Catalyst Code Summary

Catalyst Code SummaryThe Strategies Behind the World’s Most Dynamic Companies

“Catalyst Code” teaches you how you can create sales by connecting buyers and sellers who were not previously linked.

About David S. Evans and Richard Schmalensee

David S. EvansDavid S. Evans is a visiting professor at University College in London and vice chairman of an international consulting company

Richard Schmalensee is dean of Sloan School of Management at MIT.

“Catalyst Code Summary”

In the past, entrepreneurs have followed a business model which was one-sided. In other words, consumers, when they entered the store, they bought products with little interest in how and where the product was produced.

However, nowadays, things are different.

Today, businesses use the “catalyst” model, which is multisided.

What are catalysts?

In chemistry, catalysts create a reaction between two substances.

Following this analogy, in terms of commerce, catalysts create sales among sellers and buyers who were not connected previously and had no way of connecting.

Now, you may be confused because it is easy to envision every business out there as a catalyst. However, that is not the case.

For example, as the supermarket is not a catalyst for the wholesalers and the shoppers are not working together – they have the supermarket as a middleman with whom they do business.

In other words, a catalyst is a direct link between parties who work together.

Okay, now that we have cleared this out, we will give you six steps to being a successful catalyst:

  • Figure Out Who You’re Going to Serve

Target your audience, get to know them and find out their needs, and choose your business model.

  • Analyze “why and how much they need each other”
  • Analyze other players in the market
  • Decide whether a “multi-sided” or “one-sided” model works best
  • Set Prices

Although this is a tricky step, there are a few guidelines that can make it easier for you:

  • Establish separate prices for access and usage
  • Let price balance demand
  • Set prices for modest growth
  • It might make sense to pay customers to belong
  • Maximize long-term profits
  • Structure for Success

Think of your groups’ needs and set up a platform where they can meet and satisfy them.

  • Encourage groups to interact
  • Cut transaction costs
  • “Design for evolution.”
  • Think Profits

Know the history, but focus on the future.

  • “Study industry history.”
  • Predict the future
  • Think like a chess player
  • Compete Strategically with Other Catalysts

Manage your expectations and do not expect complete loyalty from customers.

  • Anticipate unexpected rivalries
  • “Leverage to attack.”
  • “Consider cooperation
  • “Experiment and Evolve”

Know when it is time to be a market leader and when a follower.

  • Control growth
  • Offer something unique
  • Plan for what’s next
  • Look out for the cops

Key Lessons from “Catalyst Code”

1.      The Three Activities of Catalysts
2.      Types of Catalysts
3.      Six Steps to Becoming a Successful Catalyst

The Three Activities of Catalysts

  • Offer “a value proposition.”
  • “Provide information.”
  • “Make rules.”

Types of Catalysts

  • “Matchmakers”
  • “Audience builders.”
  • “Cost minimizers.”

Six Steps to Becoming a Successful Catalyst

  • Figure Out Who You’re Going to Serve
  • Set Prices
  • Structure for Success
  • Think Profits
  • Compete Strategically with Other Catalysts
  • “Experiment and Evolve”

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“Catalyst Code” Quotes

A successful catalyst must find a way to win over both sides of the market more or less at once. Click To Tweet Galleries are catalysts. They work hard to attract both sides to their platforms. Click To Tweet Successful strategies are regularly imitated by enterprises that think they can execute them better. Click To Tweet Catalysts must balance the short-run benefits of getting more interactions against the long-run costs of discouraging customers. Click To Tweet Having seen your success, other entrepreneurs will build on what you have learned. Being first doesn’t guarantee success. Being paranoid helps. Click To Tweet

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Art Thinking Summary

Art Thinking SummaryHow to Carve Out Creative Space in a World of Schedules, Budgets, and Bosses

Art Thinking” by Amy Whitaker is an inspiring book which aims to help businesspeople become more creative, and creative people more business-oriented. It’s a thinking strategy which combines the best parts of both worlds, and which aims to help you convert your initial idea into a full-blown project. Regardless of whether you’re an artist or a businessman.

About Amy Whitaker

Amy WhitakerAmy Whitaker is an assistant professor at New York University. She earned an MBA from Yale’s School of Management, before earning an MFA at University College London’s Slade School. Combining her knowledge from both fields, she is one of the world’s foremost experts in the relationship between art and business.

She has also authored another book, titled “Museum Legs.” See more at:

Art Thinking Summary

Let us guess: if you’re interested in business, poetry is not your cup of tea. And, of course, if you like art, business is not exactly something which gets your juices flowing!

Well, in this day and age, neither is really a smart decision.

Creativity is highly regarded in the world of business, and it seems that companies who know this, do much better than the rest. On the other hand, regardless of whether you want to put on a play or publish a book, it’s good to have some business smarts, unless you want to end up the archetypal desolate living-on-the-streets artist.

Art Thinking” is the way to make the most of both art and business. It’s a method devised by Amy Whitaker, who should know more than most. In fact, she has grades in both business and painting, and teaches the latter to the former and the former to the latter.

So, what exactly is art thinking?

It’s a process of thinking by which you can employ the full potential of your creativity in business and your business expertise in art. And it’s based on the premise that, in a way, everyone is an artist. And most of the human endeavors are similar to creating a work of art.

After all, what do a composer, an investor, and a top entrepreneur have in common?

They try to create something new and different of the material available to them. And, in Whitaker’s opinion, this process is not merely a movement from point A to point B. It’s something much stranger: it’s an act of “inventing point B” and striving towards it!

Now, invention is not something that happens in the meantime! So, you’ll need to give it some time. It’s hard to do this in a world of so many distractions, and, subsequently, you can understand better the subtitle of Whitaker’s book.

Let us remind you of it: “How to Carve Out Creative Space in a World of Schedules, Budgets, and Bosses.”

The answer is pretty straightforward: set aside some “studio time” Ideas will start flowing only if you clear your mind of the disturbances around. You don’t have to have a project. It will come to you.

However, you do have to have something Whitaker calls a “lighthouse question”. It’s the main problem you want to overcome. In fact, it’s an alternative to the SMART objectives we talked about in another summary. This one’s acronym is MDQ: Major Dramatic Question.

Whether it’s a book-writing or a business project, the MDQ is the core of your activities. It’s what will guide you forward. And what will define your progress.

Key Lessons from “Art Thinking”

1.      Businesspeople, Take Out Your Easels!
2.      Artists, Build Yourself a Boat!
3.      Everybody, Go Out of the Weeds and Follow the Lighthouse!

Businesspeople, Take Out Your Easels

OK, not literally!

But, even though the habits of business people may be a bit different than those of the creative ones, the ultimate goal is the same. Namely, building something out of what you’re given to work with.

And you need to be creative in order to do that!

