Reading list: Personal MBA

Personal MBA: by Josh Kaufman

While taking some time out in Fiji I returned to my backed up reading list. One on the books that I has started but failed to complete before was Josh Kaufman’s The Personal MBA. I spotted this in an airport bookshop on a different trip, then cheekily downloaded it to the kindle app on my iPad for a fraction of the shell price. Sorry traditional retail, but get over it.

When I first picked it up i was struck by how closely the themes of the book mapped to the thinking and approach of the brainmates Product Management methodology. What I have really been enjoying is the very clearly articulated thinking that chucks down many of the terms that we use and disambiguates them very effectively.

For example he has by effectively differentiated between a product and a service. His definition of a product is something (almost anything) that can repeatable deliver value without the direct involvement of person. A service on the other hand does requires a persons direct involvement to deliver value and therefore lacks scalability. I think a this is a very useful distinction. I have often been asked if software is a product or a service. Under this definition it is clearly a product as it does not require a persons time and effort as part of the the delivery process.

There are many other examples of concepts that are very familiar yet are difficult to clearly articulate. Josh has tackled this challenge and has delivered a package of neatly summarized tools to test and support any business idea against.

When I get back to Sydney, I will review my notes and create a checklist of things to consider that will make Brainmates and the training business in particular more effective for 2012.

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