Bob Morris Book Review – Blogging on Business

Build up: An Unorthodox Guide to Doing Things Worth Doing
Tony Fadell
HarperBusiness/A HarperCollins Imprint (May 2022)

“It all starts with asking ‘Why?’” simon sinek

It is also true that “Building anything starts by asking ‘Why?’”

Sinek agrees with Peter Drucker: “Surely there is nothing so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.” And Tony Fadell agrees with both Sinek and Drucker. He wrote this book “for anyone who wants to create something new, who is pursuing excellence, who doesn’t want to waste precious time on this precious planet… This book is not intended to be a biography, I am not dead. even. He is a mentor in a box. It’s an encyclopedia of advice… This book is about what I’ve learned, usually the hard way.”

Fadell’s Introduction provides detailed information about his adventures and misadventures, his successes and failures, in the vineyards of free enterprise over a period stretching from 1969 when he was born and then attending twelve schools over the next fifteen years to now when he leads the investment. and the consulting firm Future Shape “where she advises the next generation of start-ups that are changing the world.”

These are among the dozens of passages that caught my eye, also listed to indicate the scope of Fadell’s coverage:

o Timeline of Fadell’s career, to date (Pages xiv-xix)
o Personal Growth: Adulthood (5-13)
o Criteria for getting a job (14-15)
o Team leadership (37-41)
o Skills needed for effective management (46-49)

o Storytelling for Nest Learning Thermostat (113-114, 264-265 and 278-279)
o Product interruption (116-117 and 119-125)
o Ideation process (173-177)
or Bill Campbell (185-186, 317-319 and 351-353)
o Investors and investment capital: Startups (189-200)

o Crisis Management: “The Basic Playbook” (218-219)
o Team size and break points (243-249)
o Design thinking (261-269)
o CEO expectations (322-325 and 328-329)
o Mentor/coach relationships (373-376)

How did Southwest Airlines achieve greater profitability and maximum value than its top nine competitors COMBINED? President and CEO Herb Kelleher then responded, “We take great care of our people. They take great care of our customers. And our customers take great care of our shareholders.”

Who will get the most benefit from this book? Probably those who are now preparing for a career in business or have recently embarked on one. Also, supervisors (especially novices) who have multiple direct reports entrusted to their care. And probably those who are actively involved with a startup before or after launch. Fadell has extensive and deep real-world experience and therefore seems uniquely qualified to explain the do’s and don’ts.

Heartfelt congratulations to Tony Fadell on a brilliant achievement. Bravo!

I presume to conclude with two recommendations. First, highlight key passages and keep a lined notebook handy as you read and then (hopefully) reread this book. (I prefer the optic yellow and Mead’s “marble” version.) Record your own comments, questions, page references, etc. These two tactics will, in fact, facilitate speed up frequent review of key material later.

Also, keep in mind that ultimately there are no marketing, finance, sales or HR issues… only BUSINESS issues. Everything a company does and how it does it must add value, directly or indirectly, to everyone within the given company.

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bob morris

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