The Representor, Fall 2011 – Business Book Review
A book review and recommendation by Dan Beaulieu
Dan Beaulieu is the president and founder of D.B. Management L.L.C., a consulting firm specializing in all aspects of sales, marketing and branding with a focus on rep-principal relationships. His latest book is The PCB 101 Handbook which can be purchased on-line by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Dan is also the author of “It’s Only Common Sense,” a weekly sales column appearing at www.pcb007.com. Dan can be reached at 207-649-0879.
Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It
by Adrian Slywotzky with Karl Weber
Copyright 2011 by Crown Business
Price: $13.99 – Kindle Edition
This is one of those books where you find something of value on every single page. Using examples of some great companies delivering great products, such as Apple, ZipCars and Netflix, to name just a few, the authors demonstrate how these companies got started and how the people who started these companies saw a need and filled it.
Netflix founder Reed Hastings started his very successful company after he found a Blockbuster video tape in his house that should have been returned 40 days previously! He then started thinking about the inconvenience of having to return tapes, saw the hassle in the entire tape renting process and decided to do something about it.
The authors show how there are basically six steps to making a product that people will demand, even if they don’t know today that they eventually will want it. Here are those steps.
1. Creating a magnetic product – something that everyone is going to want.
2. Fixing the hassle, i.e., figuring out what problems there are with using the current product or service and just eliminating them.
3. Building a complete back story, i.e., thinking out and describing the entire product or service to its completeness. For example, the iPod would not have been successful without iTunes, and the Kindle would not have been successful without the millions of titles available through Amazon.
4. Finding the triggers, i.e., identifying the things that are going to get people to move from admiring to actually buying. Find those and you are in business.
5. Building a steep trajectory, i.e., moving fast means fast growth. Come up with ways to grow fast.
6. “De-averaging” and customizing special solutions for special products for special customer needs.
This small volume presents a quick read, is lots of fun and offers plenty of great advice. If you’re wondering what book to read to get your company going today, this is the one.