At times, Holliday’s intended audience becomes unclear: while those who know him will appreciate the attention to detail in personal stories, the average reader focused on learning about business could find them extraneous. These moments are saved, though, by the nuggets of wisdom and positivity peppered throughout his narrative, such as “I always think that every problem has the potential to be turned around into an opportunity.” Holliday also presents interesting reflections on corporate culture and the ways in which upbringing and status can hinder social mobility in certain countries (“IBM United Kingdom was modelled on the American way of doing business, creating a refreshing and motivating environment that was absent from the staid British organisations I had worked for. Hiring and advancement within the company was based on merit, and not on your accent or what school you had attended”).
Holliday does not take the stance of an untouchable billionaire hyperachiever; he willingly acknowledges his many failures, presenting them as helpful learning tools for readers. He accentuates the merit of “hard-knocks experience and working things out for oneself,” cautioning against procrastination as an enemy of business success. Though his guide drags in some areas, he ably regroups to enlighten his audience with fresh ideas, including the concept of building a business as “part science and part art.” Aspiring entrepreneurs will be inspired by this account of one man’s adventurous career.
Takeaway: Aspiring entrepreneurs will be inspired by this account of one man’s adventures in a variety of occupational roles.
Great for fans of: Eric Ries’s The Lean Startup, Andrew Ross Sorkin’s Too Big to Fail, Ray Dalio.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-