NEXT SELECTION: One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of

Sunday, December 18, 2011

One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Richard L. Brandt. Portfolio/Penguin. 208 pages.

The author writes about the subject here, here and here. Here's his GooglePlus profile and here's his author's page on

Here's a description of the book from the publisher:

Amazon's business model is deceptively simple: Make online shopping so easy and convenient that customers won't think twice. It can almost be summed up by the button on every page: "Buy now with one click."
Why has Amazon been so successful? Much of it has to do with Jeff Bezos, the CEO and founder, whose unique combination of character traits and business strategy have driven Amazon to the top of the online retail world.
Richard Brandt charts Bezos's rise from computer nerd to world- changing entrepreneur. His success can be credited to his forward-looking insights and ruthless business sense. Brandt explains: 
* Why Bezos decided to allow negative product reviews, correctly guessing that the earned trust would outweigh possible lost sales. 
* Why Amazon zealously guards some patents yet freely shares others. 
* Why Bezos called becoming profitable the "dumbest" thing they could do in 1997. 
* How became one of the only dotcoms to survive the bust of the early 2000s. 
* Where the company is headed next.
Through interviews with Amazon employees, competitors, and observers, Brandt has deciphered how Bezos makes decisions. The story of Amazon's ongoing evolution is a case study in how to reinvent an entire industry, and one that anyone in business today ignores at their peril.

If you'd like to participate, please send your name and U.S-based snail mail address here.


Club Reviews: ANYTHING YOU WANT by Derek Sivers

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Anything You Want by Derek Sivers.

Anything You Want by Derek Sivers is a refreshing, delightful, inspiring read. With his positive attitude
and creative innovative approaches to hiring, marketing, and running a business it is no wonder that he has attained happiness which is his whole point of doing anything!
According to Derek, business is more about making dreams come true than money. He shares his experiences both good and bad, profitable and not so much. His philosophy of the joy of learning and doing while resisting the urge to punish everyone for one person's  mistake is remarkable. We would all profit if we remember his words of wisdom - remember people  are affected by what you say or don't say (neglecting to reply] and a personal approach taken toward others make them feel important. The whole point of doing anything should be that it makes you happy. What a great world this would be if more people latched on to his philosophy!!!! Margot Byrnes, Miami

Anything you want, by Derek Sivers, is a great short book, to the point, with lots of relatable stories.  Any entrepreneur, business owner or artist, or I should say, someone taking responsibility for their lives and the outcomes would enjoy and get out of it just what they need at this time in their lives.
My special moments, or what I needed to hear to reinforce my journey are, “in the end, it’s about what you want to be, not what you want to have”.  It is up to us to make our perfect world, many people will tell you are wrong, but “just pay close attention to what excites you and what drains you.”
Of course Derek has enough income to cover his living expense without having to think about it again, and this gives him the freedom to create without the worry of paying the bills.  So for those of us who haven’t arrived at that point, we can be satisfied knowing and believing. Tom Hinz, Blue Lake, CA

"Anything you Want" was like the current movie out now "The Descendants" — funny at times but a sad story.  Derrick had a simple plan and tried to keep his business fun and focused on the customer.  We all need to follow that advice.  His approach to his customers was brilliant and got them excited about doing business with his company, however it became sad when he allowed his business to be run by his employees.   Small businesses become big businesses if your lucky or you want to be and with that comes employee challenges that structure needs to address.  Derrick tried to ignore that and in the end loss control of his "baby".  We all need to know where to draw the line and Derrick missed it.  Paul Bartoletti

Derek Sivers in his new small book, explains how he started a company and in doing this he can be called an entrepreneur.  In this book Derek offers advise on what to do with a startup company and how to grow it.  The most important issue is that you have to enjoy what you are doing and make sure the customer is enjoying his experience.  When you stop enjoying what you are doing this is when you make a handoff and change direction so you are sure that you are enjoying what you are doing.  The most important criteria in being an entrepreneur is not to make money but to enjoy what you are doing and have a customer that also enjoys what you are doing for him or her.  Money will come when you have a customer that enjoys working with you.  My personal criteria in running a business was to ask what our business was doing.  The answer was satisfying and making the customer happy.  A measurement of how our company was doing this was in how much profit we were able to make. Gordon E. Ettie

Sivers’ tales of entrepreneurship are quite valuable. His openness about his experience is an example to all who aspire to start a business. There’s a great deal to be learned from each other as we develop our own businesses. One of the more important take aways from the book is that acting fearlessly is quite the ticket. Fearlessness is what allows people to be open in their efforts to launch a business. Keeping your eyes open all the time and filtering and re-filtering information is an important lesson to be drawn from the book. This results in success all along the way. I was glad that Sivers’ gave a couple of examples of the value of fully open eyes( for example, the $3 million cost to buy back the business). Kudos to Seth and Sivers. Quick reads with lots to act upon. Bob Preziosi, Davie Florida

This heavily autobiographical take on entrepreneurship for our era has some provocative ideas. Amid all the anecdotes highlighting Sivers’s highly successful saga, what unifies them is a sense not of aggressive ambition so much as the power of serendipity and inner wisdom, as long as you are paying attention. A theme that continually emerges is the necessity to balance even seemingly well-considered or pragmatic reactions to what is going on in your enterprise and the environment in which it is operating with what your heart tells you that you should really do next.
Sivers’s faith in his own compass is inspiring, yet it doesn’t always translate into clear advice for those aspiring to follow in his footsteps. But perhaps that is as it should be. This is a rather Buddhist little book that is ultimately about following your nose, trusting your gut, and finding the tricky balance between respecting and collaborating with your colleagues while listening most attentively to your own inner voice.
Although the directives Sivers offers are not necessarily easy to follow, you gotta love the guy’s great story and impressive ability to always stay true to his values. Barbara Pierce

In a nutshell, the success story of Derek Sivers tells how he went from unknown musician to millionaire.  He began by selling a CD of his own music and expanded his online only sales center to include other independent ("indie") artists.
His M.O. was the same as Pierre Omiydar; started by himself, working out of his living room and expanded as needed. He taught himself website design to build the site. He refused to accept advertisement on the site. He would not sell music from musicians already represented on major labels.
He was true to his own beliefs, low key & inspiration.  Overall, an interesting story and a good quick read. Ann Nagy

 I must admit, I enjoyed this book more.  Probably because I'm a sucker when it comes to books about how entrrepreneur's succeed despite going against the established norm.  It was an easy read and yet filled with a lot of "meat and potato" nuggets to make you think.  A MUST read for anyone and everyone whos ever thought about openining a business.  The author dishes out practical wisdom such as "Business is not about money.  It's about making dreams come tru for others and for yourself".  Talk about going against the grain.  This quote reminds me of Zig Zigler who once said: "Help enough people get what they want and you'll end up getting what you want".  Two other quotes that I also enjoyed where "Never do anything just for money" and The real point of doing anything is to be happy, so do only what makes you happy".  These are two points that most people who are in business today too easily forget.  The author's explaination of Ideas as just multipliers of execution also resonated within my thought process. I had never thought about it quite like that.  Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of ideas have fallen on the way side due to lack of execution.  I, myself have fallen victim to such an end.  In conclusion, reach to make your dreams come true but only as long as it truly makes your happy.  When it stops, drop it like a bad habit. Alex R. Camacho, Miami

