On Books, Steps, and Numbers

This is not a how-to book.

The Age of the Platform has been out for more than two months now and I’m pleased with reviews so far. When I write books, I never expect to please everyone. To me, it’s neither possible nor desirable. My favorite authors, actors, musicians, and general creative types don’t aim for the lowest common denominator. They challenge others–and, just as important, themselves.

A few people wanted or expected something different from the book: more steps, checklists, or something else altogether. I’ve said before that The Age of the Platform is not a tactical book. Today it seems as if the title or subtitle of every management text contains “the six steps to do this” or the “five keys to understand that.”

Truth in Advertising

Now, there’s nothing wrong with these books–and I’ve read many of them. When I think of my favorite management books, however, they invariably are about big ideas. Think The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More or The Halo Effect. Beyond my own personal preferences, I’m just not that smart. I don’t know the five things your company ought to do to be the next Facebook. And I sincerely doubt that such a list even exists. Could Jeff Bezos build today’s Amazon today?

A major reason for writing the book was to start what I believe is an important conversation about the platform as a critical 21st century business model. This is not a how-to book.

Those looking for checklists and 10-point plans may want to think about buying a more tactical book.

philanimated

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