Artists, Build Yourself a Boat

This is another one of Amy Whitaker’s strategies. Building a boat means building a financial framework for the load of your project. Because the heavier it gets, the more difficult it may become to actually transform it into reality. So, it’s good to learn a thing or two about “portfolio thinking”. So that, when you need some money, you have a ready-made solution to try and get it!

Everybody, Go Out of the Weeds and Follow the Lighthouse

Being in the weeds means being unable to find the solution to a difficult part of the equation that is your project. Don’t worry – it happens to everyone. You’ll just need to focus and give yourself some “grace period” to overcome the difficulty. Having a lighthouse question – i.e. a final objective to follow – will help you a lot.

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Art thinking is a framework and set of habits to protect space for inquiry. Click To Tweet The act of inviting people into other fields is one of kindness and graciousness as much as one of education. Click To Tweet Wanting to skip past observation to judgment is a form of racing to the end instead of staying in the weeds. Click To Tweet Businesses must constantly change, explore, evolve, discard and move forward to stay alive. Click To Tweet Creative work in any field asks you to risk offering something first. Click To Tweet Art thinking is the process and business is the medium. Click To Tweet

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Climate Change Summary

Climate Change SummaryWhat’s Your Business Strategy?

Part of the respected Harvard Business Press series “Memo to the CEO,” “Climate Change: What’s Your Business Strategy?” is a concise volume covering all you need to know about climate change and how it may affect your business. And according to Andrew Hoffman and John G. Woody, knowing your company’s “carbon footprint,” reducing it and getting a say in the matters is the right way to go!

About Andrew J. Hoffman and John G. Woody

Andrew J. HoffmanAndrew J. Hoffman is a Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. He is one of the leading authorities on the implications of environmental change on business. Hoffman holds a Ph.D. from MIT, and has authored over 100 articles and 15 books. Find out more at

John G. WoodyJohn G. Woody is a Vice President at NRG Energy. Previously, he worked as a Senior Consultant for Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc., an advisory service. He holds an M.S. in Energy Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

“Climate Change Summary”

There are very few things as divisive around the world as the issue of climate change.

However, the main focus of this slim volume which bears that exact same title is not to take a side in the debate – although, it understandably does; it’s to explain to you how, regardless of whether you’re a believer or a sceptic, climate change can affect your business, nevertheless.

So, in other words, it’s better to think of a strategy today, than to scratch your head tomorrow.

And the numbers prove this! We’ll just point out two:  by 2030, 1% of the global GDP will be used per year to control green grass emissions! Or, to make it a bit more illustrative: that’s $446 billion!

And that fails to convey the public and the economic impact in full. You, especially if a CEO, don’t have such a luxury: you must know everything about global warming, in order to act accordingly!

And Hoffmann and Woody make things pretty easy for you. Because, after spending a 20-page chapter to investigate the business implications of climate change, they get right down to the job. And they present a three-part climate change strategy.

As any other strategy, this one begins with research as well. Or – knowing your carbon exposure. But, be thorough and careful. Because, there are both direct and indirect emissions. The direct come from burning fossil fuels in your production facilities. The indirect, however – suppliers, employees, customers – may amount to more!

Your job is to keep track of them carefully. Fortunately, there are many systems for registering emissions and you can opt for anyone of them.

Only then, you can move on to the second part of the strategy: learning how to cut the emissions. And here’s the best part: it comes with a secret benefit!

Namely, greening your company can benefit you financially in the long run! For example, using AI, big data, and serious statistical analysis, Google has managed to reduce its data center cooling bill by 40%! All the while helping the environment!

However, have in mind that the monetary benefit may not be immediate. In fact, some climate change business strategies will result in losses. But, only on the short run! Because, statistics have proven that cutting carbon emissions benefits companies strategically.

In other words – people prefer climate-aware companies nowadays. Who would have known: the green revolution has already started happening!

Which brings us to the third and final part of your strategy. Namely, influencing the policy-development process.

You see, the Kyoto Protocol is not the only environmental strategy out there. There are many more and regulations will tend to get stricter as the risks are likely to get more serious. So, now, many politicians and policy makers out there are all behind the green world idea, pushing for, say, carbon taxes.

And they need your help!

Use it to be part of the policy-making process. Not its victim.

Key Lessons from “Climate Change”

1.      Find Out Your Carbon Exposure
2.      Take Action to Cut Emissions
3.      Get a Seat at the Table of the Policy Makers

Find Out Your Carbon Exposure

No matter how little you’re interested in the global warming debate, the fact that everybody is – affects you and your company. So, it’s time to start taking it into consideration. And the first step: discovering your carbon footprint and the extent to which some of the future policies may hurt your business.

Take Action to Cut Emissions

Once you discover how much carbon your company produces, it’s time to take some action. There are many different ones suggested by “Climate Change.” Some are easy (“low-hanging fruits”), such as upgrading your insulation or teaching your employees to turn off the light. Others are big (“silver bullets”), such as discovering how you can substitute one process with another of an eco-friendlier kind.

Get a Seat at the Table of the Policy Makers

Whether climate change is a thing or not – doesn’t concern you. What does is that almost every government of the world thinks it is. And for years now they try to find the right regulations to limit global warming. So, try to take part in the discussions. Because, otherwise, others will be discussing your future.

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You should not think of climate change as an environmental issue at all. Instead, you should think of it as a market transition. Click To Tweet The implications of addressing climate change are not uniform, and the burden will not fall evenly. Click To Tweet At a minimum, all companies should know their exposure to the climate-change issue. Click To Tweet Goals are meant to challenge your company and spur innovation, productivity increases, and cost savings. Click To Tweet If you do not choose to consider climate change relevant to the valuation of your company and its assets, groups on Wall Street may do it for you. Click To Tweet

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Marketing as Strategy Summary

Marketing as Strategy SummaryUnderstanding the CEO’s Agenda for Driving Growth and Innovation

Everything you know about marketing – is no longer everything.

Nowadays, marketing is much more than it used to be, and marketers need to become strategists rather than mere tacticians.

In the summary below we are acquainting you with everything a marketer needs to become in order to succeed, and we are giving you the steps toward starting to drive the market instead of letting it drive you.

Who Should Read “Marketing as Strategy”? And Why?

The specialized departments in each company have helped them enormously in their quest of becoming more profitable and thriving in the highly competitive market.

However, marketing stays behind – at least that is why the author of “Marketing as Strategy,” Nirmalya Kumar argues. He contends that marketing does not evolve along with the market, and the focus on the basic tactics makes it no longer as useful as it once was.

In “Marketing as Strategy” he addresses this problem and tries to find a solution to it by offering seven steps which can help marketers become the leaders of tomorrow.

We recommend this book to all marketers who want to evolve and push their companies to evolve along with them.

About Nirmalya Kumar

Nirmalya KumarNirmalya Kumar is a director of the Centre for Marketing and co-director of the Aditya V Birla India Centre at the London Business School and a professor of marketing.

“Marketing as Strategy Summary”

As time goes by, many executives and business owners are having doubts about the value of their marketing departments.