Most aspiring entrepreneurs fail to experience Silver’s fortuitous timing in bringing a novel idea like online indie music to market.  But any business person will benefit from his hard learned personal lessons, such as the importance of an unrelenting commitment to meeting customers’ needs and expectations.    Beyond just the juicy details of how his CD Baby incubated into a million dollar venture, in spite of Steve Jobs, Silver offers highlight worthy tips on managing through growth and pursuing personal dreams.  Had this been a tome, his choppy writing style with frequent series of one sentence paragraphs would wear thin.  But easily digestible on a flight between Washington and Chicago, the read was worth the investment of time. Ann Davison

Derek Sivers ten year experience in one hour just reiterates what we hear from very successful people.
Follow your dreams, don't ever let anyone tell you no, you can't do that. He has a wealth of information for anyone in business or about to start.  Again, today's Internet is allowing people who could never go into business do it now.  Great writing and experiences a must read for everyone!  Should be mandatory reading in school curriculum!
Thank you for this opportunity and introducing me to The Domino Project.  I am now a major fan!
Sharon Wilson

I really enjoyed reading this book, as it really made me think and reflect on ways I could handle some of the growing pains that I am experiencing with my business. This book reminds me to be very clear about why I do what I do and what about what I do makes me happy. Much of the author’s philosophy about business resonates with my way of thinking and is definitely not the norm. His experience of being extremely successful from serving others without foreseeing it or planning it (even trying to keep the business small) is refreshing to learn about! Elena Suarez, Miami


Club Reviews: WE ARE ALL WEIRD by Seth Godin

We Are All Weird by Seth Godin.
In We Are All Weird, Seth Godin gives us a wake-up call to become aware of our changing society in case we haven't noticed it yet. Maybe that's what all the weird commercials and Lady Gaga are about!
The digital revolution has given people more interaction and more information than ever before resulting in more availability of choices and therefore more freedom to choose. There is no normal anymore!
With so many choices available, the bell curve has changed its shape to  where it seems to be melting. Although there continues to be a push for normal wholesale compliance, it seems to be not working anymore. If you cater to the normal, you disappoint the weird as the world gets weirder. Everything that is not normal is weird which means a choice has been made to stand up for your belief to have or  do what you want rather than what the market wants. You can dare to be weird using creative out - of - the - box ideas.
The same old stuff doesn't get noticed anymore!
Mr. Godin encourages awareness of the changing society in order that we are able to try to keep up with it all whether we like it or not. His book is an education in itself! Margot Byrnes, Miami

In a word - Weird: The idea that the forces of individuality (the Weird in all of us) are on the rise seems reasonable and is a very convincing explanation in theory, to the reactions many feel to the mass distribution solutions and monoculture copies of products that used to be made locally with quality.                                                                                                                                         
The push-back to a power of individual expression and “weird power” has some limitations though, and may not be original enough to overcome the restraints imposed upon what’s come to be called  “your brand”; the  conventional expression and communication method.
Even the chaos of spontaneous evaluation by internet feed-back,  that Godin and other gurus favor, (cue Al Gore’s – Assault on Reason book here) may not be enough to antidote the case made by mass managed sales of  “what is normal”;  that pushes us to conformity.
The truth of the product evaluations that we can “dig for” on the internet, can be so obscured by the economic force of the marketing machine, that your shopping choices are not getting to the consumers equally, let alone guaranteeing equal access to the products that result.
It can be very time consuming to sort it all out.  The thing missed in Godin’s case to “Get ready for the “weird”;  is not so much that the product or idea sells itself, but that the marketing tipping point is dictated by the realities of convenience (as well as price and other concerns) that makes the sale.  We have a hard time joining a group consensus that is under-represented in real time or time zones away.
When convenience is factored in, the educated consumer may not be given the time to make honest choices. The minority “weird” solution is just too inconvenient.    Look at all the plastic, so-called disposables, that we settle for, only to throw away; is this because to select the alternative weird idea as a way to problem solve (say go green) wouldn’t be practical?  And even more so, the weird would fail so fast, if it meant fighting the “wired consensus”  that defines  a norm or conformity.   So we do the best with the givens, the common denomintors i.e. the normal solutions;  because convenience is worth plenty, and it sells. Jim Swaner, Miami Shores, FL

This book takes a look at how mass marketing  worked through the medium of television  and radio in the 1950’s and 60’s, and then through example shows us how that kind of marketing isn’t working as well today. In the fifties and sixties everyone watch the same TV shows and listened to the same ‘Top Forty’ radio shows and mass marketing to the people who fit into the ‘normal’ on a bell curve worked.
Today everyone wants to ‘live’ their dream, be it some obscure cultural thing or just to let their ‘freak flag wave’.  The internet has certainly been a driving force where anyone can find a group, or as Seth calls them a ‘tribe’, that anyone call associate with. 
Therefore businesses that want to reach those people have to market to them specifically.
My favorite quote in the book: “Everyone hates advertising in general, but we love advertising in particular”. Tom Hinz, Blue Lake, CA

Particularly us baby boomers and those who came after us.  Being different and being out of the box made our generation and the ones that followed even more.  Marketing today is finding niches and doing them well.  Some niches will remain just that but others will find a tipping point that takes them to being the next "apple".  Good read for anyone coming out of business school or thinking of starting a business to get them to sit down and think what markets are not being targeted and creating business models to fulfill those markets..  Paul Bartoletti

Godin strikes me as a guy who has probably run out of material.  I'm assuming he ever had any.  I never saw Seinfeld much, but I understand that it was devised as a show about nothing.  In that sense, it was a scam.  I'm also reminded of the politically correct way some people handle younger children who compete in something.  Everyone gets a prize.  Or the concept of the "personal best."  You don't have to be the best.  You don't even have to be any good.  You just have to do better than you did before, and you can feel like you somehow won something.  You're a champ.  On the cheap.  Godin offers us a meaningless song and dance, which, like Seinfeld, is about nothing.  He plays with the reader.  He takes a man with not a pot to piss in, and calls him "rich," because the man could choose to piss in one bush or another.  The choosing makes him "rich."  I have no idea what the "retail" price of Godin's book is.  It was a small book, less than 100 pages, but close, with the aid of small pages, big print, and plenty of spaces.  My copy cost $5.  It was too much. Fred Jonas, Miami

 This book grabbed my attention from the beginning.  Made me think about how much I really need in the way of outside things.  I realyzed how sucked into he mass I had become and realized it's okay to be weird and have my own likes, dislikes, and opinions.  This well written book has brought an awareness of my surroundings when shopping and helped me make wiser buying decisions.
Deborah Harris, Hallandale Beach

