A useful manual aimed at socially conscious entrepreneurs.

THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR

An introspective look at building a startup with long-range vision.

Entrepreneur Abouelnaga’s perspective on startups has the implicit message that if you do what you love as a career, you’ll not only become wealthy, but also “improve the world.” His latest book looks with fresh eyes at how an entrepreneur’s mindset can help or hinder a startup, and it examines the difference between passion, which initiates a goal, and purpose, which, for him, entails a sense of moral obligation. Abouelnaga, a former Forbes columnist, writes in a pleasant, no-nonsense style, taking readers through his comprehensive, easy-to-follow program built around six key, introspective questions. The answers are sure to help readers assess whether their vision is tenable and whether deeper examination,or a course change, is needed before jumping in. Early chapters focus on each question individually: “Why is this important?” “Why is this important to me?” “Why am I the right person to be doing this?” and so on. The author significantly delves into what he calls the overriding element: Does the venture have enough scope and significance to pass a “requiring help test”? In practice, this means that one must determine whether one’s idea will have a broad impact on society. Abouelnaga goes on to helpfully note that his own purpose in forming his organization, Practice Makes Perfect, was to help disadvantaged students. But he realized that in order to meet his big-picture goal—creating a more equitable society—he would need the support of other people. The book builds upon its own ideas, and it’s best read as a whole, but the chapters are so neatly focused and streamlined that each manages to stand well on its own. No matter what way one chooses to digest the information, it will certainly be of value to businesspeople at all levels of experience.

A useful manual aimed at socially conscious entrepreneurs.

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-948080-69-9

Page Count: 178

Publisher: Indigo River Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 7, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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Smart, engaging sportswriting—good reading for organization builders as well as Pats fans.

THE DYNASTY

Action-packed tale of the building of the New England Patriots over the course of seven decades.

Prolific writer Benedict has long blended two interests—sports and business—and the Patriots are emblematic of both. Founded in 1959 as the Boston Patriots, the team built a strategic home field between that city and Providence. When original owner Billy Sullivan sold the flailing team in 1988, it was $126 million in the hole, a condition so dire that “Sullivan had to beg the NFL to release emergency funds so he could pay his players.” Victor Kiam, the razor magnate, bought the long since renamed New England Patriots, but rival Robert Kraft bought first the parking lots and then the stadium—and “it rankled Kiam that he bore all the risk as the owner of the team but virtually all of the revenue that the team generated went to Kraft.” Check and mate. Kraft finally took over the team in 1994. Kraft inherited coach Bill Parcells, who in turn brought in star quarterback Drew Bledsoe, “the Patriots’ most prized player.” However, as the book’s nimbly constructed opening recounts, in 2001, Bledsoe got smeared in a hit “so violent that players along the Patriots sideline compared the sound of the collision to a car crash.” After that, it was backup Tom Brady’s team. Gridiron nerds will debate whether Brady is the greatest QB and Bill Belichick the greatest coach the game has ever known, but certainly they’ve had their share of controversy. The infamous “Deflategate” incident of 2015 takes up plenty of space in the late pages of the narrative, and depending on how you read between the lines, Brady was either an accomplice or an unwitting beneficiary. Still, as the author writes, by that point Brady “had started in 223 straight regular-season games,” an enviable record on a team that itself has racked up impressive stats.

Smart, engaging sportswriting—good reading for organization builders as well as Pats fans.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982134-10-5

Page Count: 592

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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Jobs was an American original, and Isaacson's impeccably researched, vibrant biography—fully endorsed by his subject—does...

STEVE JOBS

An unforgettable tale of a one-of-a-kind visionary.

With a unique ability to meld arts and technology and an uncanny understanding of consumers' desires, Apple founder Steve Jobs (1955–2011) played a major role in transforming not just computer technology, but a variety of industries. When Jobs died earlier this month, the outpouring of emotion from the general public was surprisingly intense. His creations, which he knew we wanted before we did, were more than mere tools; everything from the iPod to the MacBook Pro touched us on a gut level and became an integral part of our lives. This was why those of us who were hip to Steve Jobs the Inventor were so moved when he passed. However, those who had an in-depth knowledge of Steve Jobs the Businessman might not have taken such a nostalgic view of his life. According to acclaimed biographer and Aspen Institute CEO Isaacson (American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, and a Heroes of a Hurricane, 2009, etc.) in this consistently engaging, warts-and-all biography, Jobs was not necessarily the most pleasant boss. We learn about Jobs' predilection for humiliating his co-workers into their best performances; his habit of profanely dismissing an underling's idea, only to claim it as his own later; and his ability to manipulate a situation with an evangelical, fact-mangling technique that friends and foes alike referred to as his "reality distortion field." But we also learn how—through his alternative education, his pilgrimage to India, a heap of acid trips and a fateful meeting with engineering genius Steve Wozniak—Jobs became Jobs and Apple became Apple. Though the narrative could have used a tighter edit in a few places, Isaacson's portrait of this complex, often unlikable genius is, to quote Jobs, insanely great.

Jobs was an American original, and Isaacson's impeccably researched, vibrant biography—fully endorsed by his subject—does his legacy proud.

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4516-4853-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2011

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