Challenging Everything

Challenging Everything ISBN: 9781946633873 Forbes Books copyright and written by Scott Cullather & Kristina McCoobery.

The book opens with the usual acknowledgements, an interestingly titled “Tick Tick Tick Boom” prologue followed by a Part One: The Story which contains 4 chapters that also have intriguing titles – Why INVNT? Why Live? Challenge Everything, and Secret Sauce: The Tribe. Part Two: The Work follows with 3 somewhat less uniquely named chapters that explain their business and another that also is a uniquely titled epilogue: Fired/Acquired/Fired/ Reacquired. A short Biography of the authors and list of references completes the book.

Discussion: This is an unusual presentation from a number of perspectives. First, it is the story of the structuring of a company based upon an idea arising from the changes appearing with the advent and growth of new technology. It details the building, operation and activities of the organization whose job is to prominently present a company’s or organization’s product by presenting a show, e.g. “The Genesis Mint Concept launch was the first official event in New York’s Hudson Yards.” (They present similar productions worldwide as a highly successful “story telling agency” with branches distributed in several key sections of the world,.) Second, it describes the unusual manner in which this entrepreneurial couple actually were forced to proceed. Third, the innovative additions they have made to advertising, and fourth, the unique manner in which they divested themselves of the company only to re-acquire it two years later.

Three particularly helpful features of the book are 1 – their listing of “From Chaos to Clarity: The 7 Steps of INVNTion™”; 2 – their “Performance Content and the Big Power of Small Data”, which describes their application of a narrative-led innovation-inspired “Performance Content’ that is “a collaborative of creators, strategists, innovators and producers combined for the first time with the latest in predictive analytics.” Specifically, it “uses algorithmic formulas to leverage over 220 million minutes of video that’s been tagged with a variety of relevant meta data points, like ethnicity, gender, place, time, color, celebrity, and non-celebrity.” The results allow them to predict the probable acceptance level of a product from their proposed design. 3 – the “core” of INVNT, described as a “Makers’ Dozen” that provides “a can’t fail toolbox of twelve universal ideas and practices that we believe can be applied successfully to any endeavor, whether that’s harnessing the power of live to build a brand, developing your team’s capabilities, starting your own business, navigating your career inside a large organization, or just effectively inventing your future,”

Summary: Most helpful presentation for the entrepreneurial mind.

5* for ‘niche’ group; great entrepreneurial thoughts for all.


      Consensusland ISBN: 9781483491103 (Lulu Publishing rev. date: 11/16/2018) copyright and written by Mark Helfman.

Subtitled, A Cryptocurrency Utopia, “This book explores the social and cultural side of cryptocurrency. It examines the ways in which the world will change when cryptocurrency becomes a normal way to do business. It probes the pros and cons. It offers point and counterpoint. It looks at how cryptocurrency changes the way people think and act.” The author approaches his task in a fictional story as follows. Successful small American pharmaceutical manufacturer Quentin Taylor is desirous of expanding his business but has little success in obtaining the necessary funds because he ‘is too small’, ‘does not have enough successful patents’ (even though he was listed as one of the top CEO’s holding two highly credible patents). Further he did not have sufficient collateral to float the necessary loans and was completely frustrated. Suddenly he receives a one-time deal offering, complete start-up of new state-of-the-art labs, tech and a headquarters of at least six stories in a downtown location and all other necessities at no cost, if he will move his operations to a small Caribbean island, named Consensusland. The city/state recently had been touted as a growing principality that was rapidly growing and ‘different’. It was established and functioned in a milieu totally controlled by the country’s currency, a strange one collected by many individuals in America and other countries, but seemingly never used but retained as a type of hedge fund. In fact his medical/legal director included some of their currency in her portfolio. He makes the trip to the island with his wife and his medical/legal director. They are wined and dined, the glowing proposition is explained in detail and he is leaning toward acceptance although his director is more hesitant. They are scheduled to meet the island’s governor the following day, but upon returning to their hotel encounter their hotel owner. He suggested an evening trip to the beach where they meet the originator of the country’s presently used currency. This man now is discovered to be involved in still another project, development of a new currency. Accompanied by input from others, whom Quentin had just met during the day, also were in the beach gathering, He is appraised of the existence of wide dissatisfaction that exists with the manner in which the country is managing the cryptocurrency presently in use. They explain that this ‘similar but different’ currency their splinter group have developed and whose use they just are initiating, is as a reaction to, and remedy for, the unpopular functions for which the government now employs the one presently in use. The body of the tale is composed of Quentin’s action, his vacillation and ultimate decision as the pros and cons of the various components are revealed and discussed.

