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Strategy and Entrepreneurship


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Books and Me: Demand

Book Name: Demand

Author: Adrian J. Slywotzky with Karl Weber 

This book comes from an author with phenomenal reputation for deep thinking.  The subject in focus is unusually narrow at the first glance.  Hence I was quite surprised to find a book with just this word in the title. This despite the fact, that the word ‘Demand’ is so commonly used in business, economics and beyond.   However post reading, I have to agree with what Prof. Rosabeth Moss Kanter had to say about the book – “Demand is the book you didn’t know you needed until you read it,  love it and find that you can’t success without it.“

It is not uncommon these days to find numerous books written around interesting, provocative and attractive titles. Demand by its title definitely adheres to the above characteristics. It is very difficult for a serious entrepreneur and thinker to pick this book up and not buy it. But unlike many other books with interesting titles that remain superficial, Demand provides the reader with numerous triggers on how to create demand for your product or services.

One of the definitive highlights about the book is its richness of well told stories on demand creation. Every demand creation story provided in the book itself gives an array of thoughts worthy of application. The author apart from categorizing these stories that enable us to see the patterns also provides additional perspectives which can truly help us build our business better.

The book dispels one of the fundamentally accepted beliefs that great products will automatically bring customers. Without reducing the importance of design thinking in product and business models, the author deftly brings out the subtle aspects of demand triggers and how shrewd businessmen have carefully observed and tapped them for creating not just successful businesses, but entire industries. The book also speaks on the importance of fundamental scientific research, the importance of looking at discovery without short term pressures.  This in particular may be of importance to policy makers and entrepreneurship ecosystem participants.

Because the book is not prescriptive in nature and does not have an overall framework that can be easily visualized it is not the kind of business book that you would complete in one sitting. This does not reduce the quality of the content and definitely does not speak about the method of presentation. It is only an indication that the book has to be read closely and over multiple sitting, to facilitate opening up of any entrepreneur’s thought flow.

Irrespective of the size of your business, this book has lessons to take away.

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