some examples based on his own life. But that didn't happen too much.
Still a great read and a good reference book on business topics.