Tag Archives: book review

Crush It! – Review of Gary Vaynerchuck’s Social Media Book

If you are involved in social media then no doubt you will have heard of the book Crush It!, by Gary Vaynerchuck.

Gary Vaynerchuck is the guy behind WineLibrary.tv, the excellent video blog that has taken the Wine world by Storm.

Gary has a unique and passionate approach to his work and this is very clear from the reviews he offers via his site. He has built WineLibrary.tv to what it is today mainly by leveraging social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

This book is very up to date and covers cashing in on your passion by utilizing social media web services such as Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and Twitter.

Just looking at the back page of the book shows comments from people such as Tony Robbins, Kevin Rose and Tim Ferris. Hey, if these guys are reading this then shouldn’t you?

Take a quick look at the video below to get a taste of what Gary is about.

It is quite fitting that I first heard about this book via Twitter. Somebody who I follow had sent out a tweet regarding the fact that he had just ordered this book, and this was around 6 months before the launch date.

The book is about social media marketing and it has been excellently marketing via social media.

I used Twitter search to research the book further, having never heard of Gary or WineLibrary.tv and then proceeded straight over to Amazon and placed a pre-order for the book. This was some six months before the estimate release date for the book.

I got my book as soon as it was released and luckily, the coincided with a trip to the Lake District so I could make time to read it and see if the book lived up with the hype.

It is always hard to read a book that has had so much hype as you expect so much from it. Some of the best books I have ever read have been unknown books with catchy or absurd titles that have somehow called to me to read them.

The book consists of 142 pages in 13 chapters. It starts with a great opening chapter that covers who Gary is and where he started. The first chapter is titled “Passion is Everything” and it is easy to feel the passion that Gary has from simply reading this opening chapter.

The book then goes into explaining the model that Gary used in order to launch and make WineLibrary.tv into the successful site that it is today. His passion combined with an excellent work ethic and determination has shaped Gary’s future. He learned to leverage the tools at his disposal such as video blogging and Twitter to reach out to a very wide audience.

Gary reports some paltry results from traditional advertising such as billboards and then some amazing results from simply tweeting about discount codes and offers via Twitter. Traditional advertising is costly and hard to measure the return on investment where social media is generally free and the results are electronic so can be tracked with a good analytics program and a nugget of knowledge.

In summary, this is a very up to date book that provides motivation and instruction on how to utilize social media as a marketing tool to launch an online business. It is quite a short book at 142 pages and one that I managed to finish in just two sessions. It did spark a few thinking points for myself, which is my usual marking scheme when reviewing a book although I would have like to have seen more detail and some areas and also more case studies referenced but I guess Gary is building this from his own experience.

This is a good book and bang up to date covering aspects of Facebook and Twitter that are hot topics right now. It is great to see how you can leverage these social media technologies for the benefit of your business and Gary is a prime example of this success.

Good luck with buying the Jets!

You can follow Gary here on twitter.

If you are involved in online marketing or interested in social media then this is a must read so go ahead and check it out.

Below is the parody music video Gary did for Crush It. Another great use of social media to promote his book.

Have you read this book and do you have any comments? If so, I would love to hear them.

Seven Decisions for Success Mind Map

Travelers GiftWhilst going through some old posts from this blog, I pulled out a review of a great book that I read, and reviewed pretty much within the first month of launching this blog.

The book was the Travelers Gift, Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success, by Andy Andrews. As the blog has just launched, I think I had around 5 subscribers and I knew all of them!

The book talks about the Seven Decisions for Success. These are based around a story that the author takes you on. This is a motivational and self development book that is based on a fictional story, very similar to the great Og Mandino books.

These seven decisions are based upon stories from inspirational figures from history. The seven decisions are as follows:

  • The Buck Stops Here – Based on Harry Truman
  • I Will Seek Wisdom – Based on King Solomon
  • I am a Person of Action – Based on Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
  • I Have a Decided Heart – Based on Christopher Columbus
  • Today I will Choose to be Happy – Based on Anne Frank
  • I Will Greet This Day With a Forgiving Spirit – Based on Abraham Lincoln
  • I Will Persist Without Exception – Based on The Angel Gabriel

I created a free Mind Map for you all to download and read. The Mind Map contains the overview of each of the Seven Decisions For Success as told in the book.