Discussion: The author has set forth a most interesting fictional tale about a factual subject of increasingly close study today. The intensive investigation is increasingly imperative because many, if not all, of present day society will be forced to face it at a rapidly approaching time. The security of Internet constantly is under attack. As repeatedly reported by the media, thousands are losing personal data at a rapid pace. I specifically recall reading about the 2017 ransomware attack that reportedly affected more than 100 different countries and crippled UK’s National Health Service for an extended period of time. Similarly the huge loss of data from Singapore’s government health service and others. As a result, something new is imperative. Blockchain is one most prominently growing in acceptance. Reportedly it is a technology where information is retained in ‘blocks’ that are chained together and retained in such a manner that attempting to hack would require far more time and energy to make the attempt worthwhile because each block would need to be attacked individually. As the author points out, politics and fraud probably still could exist, but it can’t be laundered or ‘go missing’. Apparently, once stored on blockchain however, cryptocurrency is required for their exchange and one of the problems here is that others may be designed to replace the one in use. One of these currencies, from the few hundred now available that seems to have gained a particular degree of prominence is Bitcoin, which is beyond this discussion. Suffice it to say, the author has set forth a fact-filled discussion in a most enjoyably fictional presentation.

5*Captivating fictional presentation of important factual material.

Take Care of Your People

Take Care of your People ISBN: 9781946633675 ForbesBooks copyright and written by Paul Sarvadi.

This book “The Enlightened CEO’s Guide to Business Success” opens with words of praise from other CEO’s followed by a forward, acknowledgements and thirteen chapters. Chapter One ‘sets the stage’ for the ensuing message; the 2nd explains there are ten strategies that will provide arriving at one’s goal; Chapters three through twelve discuss each of the individual strategies. Two, for example, offers techniques for “Finding, hiring and keeping the best”; Three provides specifics for dealing with the always problematical issue of compensation and rewards; Three discusses protecting you and your company in legal matters, especially during periods of almost constantly changing regulations; etc. The last chapter entitled, “Should we continue the conversation?” explains how the “Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Insperity provides the freedom to do what you do best: running and growing a business.” Further: “We serve you tactically as a partner, but like any good partner, you play an active role…. We provide you unparalleled expertise and essential new capabilities so that you can do your job better.” They then list the specifics they include and provide a contact address.

Discussion: This offering is another in the burgeoning number of books being published to aid the huge number of companies struggling to continue to grow and increase their bottom line. Again, it is well-written and certainly provides a number of worthwhile suggestions to aid both the beginner as well no doubt as the numerous mid-sized organizations as they proceed toward their individual goals. The main thrust seems to suggest that they can provide a most worthwhile service by partnering with interested persons.

4* Business self-help with some specific partnering emphasis.



LEAN ON the Five Pillars of Support for Women in Leadership ISBN: 9781642250824 Advantage Media Press copyright and written by Andreas Wilderer.

The book opens with a sizable number of comments by CEO’s and other highly placed individuals praising the author’s presentation. This is followed by the usual copyright and publication material and then an interesting dedication: “This book is dedicated to all the amazing women who follow their dreams and reach for the stars and to everyone who supports them on their journey. And to my wonderful wife, Mirka and our children Dominik and Viktoria, who supported me in writing this book.” There follows an introduction admonishing the necessity to design the ‘pillars of support’ strongly, but then to be sure that the structure is constantly re-examined to access its  condition so that no deterioration that could lead to eventual collapse can occur. It further explains that in order to properly describe this sound foundation of the Five Pillars – Partnership, Family, Workplace, Society and Self – the manner in which they must function together as one unit requires the ensuing chapters (although having some individual attributes) largely to be focused on selective combinations; e.g. workplace and society. The ensuing 9 chapters along with a Conclusion provide the material in exactly this manner. A few of the many fine bits of important information offered are: the overall necessity for each individual contemplating entering this alternative life-style to thoroughly analyze and truthfully examine his/her ability to function comfortably in a society where a long accepted manner of man/woman/work/home/children functions have been ingrained as ‘the norm’ for generations; the necessity of being able to make their children understand why dad is Mr. MOM so they can face children from traditional households, i.e., They must be taught and be able to understand the importance of gaining sensitivity and compassion so as to break free of gender stereotypes and learn they don’t need to fit into anyone else’s mold; the worker must learn not to micromanage a home situation or the reverse; the absolute need to be open-minded and fair in all situations; apply many if not all of the features of running a business to managing a successful home relationship; and many more.