Yes, they do think marketing is of some importance, but they are not sure whether it can actually produce results which will take their companies a step closer to achieving the planned strategic goals.

This trend is not new.

Marketing has been in a crisis for the last 20 years. The globalization brought tougher competition, the number of products has increased and so have the customer expectations, and markets have fragmented.

The traditional 4Ps marketers care so much about price, promotion, position, and placement, no longer have the same worth as in the past.

Marketing is no longer about just selling products and linking up with new distribution partners. Marketing has become a form of strategic, future-oriented thinking, and marketers need to develop their brand image, increase efficiency, increase the levels of customer satisfaction by improving customer service, and continually discover new opportunities.

Below we will list the seven steps that can take you from being a marketing tactician to marketing strategist.

  • “From market segments to strategic segments”: instead of targeting groups of customers to convey specific messages, target them with activities that create value for them.
  • From selling products to providing solutions”: forget about differentiation, the competition is too intense. Instead of wasting time and effort on such an impossible mission, attract and keep your customers by giving them solutions and fulfilling their needs. The road to becoming a solution provider is not simple, and it requires for culture change, transformational leadership, cost-cutting, and a focus on customers.  
  • “From declining to growing distribution channels”: open your mind to new distribution methods.
  • “From branded bulldozers to global distribution partners”: learn how you can cooperate with gigantic retailers.
  • “From brand acquisitions to brand rationalization”: get rid of the weakest brands, and put your time and effort into creating value around the strongest ones.
  • “From market-driven to market-driving”: you do not have to develop new products to be innovative. You just need to create new concepts that “change an industry’s rules and boundaries.” Said simply, you need to give new benefits at a lower price.
  • “From strategic business unit (SBU) marketing to corporate marketing”: stop the short-term thinking and keep your marketing efforts in check with the “goals and overall strategy of the firm.”

It is time you think of your customers as the foundation of your business. Stop thinking about profits, since, if you lose your customers, you can forget all about the profits.

What this means is that you need to put effort into building long-term relationships with your customers, and creating loyalty.

So, you need to change the “4Ps” with the “3Vs” of strategic segmentation, which we cover in the key lessons below.

So, to recap: focus on your customers, since they are the basis of your business, try to innovate regarding the values you give your customers, as well as the distribution channels, stop selling just products and become a service provider, and change your corporate culture and start rewarding creativity.

Key Lessons from “Marketing as Strategy”

1.      Common Characteristics of Market-Driving Companies
2.      The “3Vs” of Strategic Segmentation  
3.      Common Characteristics of Weak Brands

Common Characteristics of Market-Driving Companies

  • They rely on vision rather than market research.  
  • They attract customers from a variety of market segments.
  • They create new, lower price points for quality and service, and educate their customers about the value of their offerings.  
  • They develop new channels and logistics.
  • They grow through positive customer word-of-mouth.

The “3Vs” of Strategic Segmentation  

  • “Valued customer.”
  • “Value proposition” – What do your valued customers want?
  • “Value network” – What’s the best way to deliver the product?

Common Characteristics of Weak Brands


  • “Have small market share.”
  • “Suffer from poor or negative profitability.”
  • “Consume rather than contribute to cash flow.”
  • “Lack support from important channel members.”
  • “Exhaust disproportionate amounts of managerial resources.”
  • “Add little strategic value to the firm.”

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“Marketing as Strategy” Quotes

If one believes that everyone in the organization should serve the customer and create customer value, then obviously everyone must do marketing regardless of function or department.

In a global marketplace, customers are awash in supplier choices, and differentiation based on products is usually unsustainable.

We must reaffirm the fundamental purpose of a corporation: to serve customers over time and not to maximize shareholder wealth.

At a solution-driven company, service is the ‘product’ that the customer is purchasing and the products are bundled in as needed.

The key to the success of market-driving firms is that they create and deliver a leap in benefits while reducing the sacrifices and compromises that customers make to receive those benefits.


Our Critical Review

“Marketing as Strategy” addresses the problem which relates to marketing (as it is usually practiced) being outdated. Nirmalya Kumar tries to solve this problem by motivating marketers to change the traditional “4Ps” with the “3Vs” which focus on value.

The steps that he offers are practical and useful, and anyone can follow them. We highly recommend it to all marketers who are not afraid of embracing new ideas and perspectives.

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Negotiate This Summary

Negotiate This SummaryBy Caring, But Not T-H-A-T Much

The art of negotiation can be learned.

Below, we give you the fundamental principles you need to follow to become better at the negotiators’ table.

Who Should Read “Negotiate This”? and Why?

“Negotiate This” is a book which will teach you the twelve underlying principles of successful negotiating.

We recommend it to all readers who feel they would benefit from becoming better negotiators – even if it comes to simple everyday situations such as negotiating the salary.

About Herb Cohen

Herb CohenHerb Cohen is an author, negotiation expert and strategy consultant.

“Negotiate This Summary”

Negotiating is a game.

Of course, we do not say that it is a game meaning that it is not serious, but meaning that it involves specific rules which, if you follow, you will be at the winning side most of the time.

Whenever you sit on the negotiating table, use psychology.

You need to walk in with an attitude that you are in charge, that you are the one that has options to choose from, and that you do not depend on that particular negotiation.

If people think that you can easily walk away and you have nothing to lose, they will act differently.

Keep emotional distance, and watch and assess the situation like you are an objective observer.

Do not involve personal matters inside the negotiation. Also, do not have too big expectations. The negotiation will have a much better outcome if you are open to more options.

The detachment and objectivity will help you anticipate actions and arguments before they happen, and you will more likely step aside and keep them pass, keeping the negotiations on the table.

Do not worry. The more experience you get, the easier the process of evaluating the situation will become.

Now, to become a better negotiator, you need to understand that the final objective of negotiating is for both parties to say “yes.” In a perfect scenario, the situation after the negotiation will be better for both parties.

However, although the common goal is of a positive nature, during each negotiation, there are conflicts. In such cases, it is essential that both parties remain in the talks, trying to figure out their point of shared interest.

In other words, if the parties focus on their differences only, they will never come to an agreement.

To be able to find a solution which is in the best interest of both sides on the negotiation table, you need to try to walk in your counterpart’s shoes, and see the world from their point of view.

Control your reactions and think really hard before you react in some way. Hear what the other party has to say – take notes and make sure you have heard it all correctly before you reply.

If their arguments are rational, think about accepting them; or giving equally logical counter-arguments as well.

Note that although you may be objective during the negotiations, it does not mean that those sitting on the opposite side will not be emotional or ruled by old habits.

The essential thing a negotiator needs to be equipped with is patience.

Be slow. Ask questions. Ask for information to be repeated. Ask explanations.

Also, always try to work with a partner. Making a decision alone will burden you more. If you have to do it alone, give yourself some time to discuss the decision over with someone before you shake hands.