This book presents, basically, one message, with several variations on the theme: The mass market is dead, and the quirky, individualistic interests of smaller groups are coming to the fore. The way Godin portrays it reminds me of descriptions of the death of the dinosaurs and the subsequent rise of the small mammals that always scurried around in their shadow on the forest floor. Godin’s vision of people who share values and obsessions now banding together into informal yet powerful “tribes” empowered by technology is an intriguing, even seductive one.
However, the way this theme is developed becomes somewhat repetitive after awhile. I was also put off by what struck me as a somewhat smug tone in Godin’s insistence that the new normal is being subverted into a lack of any sort of consensual normality at all.
The ability of technology to allow us to pursue our obsessions and connect with others who share them is indeed an amazing sea change in our culture. But, overall, I remain skeptical of some of Godin’s conclusions. It seems like a tenuous leap to assume that, despite the examples Godin musters to make his point, you can easily transform these brave-new-world capabilities for self-expression and connection into a viable living, let alone a fortune. After all, the Justin Biebers and Cee Lo’s of the world remain the exception. All in all, to my mind, a reasonably provocative but patchy thesis that probably would have been better conveyed as an essay. Barbara Pierce

A weird book! It's a jumble of thoughts, with no beginning, middle or end. Godin repeats himself often, sometimes stressing nonsense ("our fond memories of a normal that never existed').  
His main point is that everyone is weird and there is no longer any mainstream culture. I totally disagree. 
His other point is that the internet has changed personal interactions/communication in society, worldwide. I agree. Ann Nagy

I'm so sorry, but I am having a severe mental block when it comes to Seth's book and cannot, for the life of me, write a review of it.  I even read it twice, and found it totally useless, boring and a rehash of what anyone in business should already know.  On the other hand, I loved Derek's book.  It was refreshing and honest and gave great hope to me--my son is starting a website of his own in the next month (and yes, I am the investor and stockholder). Debbie Kowalsky

At first I was a bit curious about the title of the book but as soon as I jumped into reading it I was particularly intrigued by the subject he covers since I work for a marketing intelligence company and I focus on the segmentation of these "weird" tribes.
I was excited to receive Seth's book but was a little disappointed after reading it. I found the book to be a compilation of blog posts or something he just put together quickly. I am a big fan of Seth so I felt let down. However, I found Derek's book to be very captivating. He ran a company that no business school would mimic. But his unconventional style resulted in tremendous success and I found it refreshing. His honesty and ability to admit his massive mistakes made him more real and extremely likable. I enjoyed it. Greg Alexander 

"Average is for marketers who don't have enough information to be accurate", I thought this line was on point because many corporations are seeking to stay average and they continue marketing to the masses because they truly don't have the information and insight to do the "weird-targeting" approach accurately.
I appreciate the list of the so-called weird tribes he shows as an example on page 86 and how he asks: "When your tribe is no longer the majority, then what?".  The rapidly growing weird tribes have become the new mainstream ranging from Hispanics to Asians and from Cross-fitters to marathoners.  Needless to say, I enjoyed the book. David Mesas, Miami

I found this book very interesting and enlightening.   I enjoyed how he took the time to defiine four key words that sets the stage in understanding the rest of the book.  Mr. Godin does a great job in putting into prospective, what I've come to realize and that is that we are controled by the "Masses" and don't give enough credit to the "Weird" in our lives.  Don't people realize that what is considered Normal today was looked upon as Weird yesturday.  I agree with the author, this is the end of the mass market and we are definetly all weird.  Instead of denying it, we should embrace our own individual weirdness and learn how to make it work for us instead of against us.  This is a thinking book, one that needs to be read more than once to truly grasp the thoughts, ideas, and reality that the author has attempted to communicate to his audience. Alex R. Camacho, Miami

(Seth) considers people to be Rich because they can afford to make choices (and) everything that is not normal is weird.  
in the beginning everything was sold, and developed for average people but the trend today is to capture the wierd.  the wierd is the new normal.  these are people who choose to be wierd. 
 you have to think out of the box and consider to cater to the wierd.  the internet has changed the way we do business.  we connect to one, two and many. 
Seth is correct.  The Internet has opened so many doors and made it easier for many to begin their own business.  They cater to everyone normal, weird and other.  the idea is to reach as many people as you can to make the money to expand your business.  The enternet has opened those doors but the customers are not labeled as weird.  They are younger and this is a new era.  The electronic age has created more choices.   Patricia Garcia, Miami

An admirer of Seth Godin and his Domino Project, I looked forward to this read.  But each time I picked it up after a long day of work, I couldn’t connect to…the weirdness.  By the first time I went to pick it up, I couldn’t find the book any where in our small apartment.  That should tell you something.  If I find it in the next 24 hours, I’ll try to finish and send you some more thoughts.   Ann Davison, Washington, DC

The world goes full circle.  Seth Godin remarks that before the Factories and Mass Production, there were small tribes and communities where everything was nearby.  Mass has allowed us to expand beyond those small communities.
Mass has it's pro's and con's. However in today's world of the Internet, close by could be China.  If you look at today's businesses you will see a lot of "home Internet based businesses" and people are making a decent to very abundant income.
Seth Godin, is on target and his book should be an eye opener for the world.  Entrepreneur businesses are on the rise. Sharon Wilson

I loved that both books were small (each can be read entirely on a short flight), but filled with great information.Although I enjoy reading and hearing anything Seth Godin has to say, I was left with wanting more information about how to apply what he was telling us in our own businesses. I would recommend this book to anyone responsible for defining the marketing strategy for their company and wanting to understand the characteristics of today’s marketplace, but without the expectation of anything more than that.  Elena Suarez, Miami

How nice to receive both books at the same time!  I’m a semi-entrepreneur, and I could see the same mind-think with both Godin and Siver.
Heck!  I’ve KNOWN I’ve been weird (I.e., not in that bell-curve 68% of the population) in a lot of things, and Seth Godin’s book had me re-affirming and CELEBRATING the fact!  Pretty “weird” of Godin to have a book cover that looked just as good inside-out, too!
Derek Sivers reiterates info I’d read many years ago – “Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow” (Marsha Sinetar, 1987, Dell Publishing).  I gravitated toward education, and the money never DID follow – but then again, I’m only in my mid-60’s now…  and who knows WHAT the future will bring.   Main thing is, as both authors stressed, to love what you’re doing, and not to be afraid to take chances along the way.
Lastly, this is my first experience with the Domino Project, powered by Amazon.  I’ll be checking out their website for more updates. Betty G Hubschman, Miramar, FL

I’ve never read a Seth Godin book that I didn’t like and WeAre All Weird is no exception. In fact, I think this small, easy-to-read,easy-to-explain-to-others book is one of his best. Godin explains thedifference between marketing (and selling) to the masses versus marketing andselling to the fringes—or, to use his term, to the weird. Throughout the book,Godin gives examples of how and why being “weird” is good and how “weirdness”equates with “happiness.” As he states, “…researchers report that the abilityto be weird, the freedom to make choices, and the ability to be heard are thefactors most highly correlated with happiness around the world.” I feel likehis book has given me to okay to be weird and learn how to get weirder. Susan Taslimi, Parkland

