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The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business Paperback – August 28, 2012
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"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
About the Author
- Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
- Paperback : 464 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1591845572
- ISBN-13 : 978-1591845577
- Publisher : Portfolio; Revised, Expanded ed. edition (August 28, 2012)
- Dimensions : 5.48 x 1.19 x 8.38 inches
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #12,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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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.
The book is somewhat divided into 3 parts:
Part 1 talks about the parts of the business: value creation, marketing, sales, value delivery and finance
This is where the book excels in my opinion. As I said it is only a summary, but a very useful one for someone just beginning.
Part 2 is about the human side of the business and is only superficial which is understandable because the subject would take several tomes to be adequatelly covered.
Part 3 is about working systems (analyzing, optimizing) is also superficial. Again it only covers the main topics as a summary.
What I also like about the book is the bibliography which is extensive enough to keep you busy for at least a year or two of reading material.
The title is somewhat misleading. You will not master the "art" of business, but it will surelly get you started. Overall, a nicelly done book for people trying his or her first steps in understanding what a business is.
I'd have given it 5 stars if the footnotes were on the same page cos I dont like going back and forth to the end of the book in search for them, also if there was a hardcover version available and if some topics were more deeply covered (more technical detail), specially the 1st part of the book which deals with the Value Stream.
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.
I understand the author said that he set out to "not write a 300+ pages long business card", but this is arguably worse.
I expected things like market analysis, financial training on a high level (as in: how to read P&L, break down OpEx), or talk about competitive advantage, what tools to focus on, how & why to master Excel or other things you will be using as a biz owner or analyst, etc - and this book had none of that.
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.
It’s on my office side-table. I generally don’t think I learn anything really new in a business book - this one surprised me.
Top reviews from other countries
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. A big picture view and the memory/awareness of what to consider and whether to look it up when the time comes around.
The title is somewhat misleading. You will not master the "art" of business, but it will surely get you started.
This book is a great overview of many business topics and will help you identify which topics you need to learn more about.