Another thing that you should remember is that no matter how difficult your counterpart seems to be, you have to stay cooperative and respectful even at times when you don’t feel like it.

Always be the bigger man. No matter what the situation makes, you feel like.

In our key lessons, we cover the ten principles of successful negotiating.

So, read on.

Key Lessons from “Negotiate This”:

1.      Setting Objectives
2.      Making ‘How’ Concessions
3.      Open with Commonality
4.      The Titanic principle
5.      The Ping-Pong Table Theory of Life
6.      Broadening the Gauge
7.      The Vail Condo
8.      Make ’em Work
9.      You Owe Me an Apology
10.    Closing the deal

Setting Objectives

Before you start the negotiations, always set specific goals and make a list of your priorities.

Making ‘How’ Concessions

If the negotiation hits a plateau, make a concession which is not connected to your goal, but to the negotiation process.

Open with Commonality

Try to find common ground with your counterpart, even if it means talking about the weather. Small talk will create a connection before you start the actual negotiation.

The Titanic principle

Always try to look at the root of the offers the other party gives you, instead of just instinctively reacting to the tip of the iceberg.

The Ping-Pong Table Theory of Life

People want what they want because of how those things fulfill their emotional needs. Whenever you think that the goals of the other party do not make sense, think of this principle.

Broadening the Gauge

Research as much as you can, since the more information you have, the more bargaining power you have as well.

The Vail Condo

A continuation of the previous principle, sometimes the information you have about your counterpart can take you to forming a much better offer.

Make ’em Work”

Even if you agree from the very beginning, make your counterparts work for the concession.

You Owe Me an Apology

If you do something that asks for an apology, like for example losing your temper, apologize. Do not consider it as a weakness.

Closing the Deal

Finally, when you feel that it is time to move on, there comes a time when you close the deal.

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“Negotiate This” Quotes

We seem forever absorbed in trying to get others to agree with us. Click To Tweet Almost without exception you don’t change people’s behavior through rhetoric but only by altering their ways of looking at things. Click To Tweet I am not a pacifist, nor one who believes in the sacrifice of ethical principles and values for the expediency of even a profitable deal. Click To Tweet Following the trite counsel of keeping your nose to the grindstone merely guarantees a short, bloody nose. Click To Tweet While seeking our own satisfaction, we must come to terms with the contrary preferences and desires of others. In a negotiation, there’s always at least one other participant, and rules or at least etiquette of play. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Negotiate This” is an entertaining book, which can teach you a thing or two, although you may find that it is a bit loosely structured.

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The Ultimate Sales Machine Summary

The Ultimate Sales Machine Summary

MicroSummary: “The Ultimate Sales Machine” by the late great sales and marketing guru Chet Holmes is based around a simple premise: that mastery isn’t about doing 4,000 things, but about doing 12 things 4,000 times. And these 12 things – ranging from time management techniques to aggressive marketing strategies – are exhaustively examined and resourcefully related throughout this wonderful little book.

Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies

No matter how good your company is doing, it probably can do a lot better. Interestingly enough, the strategies you need to employ are pretty much the same even if it is not doing good at all.

And according to Chet Holmes, you only need to focus on twelve of them to become “The Ultimate Sales Machine.”

Our summary takes a quick – but piercing – look at all twelve!

Who Should Read “The Ultimate Sales Machine”? And Why?

The Ultimate Sales Machine” is one of the numerous books out there which aim to help you make the operations in your company as efficient as possible. And just like them, it’s a book everyone with a crucial position in any company should find valuable.

We can single out the sales reps, the executives, and the CEOs – but, believe us, many others may find both pleasure and benefit if they reserve some time for “The Ultimate Sales Machine.”

About Chet Holmes

Chet HolmesChet Holmes was a much-admired corporate trainer and sales and marketing consultant. Beloved lecturer and founder of Chet Holmes International, his portfolio included numerous Fortune 500 companies, such as Warner Bros., NBC, Pacific Bell, GNC, Citibank, Wells Fargo and many others.

“The Ultimate Sales Machine” was the only book he authored before he passed away from leukemia in 2012.”

“The Ultimate Sales Machine Summary”

Let’s cut to the chase, by citing one of the most oft-quoted sentences ever written by Chet Holmes: “Mastery isn’t about doing 4,000 things, it’s about doing 12 things 4,000 times.”

A good cue as any to start listing and summarizing each of the twelve key strategies from the subtitle of “The Ultimate Sales Machine.”

1. Time management

Do you have too many of those “one-minute” meetings which take a bit longer to finish (which, by the way, are even less efficient than you already know)? Well, it’s time to end them all!

And it’s time you started each and every one of your days by already knowing what you want to do – and what you’ll ultimately end up doing. In order to do this, use the Ivy Lee method and make each night a list of 6 tasks you’ll work on the next day.

In that order. No excuses.

2. Continuous employee training

Let’s face it: no one becomes better without training, and, after a while, even the best ones tend to stagnate unless they are continually pushed forward.

By the new ideas and strategies, by the fact that they’re learning, by the new-found youth – you name it! Either case, training is essential and it never stops.

3. Regular company meetings

Of course – there are also some meetings that make sense. These are the ones aimed at improving the company chemistry and further advance the idea of a shared tradition and a common goal.

Maximize the effectiveness of these meetings by developing procedures each of your employees will know beforehand.

4. Develop the right strategies

First of all, find out what makes your product so essential and unique; and start from there. This way, you won’t even need to talk about your product to persuade your customers. You’ll prepare them by talking about their needs first.

5. Hire sales superstars

Creating the best sales team is not an easy job. You can really learn a lot from the rookies, but, it’s the sales superstars which ultimately make the difference. You’ll probably need more money to hire them, but, it will pay off – in the long run.

6. Target the best buyers

We’ve already talked about the Pareto principle, and Malcolm Gladwell has even written a book to demonstrate the consequences of the 80/20 rule on society as a whole.

In the case of your company, it means that a lot of your income comes from a small number of your customers. Find who they are. And never let them go!

7. Perfect your marketing strategy

Of course, you’ll need the ultimate marketing strategy to do this. It’s a combination of advertising and direct mail campaigns, of good public relations management and a long personal contacts list. But, nowadays, it’s mainly about using the phenomenal power of the internet to, say, turn a tweet into a trend.

8. Perfect your presentation with visual aids

Leonardo da Vinci believed that the “eye embraces the beauty of the whole world.” So, use this when presenting your product. A simple graph may relate thousands of sentences in a single second. (For example, just have a look at what Hans Rosling did with boring statistical data.)

9. The sales process starts with a list of your ideal customers

This one is closely related to 6; the only difference is that these customers are not yours. That doesn’t mean that they don’t belong on a longlist of 100 ideal customers.

Start contacting them. And using a good marketing strategy (see #7), commence with the wooing process.

10. Perfect your selling skills

And the wooing process is basically a science.

