Winners take all: the elite charade of changing the world

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by Anand Giridharadas, pps. 263, (pub. A.A. Knopf,2018)

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What I learned from this book

The author lays some eye-opening stats on us in the Prologue. It does as much to shed light on the financial anxiety most Americans are and have been feeling for quite some time – that contribute to much of the division and fear mongering that has become an American staple for others to ‘swoop in on’ and take full advantage of.

Giridharadas references a study that discovered:

“…middle and lower class Americans (born from 1984 on) now have merely a 35% chance of achieving a comparable lifestyle to their parents (down drastically from previous generations).  He goes on to mention that the top tenth of earners income has doubled since 1980, the top 1% has tripled – and, if you’re in the top .001%, you earned 7x.”  (paraphrased from Prologue, pg. 4) 

The author tells us it is time to examine how income disparity numbers like this arose, and to take an honest look at how the crushing impact it has on the majority of us. 

The author also suggests that the general population would be foolish to (think and hope) that it can sit back and allow the super wealthy and super influential to save us all from this situation.  The reasons, as so carefully laid out in this book, are that many of the same individuals (and companies) who orchestrate, participate, fund, and preside on speaker panels are, in fact, the ones responsible for creating many of the global issues they claim to be solving.

This book is a very eye-opening exposé on what the author terms to be “a charade” that the rich and famous carefully play on the rest of us.  It shows repeated demonstrations as to how and why some very important social problems are to be addressed (as outlined by the super-rich), but fail to ever be resolved. The author informs us that this all appears to be more by design than by circumstance.  It is a harrowing thought– but one he insists is real and that we need to examine.

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Microsoft APAC

**NOW: The 24-hour Customer

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by Adrian Ott pub. 2010, 179 pps.

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What I learned from this book

I learned that all that we, as e-commerce entrepreneurs, have even less time than we originally feared to capture enough attention to get from “browser to customer.”  I also learned that very few online marketplaces even have a chance to compete with the “big boys.”  We are fighting for the brief attention a very small pool of potential customers who have an endless ability to dump us and head to a close competitor should we not live up to their expectations.

What I liked about this book

I liked the way the author recapped each chapter to provide a brief overview of what we should have gotten out of the previous lesson.  This enables the reader to go back and revisit any areas that he/ she might not have fully comprehended and/ or areas requiring a deeper dive for customization purposes.

What I disliked about this book

The only thing I disliked about the book was the tiny graph size and font.  Even with my reading glasses, I couldn’t make some of the print out – so I ended up skipping ahead because my magnifying glass was nowhere to be found.  In other words, I missed out on some of the areas I wanted to digest further. I just couldn’t see it!

Whom would I recommend to read this book

This book is a great read for anyone of any age who is (or wants) to obtain a customer base. The real lesson is in e-commerce, but I believe it would be equally helpful to those who have face-to-face customer relationships they are trying to build on.

Any thoughts?

-A.N.

Microsoft APAC

The 24-hour Customer by Adrian Ott

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pub. 2010, ~180 pgs.

Snapshot: A successful Silicon Valley CEO shares strategies to business executives in how to attract and build relationships in this modern age of time-starved and very fickle customers.

 

Microsoft APAC