It’s been 20 years since the philosophy espoused by Seth appeared on my radar screen. I was happy that someone had begun to justify my actions as a manager! No one has written about weird as well as Seth. Almost all of the ideas can be applied to any human activity. One caution, though, is that if the weirdness reflects destructive deviance a person or tribe ought to think differently about their supposed contribution. The other thing worth cautioning about is that when a tribe has adopted something they have actually created a “new” normal even if the tribe is only a few thousand people. The small numbers may make them feel weird, but their togetherness will reflect common expectations. I love weird because it shows that there is growth around us which is a good sign for us.
Kudos to Seth and Sivers. Quick reads with lots to act upon. Bob Preziosi, Davie Florida

I've read a few of Seth Godin's book and they seem to have one thing in common: he's masterful at taking something right under our noses, analyzing it, extrapolating it across a broader horizon and then creating a context for that which we'd never before questioned. It's a gift, really. He's prescient and extremely convincing, yet once I read his books, I can hardly remember any details. Perhaps that's because the author's presentation of ideas is so seamless that I fully digest and incorporate them into my thought pattern and they immediately become the fabric of my new outlook. Part of his mastery with language is that the paradigm shift happens without the reader feeling like he/she is getting a lesson. His writing method is instructive, but not didactic. Godin instead takes the reader along with his thought process so how he arrived at his conclusion is clearly understood. One way he does this is by explaining the various markets: mass; normal; weird and rich and then uses simple, yet profound examples to drive a point home: weird in one place does not make for weird in another: being a vegetarian in Kansas is weird, but not in Mombai.
Godin's book is a testament in defense of weird and is a diatribe against marketers forcing everyone into a "universal normal merely to sell junk to the masses." Most of us have never questioned the mass market because there was no real alternative before the Internet. I like his seemingly simple approach. This quote sums up "We are All Weird's" message: "The challenge of your future is to do productive and useful work for and by and with the tribe that cares about you." Kathy Doran, Miami

Godin's latest book delivered good concise insight into the changes business, marketing, and society is currently undertaking. 
Good read for a short flight, wish it had a little more material. J. Reynolds, Fort Lauderdale



Sunday, October 23, 2011

 The Smartest Portfolio You'll Ever Own: A Do-It-Yourself Breakthrough Strategy

THE SMARTEST PORTFOLIO YOU’LL EVER OWN: A Do-It-Yourself Breakthrough Strategy Daniel R. Solin. Perigee.

Not having read the author's other books, I generally consider most investment gurus and books with a jaundiced eye. I think he spends a lot of time, too much, in fact, disparaging traditional mutual finds and investment advisers but that is what his goal was. His philosophy seems to make sense and I'm curious how well he would fare in the schizophrenic market we experience daily.  I wish he had put his money where his words are and shown actual investment gains and losses of his own money using the portfolio; his credibility would have been stronger. Marvin Stein, Coral Springs

Clear and easy to read and understand. However, the portfolio strategy delivered in the book is not really a breakthrough, as claimed in the book title. There is no new concept here. I found myself flipping through the pages. I think the book message could have been delivered in a 2 to 3 pages article. I like the quotes at the begining of every chapter and the takeaway at the end of each one. Smadar (Sammy) Sasson, Aventura

Solin's strategy for The Smartest Portfolio You'll Ever Own seems feasible but its feasibility can not be proven without trying it out first which means an investment is necessary unless you just keep track of things and watch to see what happens without investing actual money.

In his own words he recommends not going with an adviser or listen to someone who pushes their own
agenda and yet he does just that with index funds which is his expertise.  He also seems to be recommending following the global market. In light of what is happening there in today's market, it makes me skeptical to follow his advice there.

It is interesting to find at the back of the book in the Publishers Note the statement that the contents of the book should not be taken as financial advice. The reader should consult a registered investment adviser prior to making investment decisions even though Solin says one is not needed. The publisher clearly states in the disclaimer that the views are exclusively the author's and do not represent views of anyone else.

Perhaps Solin is only offering his views and ideas under the guise of advice.  The standard advice for investors he presents would more than likely hold true, however — diversify your investment holdings and remain alert! Margot Byrnes, Miami

To be honest, I was prepared to hate this book as I hate most books that are focused on the stock market. Many similar books have sucked me in under the guise of being the investment guide for the layperson and have failed, leaving me feeling stupid and inept. However, author Daniel R. Solin was able to explain the most complicated theories in a way that a person of average intelligence, or an English major like me who thinks that algebra -- the mixing of numbers and letters is the work of satan -- could understand. These are cynical times and, I, like most people watch the daily ups and downs of the stock market and on a down day, my reaction is, "Oh, THEY'VE manipulated the market again and must be taking their profits."  Feeling like someone emerging from an abusive relationship, I'm no longer engaging with the wild mood swings of Wall Street.

This book encourages you build your portfolio on the model that reflects your retirement horizon and has suggestions for everyone from the novice to the more seasoned investor. Just when Solin would venture into areas that could make the reader say to him/herself, "What the *&^@ is Fama and French and why do I care about their theories?" he would explain in easy-to-understand nuggets and then summarize before moving on. In fact, the short "What's the Point?" boxed summaries did a good job of cementing each chapter before moving on to the next idea. I also like the fact that the author provided many options for the reader to choose from in terms of investing for retirement. For example, my current plan is to set my retirement on autopilot and hope for the best, so Solin has an option for me. He explains that the Target Date plans allows an investor to minimize their risks over time by choosing a Target Date handily named the year of one's retirement (Vanguard 2023). The investor basically "sets it and forgets it" with a Target Date plan. These plans become more conservative over time (more bonds than stocks) which supposedly mitigates the risk. The average individual probably doesn't want to spend the time figuring out that approach and then jiggering their portfolio accordingly, so Target Date portfolios are one viable option.

If you can suspend your disbelief that the entire system is manipulated by insiders gaming the system with computerized, short-term trading and other tricks that generate profits not based on reality, then "The Smartest Portfolio You'll Ever Own" could go a long way in helping you plan for your retirement. Kathy Doran, Miami

After reading this book, I was disappointed.  Alot of the language used in the book is for someone who is an investment broker or advisor.  I could not do my own portfolio without understanding why I would need to choose a particular bond or stock.  Each chapter was very small one or two pages with a noted thought on the last page.  What I hoped for was to learn about stocks and how and why to choose, what to look for in that stock, how long to invest and see the movement of the stock.  I currently choose my stock and someone who worked as an investment broker told me what to look at and if I wanted to take risks with stock I would have to monitor the movement.  I was also told not to put all my money into one stock (basket) but to split it like 30%, 40%, 30% to equal 100% in different stocks.  This idea has worked for me and I have seen my money grow.