Discussion: The author has provided a fascinating and most important discussion of a subject that appears to be most appropriate and greatly needed because of the thrust of many new directions that have arisen in today’s society. The reversal of mother/father relationships is only one of the new directions. Modern society and more importantly its children, also are facing and attempting to cope with the growth of single parentage, same sex parents, divorced parents, dual sets of parents and more. Millennials have made initial efforts to change the structure of society and we only can stand by to see if these frequently brilliant entrepreneurial minds can, and are willing to, think beyond their seemingly self-centered interests to solve the problems arising from the conflicts facing children when faced with unfortunately often cruel words and actions of the still existent majority of children from traditional families.

5* Much needed initial discussion. Highly recommended.








Keeping Score with GRIT

     Keeping Score with Grit ISBN: 9781946633538 ForbesBooks copyright and written by Shawn Burcham.

     This book contains a Forward, Introduction, eleven chapters, a Conclusion, a Bonus Chapter – GRIT  Business Coaching – Acknowledgements, About the Author, and Our Services. In the Introduction, the author provides a statement attributed to Stephen Wright of an answer to the time-worn question “If you were shipwrecked and could have one book, what would it be?” The answer: “I always say, How to Build a Boat.” The quote alerts the reader to expect the following material to reflect thoughts from a mind seriously and rather uniquely directed toward forward thinking and solving problems. There follows an explanation of how the material to follow arose from his late introduction to one book that changed his entire attitude. It discussed all of the challenges he faced in his entrepreneurial endeavors. From this point forward he read extensively, went to work solving his problems and decided ultimately to share what he had discovered “to help ANYONE become more successful in business and financial literacy, and to teach people how to mentally change in order to consistently improve as a person.”

     Discussion: The author opens in a most interestingly conversational manner explaining his experience as a newly rated pilot flying home when a door blows open forcing him to land the crippled aircraft by making the right decisions at the proper times. NTSB, the governing body investigating all plane crashes, report the majority of plane crashes result from pilot error. Instinctively he suddenly realized that business failures also invariably resulted from CEO/Management (Pilot) error. As founder/CEO of the highly successful PTSbrands he must make decisions that affect “more than 130 different families and the loved ones of the employee-owners who work alongside of me,” the decisions affect 1500+ locations promoting their brands from Washington to Florida with a $60 million plus revenue and with a current trajectory toward 5,000 nationwide locations. His narrative continues in an easy-to-read, plain-spoken manner to provide a blue print written “to inspire other entrepreneurs”, “encourage other business owners and leaders to communicate more openly with their employees so that they can be more engaged at work”, “help people to better themselves”, “help leaders to become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses to enable them to become better leaders”.

     Conclusion: One of the easiest to read books for entrepreneurs this reviewer has read. Highly recommended,

5* Easy to read. Highly recommended.

Journey From Poor Procrastinator

The Journey from Poor Procrastinator to Invested Millennial self-published, copyright and written by Jeremy Kho.

The book’s Preface describes the author’s journey from his birth in the 1980’s in a Southeast Asian country where his family earned “barely a middle income”, through his childhood with the area’s financial crisis where his parents showed him the importance of education. The “Asian financial turmoil in 1997, the Internet Bubble in 2000, and the financial crisis between 2008 and 2011” all took their effect, “but as a Y-Generation, he never experienced a real crisis. However, “In the year 2010-2011, as a newbie in the business world, everything seemed fine …” His personal financial crisis was beneath the surface, however. He made mistakes that stemmed from “greed, speculation and some kind of procrastination” and this book is an effort to provide others with the knowledge he acquired from these experiences. An introduction, eighteen chapters, “Additional Resources for You”, a Conclusion and Disclaimer follow. The chapters describe the activities that lead to financial procrastination and the many simple methods employed. It follows with the cost these generate; how to equate time with money; the important elements to incorporate within yourself that are necessary to become financially independent; and the necessity to ‘shift gears’ mentally for ultimate attainment of your goals.

Discussion: This book sets forth the elements described in others of the rather rapidly growing number of books now being written about ‘how to handle one’s financial situation’. It is a somewhat more simplistically written book than others I’ve read and, similar to those more recently reviewed, directed more specifically at one particular population. But again, it serves to provide the same basics required to succeed.

4* Should be helpful for targeted population; probably others.