March 1, 2002

Rules for Revolutionaries

"Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave": the inventor of product evangelism examines how entrepreneurs and crusaders can inspire followers and avoid the swamps that sap revolutions of their momentum. This breezy, fluffy book -- the very model of a business-category best-seller -- is intriguing and occasionally informative. The central point, however, is Kawasaki himself: dynamic, irreverent, inspiring, and unstoppable.

Kawasaki's The Macintosh Way was a wonderful book, although perhaps tied too deeply in the specifics of his experience at Apple. His later Selling The Dream is really the same book, updated with a broader perspective. Still later, How To Drive Your Competitors Crazy is an upgrade with enhanced focus. This is release 4.0. But there's enough that's new to satisfy those who enjoyed earlier books, and for newcomers this might be the best of the lot.

(The rule for business books is simple: if you leave with one good action item, something you can slam into action and that has a shot at actually improving your business, the price of the book is negligible. If business folk understood this, the book review end of the publishing business would be taken a lot more seriously and, I suspect, would be managed more effectively. And, yes, I left Kawasaki with two todos)