In the beginning the book referenced the horrific mess we are in today with our mortgages as well as  the Mondoff Ponzi scheme.  He was a trusted advisor and no one questioned it; they were getting a return on their investment so they let it ride.  He played on his clients trust and he know who would be interested and who wouldn't.  I am sure everyone would love to invest and get 25% or 35%  back on their investment.  But in closing there is no sure thing out there.  Patricia Garcia, Miami

Daniel Solin’s book follows the KISS principle—Keep Investments Simple Stupid.  Determine if you want to be an active or passive investor.  Do you want to invest in a financial advisor or a Dimensional Fund Advisor?  What is your risk tolerance?  Once you figure out the answers to these three questions, you can delve into one of four different approaches that will limit you to ETFs or index funds, plus a few bond funds, with low management fees.  Rebalance the portfolio a couple times a year and call it a day.  Easy.

Solin’s approach is brilliant in its simplicity and logic.  His explanation has made me rethink entirely the individual equities I have traded and has made me realize that my advisor has truly  been looking out for my best interest in steering me towards the very structured portfolio outlined in the book  that can maximize my returns so I can retire when I want.

Bottom line—no one person can “beat” the market day in and day out.  The data and analysis he shares clearly demonstrates that those who try to time the market will lose.  He further debunks some of those old adages that buying a good company means buying a good stock.

The problem of course is that picking a hot stock can be exhilarating.  It’s gambling, just without the blackjack dealer.

I promise to shed the equities. I will drop my subscription to Motley Fool and Jim Kramer’s newsletter.  But it needs to be next week.  I want to try to ride this latest uptick in the market just a little longer… Kim Miller, Miami

Excellent book I wish I could have read thirty years ago but great advice for anyone who wants to put their investments on cruise control.  I especially liked the ability to lock in your retirement date and work backwards.  I have recommended this book to both of children who are just starting out and who needs to manage their own 401k and retirement plans.  Quick read and to the financial point. Paul Bartoletti, Scranton Pa


Next: WE ARE ALL WEIRD by Seth Godin

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Next book club selection is by Seth Godin. We Are All Weird just came out. The hardcover edition is limited to 10,000 (or 11,000) copies. Lots of nice reviews, posts, interviews, podcasts and more.

I'm an unabashed fan of Seth's and have reviewed nearly every book he's published during the last decade and beyond.

This latest is short, sharp and quite enjoyable, and I'll review it more fully later.

If you want to review it too, you can.

Please click here to sign up through Paypal (or here:

It's only $5 so how can you pass it up?

As a bonus, you'll also get a copy of Derek Sivers' Anything You Want. You can read a review of that here.

 So, yeah. Two very cool books for $5 and an opportunity to review. If you're interested, here's the link to sign up (or go to:

If you have any questions, please leave 'em in Comments, and I'll respond.



Club Reviews: Credibility

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It (J-B Leadership Challenge: Kouzes/Posner)

Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It. James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner. Wiley. 368 pages.

Kouzes' and Posner's credibility is more than that. Theirs is clearly about moral credibility concerning
conduct and attitudes judged from a moral value standpoint.  That leaves out such leaders as Charles Manson, various dictators and other leaders without moral values.
Practicing the moral values goes along with knowing how to proceed in order to show competence.
The authors present their message as a clear and concise logical guide with a checklist for attaining moral credibility.
Included are the necessary behaviors, qualities, and characteristics with positive examples of successful
leaders with moral values such as honesty.
If more people, leaders or otherwise, would read and follow their guide to credibility and hold their leaders more accountable to their message, the world would be a better place and we would all benefit from it.
With today's world situation with lack of confidence in various institutions and their leaders, this book
seems to have the perfect message.
Perhaps if enough leaders and aspiring leaders would read this inspiring book, trust and credibility may come back to the forefront along with competency.
Just reading it is helpful but the key is to follow its guidelines with sincerity. Margot Byrnes, Miami

The authors of "Credibility" got across their message. Honesty is good. It may be the most important attribute a leader needs to establish credibility. It is also a vital attribute for a good coworker. This is not surprising. People tend not to give credence to those they know to be dishonest. Alas, the rest of the book is no more insightful than that.
It does advise many behaviors for good managers and leaders. For example, “Credibility” strongly recommends being enthusiastic, educating constituents, and listening to others. But those subjects are all covered in countless other books and articles. Even the first person accounts by successful people of leaders that changed their lives seemed bland. The stories often revealed more about the tellers, because of what they did with a situation than about the managers who made such strong impressions.
On the plus side, this book is easy to read and not too long. The reader who wants a quick survey of easy to understand human relations concepts for the workplace may be well served by it. Heidi Markovitz, Washington, DC

he credibility gap that emerged after the the last big fiscal crisis is finding a rebirth with the recent financial meltdown.  Trust, the key component to credibility, has been taking a slapping and the timing for this book couldn’t better.  While the character traits we all look for in our leaders have changed little,  the need for it is at an all time high.
Whenever fear and uncertainty  become the lead story night after night, that anxiety will play out at the office which could impact trust and productivity.  Instead of building relationships, actions comments and too much talking and not enough listening can actually create barriers to success.
“Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It”  offers terrific insights in what employees expect from their leaders AND their coworkers.  The personal stories of how actions of past supervisors permanently impacted individuals is inspiring and practical.  The research in the book clearly demonstrates how making personal meaningful relationships with colleagues is more important today than ever before.  There are real, practical conversation starters to help build those relationships.  And, for supervisors or others who believe they have lost credibility the book offers hope too.
This one got me thinking.  If you don’t have time for a deep dive, focus on the key ideas at the end of each chapter and, if you read only one chapter,  focus on “The Struggle to be Human.”  This isn’t just a touchy feely approach to managing.  It provide hands on tools to create optimism, trust and passion within our teams. Kimberly Miller, Miami

More than ever, but especially in the Financial Services world, to have credibility "makes a difference".
As a professional in said industry, I have sensed a very scarce presence of credible representatives. Those who lack any credibility have damaged the reputation of  those who do not compromise with the gyrations of their "easy money" efforts. This book summarizes in a brilliant manner the process to restore credibility and sustain it. Each chapter is full of concrete principles and actions to accomplish these two objectives. In particular the chapter entitled "Affirm Shared Values" provides specific recommendations to build productive and genuine working relationships. This book is permanently on the top of my desk to be able to go back to its valuable strategies in order to succeed through genuine credibility. Ariel Gonzalez-Medel, Palmetto Bay

What a classic analysis and template that will make any officer, manager, or team leader a success. The well documented evidence from many business areas and levels of sophistication shows the universality of their message. Well respected leaders have learned these lessons to earn credibility, but the tenets are always worth repeating. Image how  the culture of corporate America would be changed in a more productive,innovative and respectful manner  If more credible leaders were created. Marvin Stein, Coral Springs

It was very disappointing book — I had hope to get more from it that what it delivered.
The first thing that I did not like was the constant reference to the previews book and the research — the authors did not need to make a reference to it on every page as it detracts from the reading and it breaks the flow of the message, it spend too much time discussing that and very little delivering a real message 
Authors could have deliver the message in one third of the pages.
I will not recommend the book I think that in the end it does not delivered what it promised.
To me credibility is based on a persons integrity, character and convictions all of which seem to have gone out the window in a society that is hungry for power, money and fame at any cost, we saw it with the recent failures of the financial markets, banking, car companies, and politicians every day and as long as their main objective is their own selfish pursue of money, power and fame... credibility will be hard to find in our current leaders, bosses, politicians etc. Theresa Jacome, Miami


Next Selection

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I've reviewed the author's earlier books (here, here and here) and this one may be his best one yet because it's his most actionable. And it's pretty timely. The subject is also a very popular one, especially in our part of the world.

