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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition » User review

Old fluff put in an entertaining format.

  • Dec 27, 2008
Rating:
+1
Guy Kawasaki is a genuinely warm, engaging, intelligent and articulate man. I've had the pleasure of meeting him several times at MacWorld trade shows.

However, Guy Kawasaki is a career self-promoter. He has made a living for many years repackaging standard business advice in an entertaining format and peddling it as new to the legions of people seeking a business success formula.

More power to Guy for making a living at it, but it doesn't alter the nature of what is between the covers here: old advice, with a lot of it being nothing more than commensense.

Two irritating things about Guy's otherwise excellent writing style. He has a real problem with gender pronouns. Even in academic writing that tends to be excruciatingly politically correct, I've never seen anyone go to such extremes in using "she", "her" and other feminine pronouns. It's creepy, weird and utterly unnecessary. Certainly She would understand if Guy backed off a bit. Then there is Guy's cuteness with a couple of euphemisms: for example, he takes the common expletive for bull manure and adds "-takke" to it. Once may cute, especially among your 4th grade classmates. A couple of dozen times and it is truly annoying and leads you to believe the author may be a fourth grader.

As for Guy's advice . . . well, there's a reason why so many self-help and business success books are perennial bestsellers: people want guidance and advice And guy provides it in a witty, entertaining manner.

But virtually all of it has been served up hundreds, if not thousands, of times before by other authors. Some of what Guy offers up is pure nonsense without a shred of evidence to support it: it is just politically correct, like his overuse of the feminine. For example, he directs that companies "diversify" in their hiring, implying that if your workforce isn't statistically proportionate, you are doomed to an early end in a "Bozo Explosion". While it may be politically correct, the proposition is not supported by evidence.

Straining for material, Kawasaki resorts to interviews with other authors and academics, not a few of whom are cranks. One parses a conspiracy theory that would give a tinfoil hat wearer a run for their money.

Finally, Kawasaki tries to cover the waterfront with his advice. And the plains. And the mountains too. And the oceans. Everything. If you're looking for millions to start your company, Kawasaki has advice. If you're looking for a job, Kawasaki has advice. If you're the boss of a successful company, Kawasaki has advice.

The quality of the advice in every area, however, is suspect. First, much of it is common sense. If you have to buy as book to learn common sense, you have a problem. A lot of what Guy writes has been written about a zillion times before.

Take, for example, some of his advice about getting a job in Silicon Valley. Show up early, Guy says. "Get to your interview at least thirty minutes early because (a) you might hit traffic . . ." Actually, I think Guy means to say leave for your interview early because you might hit traffic, if She is not watching over you. Point is, who needs to buy a book to learn this? I love this line: "Answer the first question "How are you?" with a great response. For example, a great response is, "I feel great. I'm really anxious to learn more about this job and tell you about myself, so that we can determine if we're a good match". Very impressive: I'm sure the interviewer will be bowled over by your sincerity.

As one of his later chapters, Guy has one entitled "Are You an Egomaniac?" I think Guy is - and he appears to make a good living from it.

On the whole, 'Reality Check" is no worse than then some advice books and perhaps is valuable to simply reassure people that common sense is still a valuable commodity. But for business success tips, Guy doesn't offer anything you haven't seen before. I'd suggest holding off on this one until it is remaindered or just get it from the library.

Jerry

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More Reality Check: The Irreverent ... reviews
review by . April 29, 2009
I normally avoid 496 page business books but I loved this one. The short chapters are packed with great ideas. Guy Kawasaki definitely writes in a distinct voice. If you follow any of his work online, then you need this book because it moves you away from the computer.    You will use your highlighter throughout and want to return to some sections to apply them to your own business situations. I certainly have a marked copy. Get this book today, read it and apply it to your own life.
review by . November 26, 2008
Having read all and then reviewed most of Guy Kawasaki's eight previously published books, I was especially eager to read this one because it was rumored to provide everything he wishes he had known (but most of which he didn't) when he embarked on his career in business (counting diamonds a fine-jewelry manufacturer called Nova Stylings) while at work on an MBA degree at UCLA. (He had already earned an undergraduate degree at Stanford.) Kawasaki later went to work for an educational software company …
About the reviewer
Jerry Saperstein ()
Ranked #196
I am an e-discovery strategist, computer forensics specialist and testifying expert witness - and an avid reader.      Aside from technology books, I love thrillers, suspense, mystery, … more
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About this book

Wiki

More uncommon common sense from the bestselling author ofThe Art of the Start.

In Silicon Valley slang, a “bozo explosion” is what causes a lean, mean, fighting machine of a company to slide into mediocrity. As Guy Kawasaki puts it, “If the two most popular words in your company arepartnerandstrategic, andpartnerhas become a verb, andstrategicis used to describe decisions and activities that don’t make sense” . . . it’s time for a reality check.

For nearly three decades, Kawasaki has earned a stellar reputation as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and irreverent pundit. His 2004 bestseller,The Art of the Start, has become the most acclaimed bible for small business. And his blog is consistently one of the fifty most popular in the world.

Now, Kawasaki has compiled his best wit, wisdom, and contrarian opinions in handy book form. From competition to customer service, innovation to marketing, he shows readers how to ignore fads and foolishness while sticking to commonsense practices. He explains, for instance:

• How to get a standing ovation
• The art of schmoozing
• How to create a community
• The top ten lies of entrepreneurs
• Everything you wanted to know about getting a job in Silicon Valley but didn’t know who to ask

Provocative, useful, and very funny, this “no bull shiitake” book will show you why readers around the world love Guy ...
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Details

ISBN-10: 1591842239
ISBN-13: 978-1591842231
Author: Guy Kawasaki
Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover

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