First of all, you establish a relationship. Then, you identify your customers’ needs. As we already said at #4, use this knowledge to talk your customers into craving your product even before they learn you’re selling it.

Then, prove your clients that not buying it will cost them more money than the opposite. Finally, close the sale. And then…

11. Follow-up

In Holmes’ opinion, following up is what makes the difference between a good and a great company. Because, building an emotional relationship with your client goes a long way. And, ultimately, can make all the difference.

12. Set objectives and constantly meet them

Be aggressive when setting your goals. And measure your performance over time – carefully and systematically. You don’t need to exceed your goals. You just need to be disciplined enough to meet them.

Key Lessons from “The Ultimate Sales Machine”

1.      Start Each Day with a 6-Item Priority List
2.      Once in a While, Call Your Best Buyers to Ask Them How They Are
3.      Never Stop Reading Summaries Such as This One

Start Each Day with a 6-Item Priority List

Ivy Lee is considered the founder of modern PR. Supposedly, he once made Charles M. Schwab’s steel empire ten times more productive by introducing its employees to a simple method. Namely, to write down each night 6 things they should do the day after. And to do them in the order of priority – no matter what.

True, it’s simple. But, it really works!

Once in a While, Call Your Best Buyers for No Reason

If you want to become a great company, it’s essential to build long-lasting customer relationships. True, some may say that challengers have started rewriting the book of sales from recently, but, even so, it wouldn’t hurt to call your best buyers from time to time.

Just to see how they’re doing. So that your professional relationship grows into something bigger.

Never Stop Reading Summaries Such as This One


Training is essential to becoming better. And if you don’t have time to read the whole books, reading their summaries may do the trick. So, what are you waiting for? Click on some of the links and go on reading!

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“The Ultimate Sales Machine” Quotes

Mastery isn’t about doing 4,000 things, it’s about doing 12 things 4,000 times. Click To Tweet Advertising brings in the customers, but it is your job to keep them buying from you. Click To Tweet Implementation, not ideas, is the key to real success. Click To Tweet You’re only one person away from the most important people in the world. Click To Tweet A company that thinks like a small company remains small. A company that thinks and acts like a big company is going to grow faster, smarter, and better. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Ultimate Sales Machine” has been lauded by many as one of the ultimate sales books ever. And the only reason it didn’t make the cut in our top sales booklist, is a pretty trivial one: it was a top 15, not a top 20 list,

And if we longlisted it among the best sales books in history, we don’t need to tell you that we think that “The Ultimate Sales Machine” is a book you should definitely read in detail and apply it as completely.

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Great by Choice Summary

Great by Choice Summary

MicroSummary: “Great by Choice” is another master-product of Jim Collins’ in-depth decade-long market researches, this time written in collaboration with another influential management analyst, Morten T. Hansen. The question this time around: why do some companies take a nosedive, while others thrive in a state of crisis and chaos? The answer: they are disciplined and prepared.

Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck – Why Some Thrive Despite Them All

Have you ever wondered how is it that while some big companies are left to scrape the bottom of the barrel after a financial crisis, others emerge practically unscathed of disasters of apocalyptic proportions?

Well, so did James C. Collins and Morten T. Hansen. And they conducted a decade-long research, the conclusions of which they shared in “Great by Choice.”

And after reading the book, we share our conclusions with you.

Who Should Read “Great by Choice”? And Why?

As is the case with most of Jim Collins’ books, “Great by Choice” is a recipe for long-term business success.

Something chief executives, company owners, and business researchers are certainly much more interested than in the pervading get-rich-quick schemes self-help authors like to maniacally write about.

In its final chapter, the book includes possibly the first in-depth quantifying analysis of the role of luck in business success. And many will find that part especially interesting.

About Jim Collins & Morten T. Hansen

Jim CollinsJames C. “Jim” Collins III is one of America’s most famous business consultants and leadership teachers. His 25-year long research into topics such as company growth and sustainability, have resulted in six widely read classics. We have already summarized two of them at “Built to Last” and “Good to Great.”

See more at

Morten T. HansenMorten T. Hansen is a management professor at University of California, Berkeley, with a Ph.D. from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. He was ranked by Thinkers50 among the 50 most influential management analysts in the world. He has authored two more books: “Great at Work” and “Collaboration.”

Learn more at

“Great by Choice Summary”

In “Good to Great” – deservedly featured in our top 15 leadership books in history list – business consultant guru Jim Collins tried to answer one of the most difficult questions in the business world.

Namely, why some companies make the leap from being good to being great, while others, no matter how similar to them, fall in the pit of mediocrity.

A decade later, Collins teams up with his colleague Morten T. Hansen in “Great by Choice,” to answer a new, as important, related question: why some companies thrive in chaos, while others completely lose it?

And, once again, he reaches some interesting, almost counter-intuitive, conclusions, via an exemplary decade-long fieldwork.

What the book ultimately boils down to?

That great companies are no luckier than good companies; and, that they succeed because, even in the case of chaos and uncertainty, they go on working as if everything is as orderly as ever. In other words, antifragility is a trait you acquire through a process which combines discipline and preparedness; not something you have in your DNA from the start, or something you get by luck and sheer courage.

And Hansen and Collins have just the right story to illustrate their point.

In 1911, two expeditions moved on a dangerous trip to Antarctica, in an attempt to become the first people to ever reach the South Pole. One of them was led by a Norwegian, Roald Amundsen, and the other by a British Royal Navy officer, Robert Falcon Scott.

Now, you would expect that the latter one was the one which historians remember, but – guess again: it was Amundsen’s expedition which won the race to immortality.


One word: preparation.

You see, Roald Amundsen knew where he was going and spend as much time as he could researching Eskimo habits and trying all potential food sources. Scott wanted to reach the Pole faster, so he carried a lot less weight and used the untested-for-that-terrain motor sledges. Both would prove fatal: not one member of Scott’s team ever made it home.

Well, write Collins and Hansen, the business world of today, with all its tumultuousness and unpredictability, it’s not much different than this polar race. Neither Amundsen nor Scott knew what they will face on Antarctica, but the former one did better in guessing and preparing for it.

All of the “10X companies” – companies which beat their industry indexes y at least 10 times in as many years – Collins and Hansen analyzed did just that to overcome difficult situations.

They prepared.


First of all, they were disciplined. They didn’t rush anywhere. They preferred consistency over rapid rise. By setting themselves targets and hitting them precisely year by year, they became immune to external influences.

Secondly, they were bold, only when boldness mattered. In other words, their leaders weren’t interested in taking risks, and, thus, weren’t required to be any more visionary than those of merely good companies. (Hey, remember Collins’ other classic, “Built to Last”? Let us refresh your memory.)

Finally, just like Amundsen, they were “productively paranoid.” The polar explorer tried dolphin’s meat so as to prepare for the worst-case scenario. The 10X companies constantly do this, so, when something bad happens, they already have a good strategy.