I've posted a video preview of the book here.

More info follows below.

If you're interested, please click here to sign up through Paypal 

(or here:

 The Smartest Portfolio You'll Ever Own: A Do-It-Yourself Breakthrough Strategy

THE SMARTEST PORTFOLIO YOU’LL EVER OWN: A Do-It-Yourself Breakthrough Strategy Daniel R. Solin. Perigee.

From the publisher: Bestselling author and financial blogger Daniel R. Solin provides do-it-yourself investors the means to create a SuperSmart Portfolio that mimics those constructed for some of the most sophisticated institutional and high net-worth investors in the country. These portfolios were not available to DIY investors until now. In this breakthrough book, Solin’s readers can maintain complete control over their money and replicate these envied portfolios using an accessible strategy that minimizes volatility and maximizes returns.

As readers have come to expect from Solin, implementing this plan requires only three steps:

  • Open an account with a discount broker
  • Determine the appropriate asset allocation using the simple questionnaire in the book or online
  • Input pre-determined ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) at the allocations for the level of the investor’s individual risk profile.


Sneak Preview

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Credibility Video

Thursday, August 18, 2011

More at



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Get Rich Click!: The Ultimate Guide to Making Money on the Internet
Review by Richard Pachter

Maybe this is a little “inside,” but in my ten years+ of writing biz book reviews and running a book club, I never — I mean NEVER — read club members’ or others’ reviews before I scribble my own. In fact, when publicists or pals send me reviews or links to reviews of books that I’m considering (or not), I refuse to look at ‘em.

I’m not a snob, lord knows, but I just don’t want to be influenced by anyone’s opinion. Period. I’m an impressionable fellow, and I might be influenced or persuaded to pay attention to something in a book that I’d otherwise miss or ignore. That’s fine after the fact, and I’ve gone back to many a book upon seeing a subsequent review, sure, but for me, reading is a visceral AND intellectual activity, so I like to think AND feel in real time before I write my own review. (But that’s just me. Your mileage may vary.)

But I broke my own rule with this book. I skimmed (just skimmed) a few reviews by club members.


Since this online book club is really a new venture and participants were actually paying for the privilege, I wanted to make dead sure that my first selection was solid, as far as the club members are concerned. I’d had this book for many months and knew that it’s a really terrific tome but maybe it wasn’t the same for everyone.

But honestly, many (or most) of us are on the Net for a good portion of the day, every day, either on computers or mobile devices, and have thought about monetizing the experience. Right?

Now, I already have an affiliate thing with Amazon, for example, so if you click on any of the books listed here or on my other websites, you’re taken to each book’s page on and if you decide to make a purchase, I get a few cents; a pittance, really, but it can add up — although it really doesn’t, at least not for me. I think I got enough credits from transactions to buy a tin of Irish Oatmeal, but it’s not about the money. I wouldn’t mind it, but there isn’t very much of it. As an author friend told me when we discussed the unintentionally pro bono nature of his own websites, “We do it for love.”

Well, yeah, but if one also wanted to devote their online time and energy to more materially productive and acquisitive pursuits, I really can think of no better resource than this deep and wide volume by Marc Ostrofsky.

It’s a tackle-bag of tactics. Not a lot of strategy here, if at all. But that’s fine. He provides (and briefy explains) so many different websites, tool and options that most anyone with half a brain can mix and match, and come up with a good plan — or several options.

Nothing literary or poetic here: He makes no pretense of it being anything other than a well-organized and actionable compendium of resources for anyone interested in making money from the Net right now. And Ostrofsky’s upbeat can-do demeanor is apparent throughout.

Though the Internet is itself a moving target, Ostrofsky lists time-tested (in Internet time, anyway) tools, as well as new sites and tactics that mostly require minimal technical expertise.

He includes recommendations for setting up websites, finding domains, using — and monetizing — Twitter, Facebook and other social sites, selling, buying and more. Plus, each chapter includes one or more QR codes (that you scan with a smart phone) that refer to value-added content; giveaways, premiums, promotions, trials and other goodies and relevant websites.

Here's an example of a QR code:

You may not be ready to start making money online, or like most of us, are too busy earning a living to get rich (I wish) but Get Rich Click is a really terrific resource and a potentially great catalyst for thought and action.


Next Book to Review: Credibility

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It (J-B Leadership Challenge: Kouzes/Posner)
Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It by James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner. Wiley. 272 pages.

From The Publisher

The first true revision of the classic book from the bestselling author of The Leadership Challenge.

As the world falls deeper into economic downturns and warfare, the question of credibility (how leaders gain and lose it) is more important than ever. Building on their research from The Leadership Challenge, James Kouzes and Barry Posner explore in Credibility why leadership is above all a relationship, with credibility as the cornerstone, and why leaders must "Say what you mean and mean what you say." This first full revision of the book since its initial publication in 1993 features new case studies from around the world, fully updated data and research, and a streamlined format.

Written by the premier leadership experts working today, Credibility:

  • Reveals the six key disciplines that strengthen a leader's capacity for developing and sustaining credibility.
  • Provides rich examples of real managers in action
  • Includes updates to the applications and research
This personal, inspiring, and genuine guide helps you understand the fundamental importance of credibility for building personal and organizational success.

Here's an excerpt:

If you want to sign up, please click here
If it doesn't take you to Paypal, you can also click here:


GET RICH CLICK: Club Reviews

Friday, July 22, 2011

Get Rich Click!: The Ultimate Guide to Making Money on the Internet 

The premise for this book was promising as the subject is both relevant and interesting for a wide range of people. Overall, the subject matter seemed comprehensive at first but after really digging into the chapters, became more focused and repetitive. I found the same ideas rehashed and presented in "cliched" form. Information was more generalized than I expected for a so-called guide. I also found the author spent too much space advertising his own products and programs instead of focusing on a more varied source of info. He did a very good job of pushing his own blogs, sites and companies (especially ClickBank). At times, each chapter seemed like a mix of bland ideas and infomercial stuff plugged in. Overall, the whole idea presented (How to make money and build a business based on internet) was good and some of the ideas and resources given could prove to be helpful but I expected better quality and less self-serving selling. Julian Sinisterra, Miami

This book is truly a fountain of ideas for making money online — but trying to read it is akin to the experience of trying to drink from a gushing fountain. The sheer amount of content is hard to wade through (not to continue the watery metaphor, but there it is). Too much of the book comes off like an endless PowerPoint presentation. The dozens of numbered lists are clearly meant to help present information in an easy-to-digest way, but they are simply too numerous and serve to fragment rather than clarify too much of the content. I mean, 64 ways to optimize a website? Surely there was another way to organize and present this information.

