Dear Business Book Authors and Publishers

We all have stacks of business books on our nightstands. We rarely read them and finish less.  Why? 

1) You can get the whole idea of the book in the first 25-30 pages but you insist on writing 300 pages more

2) You focus so much on the idea that you forget to let us know how we plug it into our business so we get value.

If any business reads a book that actually helps their particular business grow faster or generate more profit you will not be able to print enough.  Even if that book is 20 pages long and costs $50.00 a copy. Fact.

I love business books as much as anyone. Maybe more. But I am also deeply disappointed in them 99 times out of 100. And yet I keep buying them. Somehow hoping that the next one will deliver on the promise on the cover. That the last 50 pages will be as valuable as the first 50.  Because, if they are not, why did you take the time to write it and, Mr/Mrs Publisher why did you waste the money to print it?

You are working from an old playbook that has spelled doom for music, magazines, Newspapers and more to come. Your industry is filled with people that follow a specific model because that is what has been done in the past. But your job and your purpose (Your basic) is not to follow a VC model and launch 10 books and hope 2-3 are a hit.  Your job, basic and purpose is to the conduit and megaphone for great business minds to share what they know with as many business people as possible. You publish books, of any shape and size, that make change and you win. Full stop.

So, if that is your purpose, then the ways you can fulfill and prove it immediately expand far beyond the traditional publishing co focused formula.  Who will be the business publishing house that is on a mission to drive business results? 


People Just Don’t Read Anymore

Is this twitter, digital, frenetic short attention span world. Nobody will take the time to read anymore.  I have said something similar a bunch of times in the last month.  And, in many ways, it is true.

But do you know what people are reading and will continue to read? Good writing.

And good writing is not the sanitized, safe and written by committee marketing and sales copy you are putting out on your web site, sales literature and proposals.  It only takes 2 sentences to realize that you have heard it all before. It is not that people wont read more, they just don’t need to. 

They want to read a story. They want to learn something new.  They want to get to know the people inside your organization.  They want to feel the personality of your business. They want to be inspired. 

Do that, in everything that you put in front of anyone that you want to connect with, and they will read.  If not, save everyone the trouble, time and expense and don’t bother writing anything at all.

How Innovators Keep Winning

Booz & Co. is out with their annual study on the top R&D spenders and it shows why innovative companies consistently outperform their peers. 

You can download the study here:

An excerpt – The three types of organizations that consistently excel:

Need Seekers actively and directly engage current and potential customers to shape new products and services based on superior end-user understanding, and strive to be the first to market with those new offerings.

Market Readers watch their customers and com- petitors carefully, focusing largely on creating value through incremental change and by capitalizing on proven market trends.

Technology Drivers follow the direction suggested by their technological capabilities, leveraging their in- vestment in research and development to drive both breakthrough innovation and incremental change, often seeking to solve the unarticulated needs of their customers via new technology.

Ralph Lauren 4D Light Show

To celebrate its 10th year of e-commerce success, Ralph Lauren is launching a 4D light show at their flagship stores in London and New York. All produced by Netherlands based projection wizards, NuFormer. Here is a behind the scenes video of how it was produced. (via mashable). 

And here are some more videos of their work. 

Lesson: Attention and wonder comes from doing what others will not try.

Update: Here is the footage of the actual Ralph Lauren show on November 20, 2010