True, if nothing of the sort ever happens, it may be money down the drain. But, then again, 10X leaders don’t think that way: they don’t strive to outdo their objectives. They are perfectly content with meeting them.

Talking about discipline!

Key Lessons from “Great by Choice”

1.      10xers Walk the 20 Mile March
2.      “Fire Bullets, Then Cannonballs”
3.      Be SMaC and Productively Paranoid

10xers Walk the 20 Mile March

Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen base their findings on their in-depth decade-long research of companies which thrive in uncertain environments. And the conclusion?

The 10xers (the companies which beat their industries tenfold) simply walk the 20-mile march. Or, in other words, they are there for the long haul.

Fire Bullets, Then Cannonballs

Contrary to popular belief and intuition, the 10xers are neither more innovative, nor bolder than competitive companies. But, they are way more attentive. Or, to use Collins and Hansen’s terms: they use bullets, until they are completely sure of their target.

And, then, they fire the cannonballs.

Be SMaC and Productively Paranoid

SMaC stands for “specific, methodological and consistent” and it’s how discipline is implemented within a company. But, it’s only one aspect of what will get you through the hard times. The other one is being productively paranoid.

It means exactly what you think it means: prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

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“Great by Choice” Quotes

Innovation without discipline leads to disaster. Click To Tweet When you marry operating excellence with innovation, you multiply the value of your creativity. Click To Tweet Greatness is first and foremost a matter of conscious choice and discipline. Click To Tweet The idea that leading in a ‘fast world’ always requires ‘fast decisions’ and ‘fast action’ is a good way to get killed. 10X leaders figure out when to go fast, and when not to. Click To Tweet As the influential management thinker Peter Drucker taught, the best – perhaps even the only – way to predict the future is to create it. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

As we’ve already grown accustomed with Jim Collins’ books, “Great by Choice” is the lovechild of an exhaustive, thorough business research he, Morten T. Hansen, and a team of twenty researches did over a period of nine years.

That alone is a good recommendation in itself. It isn’t the only one: the findings of this research should be helpful to anyone with a dream of building a great company. And they are so original and related in such a straightforward and readable manner, that few would ever want to skip a page.

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Anything You Want Summary

Anything You Want Summary40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur

Now is the time to say – Stop, we’ve invented everything, or did we?

You cannot stop the progress because it’s counter-effective.

This summary provides a run-through of entrepreneurial findings, which will expand your horizons.

Who Should Read “Anything You Want”? And Why?

From the moment we as humans started exploring the world, our journey of innovation begun. Since then, the people have always been eager to learn new stuff and develop tools that will ease their daily tasks.

Anything You Want” is a book that puts the spotlight on customer satisfaction and the passion for enforcing simplicity. We believe it’s suited for everyone because nobody can escape the circle of entrepreneurship.

About Derek Sivers

Derek SiversDerek Sivers unusually wanted to become a musician who would sell his music online. This idea, later developed into an extraordinary business – CD Baby.

This company turned into the biggest seller of music online and was sold in 2008 for astonishing 22 million dollars.

“Anything You Want Summary”

Staying true to what you believe in is a lot harder than it sounds. There’s nothing more valuable than the ability to adapt to every environment; in other words be flexible!

If you plan on attracting potential investors for your business – conducting an extensive analysis before making a business plan is vital. The art of investing is the ability to make trade-offs between cost and benefits and your business plan should contain both.

Have you tried to go on your own?

Your answer doesn’t twist the fact that the attempt to sort and balance all matters related to your business, is proving to be a nightmare for inexperienced entrepreneurs and innovators. As far as your start-up is concerned, an early struggle is unavoidable and an integral part of future success.

Maybe you feel like the world is crushing on your shoulders, but give it a moment, all will change in a flash!

Derek offers a proven solution and advice that can turn your average business into a top-notch brand.

There’s an old saying: The chances of success increase parallel with your persistence to push forward and try new things. The same logic is applied when trying to put your business plan into action.

The ideas you’ve gathered are not the final draft. Once you design a model, all other assets will rise to the surface showing whether the idea fits your goals. However, a lot of people complain that their vision is still floating, and their perfect moment is yet to come.

How to speed up this process?

From the moment you started questioning your ideas, you’ve initiated this procedure. Before a plan is set in motion, you must outline all potential obstacles that might hinder your progress. With this settled, you can make a stand against any possible threat and promote your idea.

The final barrier is actually the users or customers on the receiving end. If the idea draws negative publicity, or if you’re not getting positive feedback, you should think about leaving the battlefield and choose another battle.

After all, who wants to spend countless of hours trying to fulfill a simple need?! In the hope that your business plan is comprehensive and easy to absorb, all that’s left is designing a mind-blowing presentation that will further stimulate acceptance.

Many businesses have failed due to the wishes of a single client. For example, if you manufacture products or deliver services specially designed to serve the needs of a single customer, with the hopes that you’ll receive financing as a result of your dedication – prepare yourself for a short and bumpy ride.

With such strategy, every decision you make about your company or start-up is going to be risky. To hard to handle businesses are destined to experience a total collapse.

When planning to embark on a new adventure, most people are not too concerned with the idea, as much as they prefer to talk about the actual budget. The emphasis falls on the finance, and who is about to invest in the “vision.”

Even if you don’t possess enough capital, potential investors may finance your idea if you explain how your products will solve the problems of a particular group.

Just take care of the other factors, and leave the financial part to take care of itself by providing a quality solution. So, if you are low-spirited about your current situation, thinking about cash will not help. Instead, help others to get the hang of your vision, which is crucial for the business growth.

Money is, in fact, the last resource you’ll need. Being available to your target audience ought to be your number one priority and your primary focus.

Now, that you have the time to absorb this, you can begin the implementation phase, and test your business plan in practice. Profitable businesses quickly realize the necessity for a shift in focus, from profit-based to customer-based.

Key Lessons from “Anything You Want

1.      Derek’s notion of prosperity
2.      Money is not essential
3.      Give it all you got

Derek’s notion of prosperity

We are all familiar with the quote” The customer is always right,” but some argue otherwise.

Derek Sivers endorses this saying, and even expands on it, by suggesting that satisfying even the pickiest customer is the only route to loyalty.

Money is not essential

Today’s biggest brands all started with limited funds such as Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook.

As you can see, lacking the capital to launch your idea can even turn out to be an advantage.

Give it all you got

In reality, complex schemes are prone to failure, so you want to keep it simple and clean. Generally speaking, your business should satisfy the user needs, in a limited time.

If you can convert your business plan into something valuable, then you’ll no longer be on the verge of financial collapse.