Click on the thumbnail above to download the Mind Map or Follow this Link.

Be sure to also check out the Original Post Review of this Book.

I am thinking of doing some more Mind Maps like this so please let me know your thoughts and if you all like these or not.

Feel free to pass this post on and please share it, I would love as many people as possible to benefit from the Mind Map.

The Magic of Thinking Big – Book Review

One book that I have read quite recently was The Magic of Thinking Big, by Dr David J. Schwartz.

The book is written by Dr David J. Schwartz who was a professor at Georgia State University before starting a consulting firm that focuses on leadership development.

The front cover of the book drew me in with the blurb of “Set your goals high then exceed them!” Being one for believing in the importance of setting goals I thought the book seemed like a good read and the reviews on Amazon where non too shabby so I decided to invest the time in reading the book.

The book is around 350 pages in length and is split into what I would call mini section chapters. There is no real flow to the book with no clear sections and each section/chapter seems to address a specific issue, for example their are chapters called “How to overcome the fear of other people“, “Think as big as you really are“, and “Get the thinking big view of your job“. The benefit of this type of structure is that you can pick up the book and just read one of the 30 page or so chapters and then put it down. I have also found that I have gone back to a few of the chapters since reading it to re-read and the organisation allows you to do so as a reference manual.

I must admit that I found the book quite old fashioned in its thinking and it seemed to cater more for corporate America, people working for large corporates and happy to do so. Being more of an entrepreneur I found some of the advice against my core values, but we are all different, and I did find the book a positive use of my time. The book does utilise real world examples for every aspect that is covered. This helps the reader relate to the advice given as the author explains situations which he has experienced where somebody has benefited from the advice in the book.

The book is very similar to the famous Think and Grow Rich from Napoleon Hill in the fact that it instills the confidence in the reader that you are what you think, and the mind is the strongest muscle in your body that when trained and utilized correctly can bring with it results.

So, in summary, worth a read but not up their with the best books and I would give it a 3 out of 5.

The Google Story – Book Review

googlestoryI have owned the Google Story book for over a year now. Recently, I picked it up and started to read it and could not put it down.

Everybody knows Google. I have used Google as my search engine of choice since around 2000 and I had an idea of their history, but not in great detail. The book is not an offical Google endorsed book, but a book written with the help and permission of the Google management team and it is aimed to bring the story of how Google has grown from a University idea into one of the leading companies in the world.

The book is approx 300 pages. With most of it being of interest. Some of it I must admit that I scanned through as it covered aspects not of great interest to me. What I did really like where the first few chapters about how Google started. Google was founded by two friends, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, both Ph.D. students at Stanford university. They had an idea to improve the way that search was done on the Internet. They found it strange that it was hard to find official company websites by typing in the name of that company. It appeared that the existing search offerings from companies such as Dogpile and AltaVista returned sites that were related to the official companies.

What I really liked about this book was the attitude of Sergey and Larry in their quest for success. They had such a strong belief in what they were doing and they were committed to the decision that they had made. At the time of Google’s inception, Yahoo were a massive player in the search marketplace. Doors were closed in Brin and Page’s face because the assumed difficulty in taking on such a giant as Yahoo, at their own game. Never once did Sergey or Larry falter. They kept their belief in what they were doing and did not listen to the negative people around them. If they would have done, we probably would not have had the Google that we have today.

It makes me wonder how many other companies with great ideas have been stifled at the growth stage because of lack of funding due to the investors not truly understanding the opportunity. Larry and Sergey raised $25 million without even a solid plan as to how they were going to monetize the search traffic. Maybe the days are gone when you can raise that sort of cash against an idea, and I don’t think those days ever came in the UK where getting money to fund an idea is becoming harder than ever, with investors reticent to offer seed investment to grow these fantastic ideas.

So, good book, motivating, and well done to Sergey and Larry because they deserve the success that they have achieved. It shows that if you have a good ethos and culture, good product, and happy staff, then the profits will eventually come. Well, in the case of Google they certainly did!