A cautionary but ultimately uplifting business book.

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An entrepreneur shares the trials and tribulations of building his softball-related businesses.

Fiume’s debut is broken into four parts, roughly equivalent to the developmental phases of building a business. Part 1 traces the author’s traumatic childhood, which included his parents’ divorce and a period of poverty. The author’s love of baseball sustained him, but his father’s influence pushed him into an unwanted career in medical industry sales. Still, Fiume’s passion was for sports, which led to the development of his first business, the Amateur Ballplayers Association Softball League. In Part 2, he tells of how the league became a regional success and how he decided to go to the next level by starting a franchising company called i9 Sports. In this part of the book, the author clearly reveals some of the most challenging aspects of running a franchise business, and it will be particularly valuable to anyone considering becoming a franchisor or a franchisee. The evolution of the business is recounted in Part 3; Fiume realized the necessity of hiring a president for the company while he struggled with his changing role in the business. The author also writes frankly of his struggles with diet pill addiction and burnout. Part 4 effectively demonstrates the somewhat chaotic ups and downs of his business: “Never solve a problem by creating a new, bigger one,” he warns. Readers also learn of the author’s “persistent feelings of deep discontentment” despite i9’s success. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this final part is Fiume’s account of the wrenching process of selling a company. Throughout this memoir, the author observes his own behavior with a critical eye, exhibiting candor and humility. He’s bravely unafraid to admit his flaws, and his tale sometimes depicts the unsettling effects that his work had on him and his family members.

A cautionary but ultimately uplifting business book.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62634-641-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020


Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011



These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures.

“The sad truth is that the vast majority of managers who conduct business internationally have little understanding about how culture is impacting their work,” writes Meyer, a professor at INSEAD, an international business school. Yet they face a wider array of work styles than ever before in dealing with clients, suppliers and colleagues from around the world. When is it best to speak or stay quiet? What is the role of the leader in the room? When working with foreign business people, failing to take cultural differences into account can lead to frustration, misunderstanding or worse. Based on research and her experiences teaching cross-cultural behaviors to executive students, the author examines a handful of key areas. Among others, they include communicating (Anglo-Saxons are explicit; Asians communicate implicitly, requiring listeners to read between the lines), developing a sense of trust (Brazilians do it over long lunches), and decision-making (Germans rely on consensus, Americans on one decider). In each area, the author provides a “culture map scale” that positions behaviors in more than 20 countries along a continuum, allowing readers to anticipate the preferences of individuals from a particular country: Do they like direct or indirect negative feedback? Are they rigid or flexible regarding deadlines? Do they favor verbal or written commitments? And so on. Meyer discusses managers who have faced perplexing situations, such as knowledgeable team members who fail to speak up in meetings or Indians who offer a puzzling half-shake, half-nod of the head. Cultural differences—not personality quirks—are the motivating factors behind many behavioral styles. Depending on our cultures, we understand the world in a particular way, find certain arguments persuasive or lacking merit, and consider some ways of making decisions or measuring time natural and others quite strange.

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61039-250-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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