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“Anything You Want” Quotes

Most people don't know why they're doing what they're doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own. Click To Tweet Our lives drifts along with normal things happening. Some ups, some downs, but nothing to go down in history about. Nothing so fantastic or terrible that it'll be told for a thousand years. Click To Tweet The first follower is actually an underestimated form of leadership in itself. … The first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader. Click To Tweet Don't be on your deathbed someday, having squandered your one chance at life, full of regret because you pursued little distractions instead of big dreams. Click To Tweet If you think your life's purpose needs to hit you like a lightning bolt, you'll overlook the little day-to-day things that fascinate you. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

The line between a dream and reality is blurry.

All it takes is one creative idea to get you started.  

If you dream big, you’ll end up in the same way. Put your intentions on a piece of paper and start planning.

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Where Does It Hurt Summary

Where Does It Hurt SummaryAn Entrepreneur’s Guide to Fixing Health Care

Sick of going on those dreary hospital visits?

Not much you can do about the first part of that sentence! As long as you’re alive, you’ll have to visit your doctor from time to time.

But, there’s many things you can do about the dreariness of hospitals! Especially, if you’re an entrepreneur, current or would-be.

Where Does It Hurt?” is a book for you. And this summary is just the preview you need.

Who Should Read “Where Does It Hurt”? And Why?

“Where Does It Hurt?” targets at least three different groups of people.

In the first place, those who are in any way interested in the United States’ healthcare system. Secondly, those who are interested in business opportunities and practical business advice for the future.

Finally and especially, those who are both: entrepreneurs willing to disrupt and improve America’s healthcare system by launching medical start-ups in the recent future.

About Jonathan Bush and Stephen Baker

Jonathan BushJonathan S. Bush is an American entrepreneur, most famous as the cofounder and CEO of, a publicly traded company which provides digital apps and services for hospitals throughout the United States.

Stephen BakerStephen L. Baker is an American journalist and author. He has written articles for “The New York Times,” and “The Wall Street Journal,” in addition to few non-fiction books. He has also authored a novel, the techno-thriller, “The Boost.”

“Where Does It Hurt Summary”

Time for a quick Jeopardy round:

This country’s GDP accounts for a quarter of the world’s nominal GDP, and yet its healthcare system was ranked by WHO as worse than the ones of Cyprus and Costa Rica?

The correct question is:

What, in earth’s name, is wrong with USA’s healthcare?

Jonathan Bush says: quite about everything.

First of all, no matter how sick you are, it’s hard to even reach the hospital. Parking is so bad that sometimes you need to park very far from the premises. Then, you’ll be lucky if your medical record is found promptly – or, even found at all. And even if this goes well, you’ll still need to wait quite few hours before you reach your doctor.

No, we won’t even mention the bills! An interesting stat says much more: even though America’s healthcare system is ranked as the 37th best in the world, the expenditure per capita is the world’s highest!

In other words: if you live in the United States, you pay more and get less than most of the developed countries in the world.

Bush’s question: but, how has this not resulted in a competitive field?

It’s not like we don’t have precedents.

For example, when the LASIK eye correction surgery first arrived in the beginning of the 1990s, the operation wasn’t covered by insurance. So, people had to pay. And providers had to make the service as best as possible and as cheap as feasible.

Three decades later, this has resulted in a 95 percent satisfaction rate. Or, to put this in a more memorable way: in a world of competitors, the customer is the one who wins the most.

Consequently, hospitals will be better off if run like businesses. Bush himself should know this best, since his company, athenahealth, is a pioneer in the field. By offering patients information giant hospitals don’t, it has attracted a host of customers.

The same holds true for Cerberus Capital, which bought six Catholic community hospitals in 2010 and turned them into for-profit clinics. They now have 11 – so their model probably works! Very well, in fact.

And why shouldn’t it?

Say, you want to get a CT scan. You go to a hospital and they tell you there that it costs $500. A private-owned company with new equipment offers CT scans for five times less. Wouldn’t you opt for the second choice?

That’s right:

Competition results in alternatives, and alternatives mean lower prices and better service. In time, a more structured service as well.

In fact, Bush says that this is also a serious problem in the American healthcare system. It’s not structured properly, so many people visit specialists when they can be treated at a much lower level.

Primary healthcare is virtually non-existent in the United States, and, as Rushika Fernandopulle has found out, it solves many problems and saves everybody a lot of money.

How, you wonder?

Well, Fernandopulle worked with Boeing and realized that the company spent fortune on hospital bills for its employees, for health issues they were able to treat by themselves. Coaching them some proper preventive measures resulted not only in better health for the Boeing’s staff members, but also in drastically reduced costs for the company!

Primary healthcare is a good way for entrepreneurs to disrupt the market, but a health-oriented digital start-up is an even better one!

Case in point: Beyond Lucid and are two such startups which have already shown great results. They considerably improve a patient’s experience by letting him or her sign up for appointments online and sending relevant data and records straight to doctors before the patient’s arrival.

Technology is great at doing these things. Interestingly enough, hospitals still don’t have it.

Entrepreneurs of America, unite: there’s your chance to make some change!

Key Lessons from “Where Does It Hurt”

1.      USA’s Healthcare System Is Out of Sorts
2.      Competition May Make America Healthier
3.      You Can Be Healthier If You Visit Your Primary Doctor

USA’s Healthcare System Is Out of Sorts

Something’s rotten in the state of… America. The people are sick, but much more than of some illness – they are sick of its hospitals! Because, USA’s healthcare system has been under the weather for decades now.

Parking is impossible, medical records unattainable, bills unpayable.  And it’s not because of the lack of money. There is plenty of money, in fact! It’s the competition that’s lacking.

Competition May Make America Healthier

It’s the basic logic of the market: when there are competitors and alternatives, the service gets better and cheaper and the customer always leaves satisfied.

The healthcare market should be disrupted by private entrepreneurs. In fact, says Bush. this is the only thing which will make it better. If hospitals are run like businesses, it’s not only the current patients which will benefit.

Competition will also result in the advancement of proper technology. So, basically, the sooner the healthcare system becomes a competitive field, the earlier we’ll find a cure for cancer.

You Can Be Healthier If You Visit Your Primary Doctor

It may sound a bit paradoxical, but if you want to be healthy, you’ve got to get something out of your head: don’t go to the hospital as often! Visit your primary doctor instead. Because your primary doctor will send you to the right kind of specialist when – and if – such a problem arises.

In every other case – he will teach you how to solve it. Nice and neat. And probably pain-free.

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“Where Does It Hurt” Quotes

The fabulous market opportunity is not in replacing bad with better. The trick instead is to provide something the customers simply don’t have. Click To Tweet With the expansion of health data, insurance carriers will increasingly be in a position to offer customized rates. Click To Tweet is this freedom to make choices that will lead to a real health care market, one with many providers, many customers, and many options. Click To Tweet The industries we care about least innovate at the highest speeds, while those we hold dearest to our heart innovate hardly at all. Education, for example, is perhaps our most precious industry. Click To Tweet Consumers participate in a kind of informal laboratory. This could be one of the pathways leading toward personalized medicine. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

You’ll probably won’t love “Where Does It Hurt?” It’s not that well-researched, makes some unfounded comparisons (choosing healthcare providers should work the same as choosing washing machines?), and doesn’t’ really add an argument to the table.

