Sunday, September 9, 2018

Review - Lovability by Brian de Haaff

Lovability: How to Build a Business That People Love and Be Happy Doing ItLovability: How to Build a Business That People Love and Be Happy Doing It by Brian de Haaff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
ebook, 272 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Greenleaf Book Group Press

'Genuine, heartfelt devotion and loyalty from customers — yes, love — is what propels a select few companies ahead. Think about the products and companies that you really care about and how they make you feel. You do not merely likethose products, you adore them.

Consider your own emotions and a key insight is revealed: Love is central to business. Nobody talks about it, but it is obvious in hindsight. 

Lovability: How to Build a Business That People Love and Be Happy Doing It 
shares what Silicon Valley-based author and Aha! CEO Brian de Haaff knows from a career of founding successful technology companies and creating award-winning products. He reveals the secret to the phenomenal growth of Aha! and the engine that powers lasting customer devotion — a set of principles that he pioneered and named The Responsive Method. 

Lovability provides valuable lessons and actionable steps for product and company builders everywhere, including:
•   Why you should rethink everything you know about building a business
•   What a product really is
•   The magic of finding what your customers truly desire
•   How to turn business strategy and product roadmaps into customer love
•   Why you should chase company value, not valuation
•   Surveys to measure your company’s lovability

Brian de Haaff has spent the last 20 years focused on business strategy, product management, and bringing disruptive technologies to market. And in preparation for writing this book, he interviewed well-known startup founders, product managers, executives, and CEOs at hundreds of name brand and agile organizations. Their experiences, along with headline-grabbing case studies (both inspiring successes and cautionary tales), will help readers discover how to build something that matters.

Much has been written about how entrepreneurs build innovative products and successful businesses, but the author's message is original and refreshing. He convincingly explains that there is a better path forward — a people-first way grounded in love. In a business world that has increasingly emphasized hype over substance and get-big-at-any-cost thinking over profitable and sustainable growth, it's time for a new recipe for company success.

​Insightful, thought-provoking, and sometimes controversial, Lovability is the book that you turn to when you know there has to be a better way.'

My Thoughts:
I run my own small business and have done so for the past 8 years so I was very interested to see what this book was about and whether I could pick up any actionable tips on how to better engage with and serve my clients.

Lovability did have some interesting and thought provoking ideas, especially the concept of bringing the emotion of 'love' into the performance metrics of a business. It's not something that you would normally associate with running a business but I can certainly see the benefits of keeping it in mind when engaging with customers and catering to their needs and wants.

Unfortunately this book was very repetitive in some places and I think it could almost have been cut down by almost a third if a lot of the repetition was taken out. Some sections also felt very generic and were points that could be found in practically every other business book out there.

Also, some parts could have been explained in a lot more detail to really show the point being made and to assist the reader with implementation in their own business.

Overall though, this book does give a good basic framework to follow around offering a complete customer experience and in making sure you deliver real value and it may be useful if you're after a new way to measure and view your business other than just from a financial perspective.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Review - The Last Clinic by Gary Gusick

The Last Clinic (Darla Cavannah Mysteries, #1)The Last Clinic by Gary Gusick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
ebook264 pages
Published November 18th 2013 by Alibi
Source: Netgalley

Outside the local women’s health clinic, the Reverend Jimmy Aldridge waving his protest sign is a familiar sight. But that changes early one morning when someone shoots the beloved Reverend Jimmy dead. Sheriff Shelby Mitchell knows the preacher’s murder will shock the good people of Jackson—and the pressure to find the killer is immediate and intense, which is why Shelby calls in detective Darla Cavannah. 
When police detective Darla moved from Philadelphia to Jackson with her husband—hometown football hero Hugh “the Glue” Cavannah—she never imagined the culture shock that awaited. Then after Hugh dies in a car crash, Darla enters a self-imposed exile in her Mississippi home, taking a leave of absence from the sheriff’s department. Now she’s called back to duty—or coerced, more like it, with Shelby slathering on his good-ole-boy charm nice and thick, like on a helping of barbecue.
Reluctantly partnered with a mulish Elvis impersonator, Darla keeps a cool head even as the community demands an arrest. The court of public opinion has already convicted the clinic’s doctor, Stephen Nicoletti, but Darla is just as sure he’s not guilty—even as she fights her growing attraction to him. From the genteel suburbs to a raunchy strip club, Darla follows a trail of dirty money and nasty secrets—until the day of judgment comes, and she faces down an ungodly assassin.

My Thoughts:
I found The Last Clinic a little bit slow to start with and the storyline didn't automatically grab me right from the first page. It definitely became more interesting the further I got through it and I am really glad that I persisted and read it to the end.

This book covers the very controversial topic of abortion and women's rights and does so in a really surprising unbiased manner. It doesn't try to swing the reader's opinion either way and I was very impressed with the way the author kept this level of consistency throughout the whole story.

Darla makes a good, strong female lead character who isn't swayed by the pressures or views of those around her. The rest of the characters were all believable as well in my opinion as was the way the town itself was portrayed.

I would definitely read another book by this author and look forward to seeing if these characters are developed further in another story in the future.
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