An entrepreneur’s ambitious plan for launching a business in 30 days.
The tantalizing promise of this engaging book—that it’s possible to start a business by spending one hour a day for 30 days—sounds too good to be true. But serial entrepreneur Dontha (365+ Prompts for a Gratitude Journal, 2019, etc.) isn’t joking. Touting “agile entrepreneurship,” a process he borrowed from software developers, Dontha cleverly structures the book with 30 chapters, each highlighting a discrete business-building area or task. Every chapter begins with the story of a different small-scale entrepreneur who employed the agile approach to succeed, providing welcome credibility. This is followed by specific steps required to complete the chapter’s task along with a quick “self-assessment,” essentially quizzing readers on their progress. What’s impressive about this method is that the author does indeed cover virtually every basic element of a business startup; embedded in the 30 days are principles of sales, customer service, human resources, logistics, management, marketing, and accounting and finance. Splitting the tasks into 30 days makes the potentially overwhelming challenge of getting a business up and running seem manageable, and the author has a gift for simplifying complex tasks by dividing them into microtasks, each to be completed within a certain time frame. Yet this is where some readers may take issue with the notion of agile entrepreneurship. Early on, the author describes agile entrepreneurs as believing in “Fast over methodical. Done now over done well.…If you’re agile, you get to revenue as fast as you can.” Sounds great—but sometimes speed works against quality. For example, the “agile approach to business branding” suggests devoting 60 minutes to three subtasks: define brand identity elements (10 minutes), create or outsource a logo (30 minutes), and write a tagline (20 minutes). Another chapter suggests that a business plan can be completed in 60 minutes. These time frames may seem unrealistic—if not frankly unfeasible—for a business that hopes for a quality output. Still, Dontha has found a unique, creative way to get a handle on the business startup process.
Intriguing and pioneering, but business neophytes should proceed with caution.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)