However, just like in the case of “True Enough,” your answer will depend on whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat. And you’ll either like it or hate it. We, personally, found inside it both inspirational and falsely premised ideas.

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Trendology Summary

Trendology Summary

Building an Advantage through Data-Driven Real-Time Marketing

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: everything is marketing nowadays!

Whether it’s permission marketing, Facebook marketing, blog marketing, micromarketing, or marketing 3.0 – it seems like it’s the ultimate profession nowadays!

It’s the age of “how” – and not “what”! The product you’re actually selling is less important than how you sell it! And many books we’ve written about before can testify to this simple fact.

Trendology” focuses on Twitter marketing – and joins the group. With few practical pieces of advice, you should heed.

Let’s summarize them!

Who Should Read “Trendology”? And Why?

It doesn’t matter whether you have already made a name for yourself and want to take it to the next level or you are just about to start building a brand. It doesn’t matter even if you’re the head of the marketing department or merely a staff member interested in advertising.

Either way, “Trendology” is just the book for you. All you need to have is an open mind for new technologies and concepts such as social media marketing (especially, Twitter). You don’t even need to know that much about them.

About Chris Kerns

Chris KernsChris Kerns is a prominent digital marketing researcher, who has written many articles for “The New York Times,” “The Wall Street Journal,” “Forbes,” and “USA Today.” He worked as the VP of Research & Insights at Spredfast, and, since recently, at Domo.

He is also the author of few well-received fiction books.

Trendology Summary

People in the advertising business – they’re really good at inventing new words and catchphrases! And they stick!

For example, what’s the name Disney uses to describe the science of studying their guests? That’s right: guestology! How would you ever forget that?

And here’s another word of a similar kind: trendology. That’s how Chris Kerns calls the science of analyzing trends. See: he’s already a great practitioner of it!

We’re summarizing here a book of his, but his main focus is, in fact, modern media.


Because he believes that the advent of social media changed the world of marketing once and for all. Most importantly, it put an end to one-way messaging. Billboards, jingles, TV commercials – they did their time! Nowadays – marketing is all about real-time.

You see, social media allows for something traditional advertising couldn’t dream about: two-way discussions between sellers and customers as things are happening.

And you should use – and use it wisely!

A good example would be posting a tweet like “Nice pick! Packers fans, pick your favorite pizza now for only $10. #interception” after someone posts a tweet such as “OMG damn straight #goPackers #interception.” It’s clever, it’s funny, it’s cheap, it’s real-time – and it will work!

A bad one would be posting a tweet like “come and get your chicken today #getnuggetrocks” after someone posts a tweet like “I like reading these book summaries! #getnuggetrocks: It’s neither clever nor funny. It’s not relevant. And it’s barely real-time. It won’t work!

How do we know?

Because, unlike traditional advertising, real-time marketing (RTM) provides you with measurable data you can analyze and use to improve.

Whether it’s Twitter, YouTube or Facebook, and whether we’re talking about followers and retweets, or subscribers and likes, you should know exactly if your marketing strategy is working!

Social media success is measured as a combination of three factors – audience, engagement, shares. This means you must take them all into consideration if you want better results.

For example, if 100 of your 1,000 followers favorite your tweet – you’re doing more than fine! If, however, 100 of your 2 million followers do the same, then you need to do some refinement.

And, since Kerns mostly talks about Twitter, you can use one of three ways to improve your result. Namely, you can create original content and broadcast a new message to the Twitter community; or echo someone else’s message by retweeting it; or, finally, reply to a message and address your customer’s concerns in real-time.

Since things are happening really fast out there, you need to be fast as well if you don’t want to fall behind.

A good strategy to do this is to follow the micro-trends and use the trending topic of the day to boost your sales. Kerns analyzed 93 companies, and almost 70 percent of them benefitted from this practice. Amazon especially.

And if micro-trends work, you can imagine how well large event tweeting does! 58 out of the 100 most valuable world brands have noticed positive bumps and earned more than 350 percent more followers on average than companies who skipped large events and Twitter altogether.

Naturally, most of these valuable brands have whole teams nuancing their social media marketing strategies. So, don’t expect to succeed unless you shell out some cash for a great social media team!

A word of warning: the team doesn’t stand for a guy with a Twitter account!

It stands for a group of talented and knowledgeable people who are witty and hip and creative and responsible. An emphasis on the last one: since Twitter is happening in real-time, their hands must be united at all times and under any circumstance.

You can’t censor them or expect them to ask your approval. It won’t work.

Key Lessons from “Trendology”

1.      Traditional Advertising Is Dead
2.      Long Live Twitter!
3.      Prepare Your RTM Strategy in Five Steps

Traditional Advertising Is Dead

Traditional advertising is a thing of the past. It’s a one-way message (from client to customer), it’s expensive, and it takes too much time in a world which is moving really fast. Time to reorient yourself: catch the RTM bandwagon!

(OK – don’t take us too literally! Of course, “Coca-Cola” will forever go on producing those ubiquitous and catchy Christmas commercials! But, even they have started finishing their commercials with a hashtag.)

Long Live Twitter!

Point taken: hashtags work better than traditional advertising no matter how valuable is your brand!

They communicate both ways, they cost next to nothing, and they produce new followers daily! Moreover, they provide you with measurable data which will help you improve.

Twitter was once imagined as “a status updater,” but it grew very soon to be Internet’s best way to share the news. Recently, it has grown as the world’s most convenient way to market your products!

Prepare Your Real-Time Marketing Strategy in Five Steps

Whether you should develop an RTM strategy should be a no-brainer. “Trendology” facilitates how in a five-step cyclical process: align, discover, prepare, execute & engage, analyze.

Aligning means lining up your RTM actions with the goals of your company. Discovering involves finding out everything that’s important beforehand (say, before a large event). Preparing requires getting ready for many possible scenarios.

Afterwards, you’re ready to execute and engage your program. The analysis afterward will tell you if you did well. And what you should do better next time.

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“Trendology” Quotes

The key to RTM is to have it seem spontaneous, but actually be well orchestrated behind the scenes for optimal customer engagement, risk management, and brand positioning. Click To Tweet For most big events, RTM works. Click To Tweet No matter where you stand on whether a brand should chime in on a political issue, it’s happening. Click To Tweet Without data, RTM can be chaos. Click To Tweet The pace of conversation has amplified, and pumping out the same pre-canned messaging doesn’t always resonate with the modern consumer. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Trendology” is both well-written and well-researched book about real-time marketing. Moreover, it’s one of the very few books which offer practical advice on how you should use Twitter to your benefit. It’s lauded and loved for a reason. Not to mention that it can bring you a lot of money.

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