Amid the long laundry lists of various aspects of Internet money-making schemes are a myriad of suggestions that are casually tossed off with very little explanation to help newcomers better understand how to implement them. And too many pages are spent on angles (such as generic domain names) that even Ostrofsky admits are pretty much out of the reach of mere mortals who don’t have millions to spend or are late to the party.

The book often reminded me of that old Steve Martin routine about how to make a million dollars and not pay taxes: “First, make a million dollars. Then, don’t pay your taxes!” Take, for example, Ostrofsky’s suggestions to, hey, write an ebook! Or start producing and posting videos! Easy to say, but not necessarily easy to do. And does the world really need more mediocre, amateurish online content?

In addition, some of the tips sound downright dangerous unless you really know what you’re doing or already have a good head for business, a high tolerance for risk, an understanding of the market for a particular product or service, or all three. Surely there are some shark-infested waters in this world for people who don’t really understand it, and Ostrofsky doesn’t spend much time orienting the reader to avoid the pitfalls.

Some of the case studies are fascinating but, in general, they are awfully sketchy. More detailed case studies and a pruning of the main content would have helped to focus the book.

That said, I did glean a few fascinating insights into the various ways to make money online. For example, I’m still agog that one can insert oneself into the Amazon enterprise and other people’s intellectual property simply by becoming an affiliate and buying a domain name that may help promote a product for sale on Amazon. And Ostrofsky’s enthusiastic reassurances that there is still plenty of money to be made in them thar hills is inspiring. In fact, I’m feeling emboldened enough to think about trying a few of his techniques myself. So, all told, I’d say the book is worth a scan to see what pops out at you as possibilities that might be a good fit for your temperament and talents, if not a word-for-word read. Barbara Pierce, Miami

"Generous." That's the first word I thought of when I finished Ostrofsky's book. It seems like everything he's ever learned and profited from, he's more than eager to share. I'm amazed how much great information he was able to pack into a book that could serve as a primer for the entire Internet phenomenon. At first, I thought the book would primarily focus on the importance of key words, the psychology of domain names, etc., and while it does cover these topics in great detail, there is so much more substance and in-depth analysis of the potential market for income producing ideas. The author's enthusiasm nearly leaps off the page and it sometimes feels like you're sitting across from him as he generates one idea after another for leveraging the power of using the Internet to make money. Every idea he comes up with isn't some pipe dream, either. Not only does he throw idea after idea out there, but he explains precisely how to go about implementing them, one step at a time and with specific referrals to people who could help the reader achieve real success.

Along with the author's enthusiasm, what I like best about the book are the list of resources, the explanation and use of Quick Response (QR) codes, and the case studies. I'm a sucker for case studies. It's great to read an explanation about the potential for phone apps, but a real thrill to read a case study about a guy who made a mint by creating an app that makes the face of the iPhone look like a fogged-up bathroom mirror. [Note: While I can appreciate the whimsy and outrageous success of that app, the lack of practicality makes this reader a little crazy!]

Another thing I loved was the "insider" atmosphere Ostrofsky created and all the freebies included in the book. I haven't downloaded any of the free content, but knowing that it's there made me feel like I got a little extra with the purchase of the book. The only thing I didn't like was my own feeling of overwhelm as I realized how much catching up I have to do.  I know I'll be using this book as a reference for a long time to come. Kathy Doran, Miami Beach

Too much information to absorb in a single read.  Written in fast-paced style, it helps to slow it down and perhaps read it twice.  With all the QR codes, it’s the most interactive book I’ve read. Zac Hall, Miami

Almost everyone has heard of or has used the Internet. If you haven't you must have lived under a rock for the past five years, (using a line from a TV advertisement).

This book explains the Internet and how to use it and possibly make money on the Internet. This book is not an easy read but well worth reading for all the information that it contains. If you plan to start a business or use the Internet for your marketing, this book can be used as a reference.

The author, Marc Ostrofsky has used his experience, his successes, and knowledge to help us navigate the Internet more efficiently. So if you are thinking about or already using the Internet, owning this book is a must. You should own it because the book has many details about how to use the internet that you probably will have to refer to it from time to time. Gordon Ettie, Miami

Our latest book selection was wonderful. I had the pleasure of going into a lot of the sites that were suggested and it opened my eyes to a lot of possibilities.  

I was under the impression that buying a domain name was more expensive than some of the reported websites that I went into. I also found out that there are other opportunities along with the purchase of your domain name that will help you get started with advertising, registration and domain name suggestions.   

This book shows you how to make money with using other sites that generate revenue for you. It is like being tagged on Facebook, once your site is tagged you generate revenue depending on the type of site you have not to mention the agreement you make with the other site. The whole idea is to generate a site with a domain name that will generate hits for viewing. The more hits you get the more money you make. You also want to create a site that is business or services oriented. Your business or service has to have a domain name associated with what you offer in order for people to visit. You make money with advertising on your site something like bill boards but you really have to be computer literate in order make your site profitable. 

The coupons that you’re given through the writer’s site are to help you start. I like how he shows you the ideas that people come up with to begin their business. He suggested that we pay attention to the trends and he is correct. There are so many coupon saver sites today, why because of today’s economy. They all have something to offer.  

Everyone wants something different so you have to attract as many people as you can.   The idea that appeals the most is you create a site for your business or service. You purchase a domain name for that site. You do not have to pay rent for a building, hire people or offer insurance. You are able to do it all with your site and hope it pays for itself at the same time generate revenue for you. If you get customers that want your business or service, they begin to pay for what your site offers.  The idea is a win-win situation. Patricia Garcia, Miami
Marc definitely is a pioneer of the Internet and his business foresight has lead to his success.  Even though I haven't created a business opportunity or developed a money making opportunity off the Internet, I did become inspired by how he described the many different business opportunities that exist utilizing the Internet.  But where I became most entertained was through the websites that save everyone money. I already checked out which alleviates an annoying quarterly chore.

I can't say the book was a riveting novel but rather a "how to" on making money off the internet.  Even though the list format was a little much for my ADD, I did find the  real life stories riveting.  I will definitely put this book in my reference section and refer to it in the future.  Greg Alexander, Sunny Isles, Florida

Computer novice or computer savvy, it matters not!   Get Rich Click! is an education in and of itself!
It seems to be a very valuable source of information loaded with quality and quantity as well.
It is directed toward creative marketing and earning money even without an inventory! For the most part, the information Ostrofsky presents is clear and concise. 

Whether you use a computer, iPhone, iPad or cell phone, if you are creative and follow the guidelines given to protect yourself from breaking the rules which may result in some unclear penalties,  continuously up grading your website seems to be one key to success in earning money without any investment but your time and energy.  

Monetary investment is not necessarily needed. Get Rich Click! is a time consuming read but may well be worth every minute invested! Margot Byrnes, Miami

A must-read for anyone interested in making money at the computer. The author, who is reputed to have made several fortunes on the internet, is bursting with information which he pours into this short work. He delivers succinct "how-to" and "where to" data and links. Based on the author's credentials I expected a lot from this book; it delivered more than that. Dave Goodwin, Miami Beach 

It was a very interesting read that demanded focus and the ability to take good notes.  It was not a book that you casually read. I learned a lot about the money making potential of the internet and the need for my own business to be more in tune to what the internet can offer us. I strongly agree that every business should read this book to unlock new ways to prosper via the internet. It was an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to branch out into this new media. Paul Bartoletti. Scanton Pa.

While "Get Rich Click" conjures up the idea of getting rich quick on the internet, it is much more.  It is a guidebook for generating money using the internet.  Being a skeptic of anything that promises quick or easy returns, I was won over by Ostrofsky's attention to detail and abundance of information.

It is also a great motivational book for anyone who has considered running an internet business.  I especially liked when he talked about the internet being in its infancy.  We all know some of the get-rich-quick stories, such as people who sold domain names for fantastic sums, and we may feel we missed the boat.  But it is true that the internet is just getting started, just getting defined and business and marketing history is being made every day.

A cursory read of the book will give someone with basic knowledge of the internet an in-depth explanation of how online marketing works.  In one chapter, he describes companies that sell actual products while another chapter identifies 30 different ways to make money by providing leads or advertising for other companies.  For the more tech-savvy, Ostrofsky goes on to provide guidelines for establishing profitable websites, everything from the importance of the domain name to using our daily social networking to increase profitability.  He even explains various methods of collecting payments.

Finally, if you are a serious internet entrepreneur, this book will continue on as a reference book and as an excellent foundation for your endeavors.  If you are just looking to get rich quick, this is too detailed and thoughtful a book for you. Debbie Kowalsky, Hollywood

Extraordinary content particularly for some entrepreneurial Baby Boomers who are entering a "false retirement' stage, since they have to continue working until they die. The book is truly a modern encyclopedia on how to, not only survive, but strive in this rapidly changing and crazy world.
Ariel Gonzalez-Medel, Palmetto Bay

While I was skeptical at first that the book was little more than an infomercial to sucker me in to buying a seminar or other “opportunities”, I instead found it to really be an extremely easy to read, step-by-step guide on how to get started with an online presence.  Ostrofsky’s use of lists, bullet points and cool techie “tags” at the end of the chapters to offer more details on specific topics made the book a quick read and, even more importantly, easy to reference since key points are called out in bold type.

While the basis of everything the author outlines rests on creativity and being first to market, the principles outlined provide real tools to small businesses trying to compete for awareness and one-on-one customer contact.

Equally exciting, I found the book a treasure trove of quick tactics that I can ask our creative agency to execute to improve my company’s rankings for search engine optimization.

Even if you have no real interest in the internet world nor want to be the next Facebook pioneer, the book actually offers money saving tips for everything from lowering your phone bills to where to log on to find low cost freelance help.

If, according to Ostrofsky, “Knowledge is the currency of the information age,” than I suggest all of you spend a few bucks to pick up this book. Kim Miller, Pembroke Pines

What an exhaustive detailed dictionary and Wikipedia of how to harness creativity and process it through  internet resources to invent, create, and maintain a business in the 21 century. A must read for entrepreneurs, the unemployed and the seasoned small business operator who wants to get to the next level. If only partially utilized, it is worth the cost of the book. Marvin Stein, Coral Springs

Former Vice President Al Gore confused a lot of people when back in 1992 he appeared to claim authorship of the Internet for ordinary people and referred to it as the “Information Super highway” of the telecommunications world. It was during that period of time that businessmen and some Government officials for the first time started to show an “email address” on their business cards.

Since then and still today, the majority of the people failed to realize that apart from the incredibly fast and efficient point-to-point communications network that shrunk the world and morphed the telephone into the most portable data processing device, the Internet could also serve as an infinite service and business platform available only to those who comprehend it well enough to take full advantage of its nuances.

For the other few, the Internet insiders, an unlimited new world of opportunities opened up  offering new and surprising ways to earn and collect income, most of the times instantaneously, taking advantage of a type of business transaction that takes place without physical exchanges, that requires no inventories or warehouses, that generates instant invoices as the payment is already collected, without ever turning into “aging receivables”.

The same wide range of opportunities surged for services which became so global in scope that people now hires “virtual assistants” or “staff” in India, Europe or China for work in New York or Florida, and the small corner print shop that handled stationary and business cards in the past, now delivers from some location in China, Spain or Buenos Aires where prices and quality are more competitive.

And another huge activity grouped under “Social Media” exploded and flooded the business sector with yet many more opportunities to provide services, bring about social and political change, and use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many others to generate “instant income” thus making money on the Internet.

However, before Marc Ostrofsky sat down to analyze his success and come up with the recipe that took him there, there was no single tool or Sextant to help the traveler on this Superhighway in order to find out first where he was, then where to go next and how to and how fast to get there.

The book Marc Ostrofsky wrote covers everything. Starts by telling the reader that he needs to know what he does not know about the Internet. Then suggests to  learn, and tells what and where, and provides an enormous wealth of source information illustrated with case studies, examples and tips. All that, is carefully organized in a guide structure that shows business common sense in every chapter and their sequence. The best gold nuggets of advice hit the reader between the eyes: “Telecom+Computers+Internet+Consumer Electronics=Unlimited Opportunities” “Pay attention to trends,” ”My Secrets…” etc. He is also generous sharing experiences in order to avoid what could be costly pitfalls for the uninitiated.

Generally I do not trust the “How To …..” publications of any kind. I believe the only ones who truly benefit from these books are the publishers. However my reading of Get Rich CLICK left me convinced that we now have at our reach a most effective “Internet User’s Manual” which could be used advantageously to find how to make money. Waste no time! It’s a fast road. Rene M. Valverde, Aventura

Our latest book selection was wonderful. I had the pleasure of going into a lot of the sites that were suggested and it opened my eyes to a lot of possibilities.
I was under the impression that buying a domain name was more expensive than some of the reported websites that I went into. I also found out that there are other opportunities along with the purchase of your domain name that will help you get started with advertising, registration, and domain name suggestions.    
This book shows you how to make money with using other sites that generate revenue for you.  It is like being tagged on Facebook; once your site is tagged you generate revenue depending on the type of site you have not to mention the agreement you make with the other site. The whole idea is to generate a site with a domain name that will generate hits for viewing. The more hits you get the more money you make. You also want to create a site that is business or services oriented. 
 Your business or service has to have a domain name associated with what you offer in order for people to visit.  You make money with advertising on your site something like bill boards but you really have to be computer literate in order make your site profitable.   
The coupons that you’re given through the writer’s site are to help you start. I like how he shows you the ideas that people come up with to begin their business. He suggested that we pay attention to the trends and he is correct. There are so many coupon saver sites today. Why? Because of today’s economy.  They all have something to offer.  
Everyone wants something different so you have to attract as many people as you can. The idea that appeals the most is you create a site for your business or service. You purchase a domain name for that site. You do not have to pay rent for a building, hire people or offer insurance. You are able to do it all with your site and hope it pays for itself at the same time generate revenue for you. 
If you get customers that want your business or service, they begin to pay for what your site offers.  The idea is a win-win situation.  Patricia Garcia, Miami



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