Thursday, September 26, 2013

 Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It. Mitch Joel. Business Plus. 288 pages.

Mitch Joel makes a clear case for what he calls the seismic shift in the way we do business.  I liked the book because he not only drives home the point that we must make this change, or get left behind, but he then goes on to tell us in an upbeat manor how to make these changes not only in our business, but in our whole way of thinking. Emily Gilday, Miami
The world is changing and at a more rapid pace than ever before.  What I read was eye opening, scary and invigorating all at once.  However, the area that stuck out the most was the rapid proliferation of data driven mobile devices.  With 2.1 Billion data devices purchased and over 2 million iPhone's sold in 24 hours, the access to information is truly at everyone's fingertips.  Add in the love affair we have with these devices and a cultural phenomenon is not in the near future, it's happening now.  In my business, we have created opportunities to be where are consumers are and the mobile device is a key component.  Now, the question becomes how to monetize it.  We haven't mastered that aspect of the business plan nor have our competitors.  But our usage on the mobile device was 6% three years ago compared to 94% via the desktop.  Now, it's 57% mobile and 43% desktop.
Switching gears, one area Mitch focused on was the new office. I found that interesting especially where he mentioned a company that doesn't have specific office space for their employees.  Everyday, you can sit where you want. It made me think about how it eliminates the class system. By doing so, would it create more collaboration or would people start creating their own space and then protecting it.  I think in a smaller work environment, it would be a great test to determine the impact.  I am honestly to scared to do a similar tact with 36 sellers.  However, one take away was developing a creative space for people to collaborate, think or work in a more free flowing environment.  
Overall, I recommend this book because it provides useful insight on how the business environment is truly changing. Mitch provides useful links, mentions several books or provides some great websites.
Thanks for the opportunity, I really enjoyed this book based primarily on the takeaways I received. Greg Alexander Plymouth, MN

Joel serves up a thorough evaluation of the new landscape of marketing, and takes a solid stab at where we’re heading. He stresses the importance of building and nurturing direct relationships with consumers through social media and beyond. He makes a case for delivering real value by making your business and marketing truly useful to your customers.
The main goal of the book seems to be to shake up the reader to let go of old models of marketing and customer relationships. In this respect, it succeeds. I found myself questioning and reevaluating my own strategies. Real answers, though, are hard to come by.
As a business owner, I tried to extract lessons that I can apply to my own company, but I’m not convinced that smaller businesses will gain as much as larger consumer brands will from Ctrl Alt Delete.
The writing style is so rambling and awkward that I really didn’t enjoy reading this book. Here’s a typical sentence:
“In my first book, Six Pixels of Separation, I engaged in the argument that it’s not about how many people your brand connects to (which is the main metric that traditional advertising looks at), it’s that now we can better understand who these people are and what they’re really about (wants, desires, level of care).”
Seriously, how many sets of parentheses can one sentence handle? This seemingly lazy writing is found from beginning to end, complete with questionable grammar, and far too many references to the author himself.
I will keep Joel’s lessons in mind as I move my business forward, but I wish he could have presented them in a more digestible form. He needs a good editor to make this material truly engaging. Robert Kirkpatrick, Miami Beach

I'll start of my review by saying, I certainly recommend this book to anyone in business.  Mitch touches on many current and interesting topics in the fast changing data and advertising industries that are truly impacting all businesses.  I appreciate how he first gives the reader the business implications and then uses the second half of the book to tie that back to how the reader should embrace these changes from a personal and professional perspective.  I found myself highlighting many lines in this book, which only means it was packed with good material. David Mesas, Miami

This was painful.  I tried my best but couldn't get through more than
half.  I get that lots of people are going to lose their jobs, but
repeating words like "purgatory" and giving Gary Vaynerchuk style
advice ("post on blogs!") actually isn't that useful.
A book on the same topic which is actually both interesting and useful
is James Altucher's "Choose Yourself." Scott Wilson (Tampa?)

Ctrl Alt Del is a wakeup call for older entrepreneurs and business men on how to rethink revitalize and reinvent their traditional brands using the technology and social interaction of the 21 century.  Mitch joel stresses creativity, communication, the personal touch that has been lost in our fast paced world.
While he appears overly enamored or awed by technology, he makes a good case on how to effectively use mobility, openness, and social networking for marketing, sales, support, and just idea gathering and promotion. The old adage of reinventing oneself by examining one's own processes rings true just as teaching an old dog of a business owner  new tricks to survive.
I loved his concrete examples and "rules" that even work for the young adventurer or the old business salt. Marvin Stein, Coral Springs

I would definitely recommend this book.  It is concise, precise and right on the mark when it comes to showing how to outline the basics for technology's sake.  It is written in a step by step format that even the less than savvy computer users, like myself, can grasp.  Two thumbs up. Terri Bryant, Davie

I received CtrlAltDelete on 15 Aug 13 and have read it twice.  I have been reading well over a hundred books a year for at least the past 35 years, and I must honestly say this in one of the few books I could just not put down.  Having spent 50 years in the business world, after twice reading Joel's book I have said to myself more than once where was Joel when I really needed him.  I have now retired for the third time and have no plans for active employment again but I could have used much of Joel's insight over the years of my career.  When I retired the first time at the end of Sep 2001, after a 38 year career, I was second in command (COO) of a 14,000 member organization scattered all over the world.  I would have been both a better professional and leader had I had the opportunity to seize on Joel's insights those many years ago.
But I am where I am and as I read, twice, I could not put my notepad and pen down.  I wrote lots of notes to share with friends and younger professionals that I have the honor of mentoring.  There is so much I want to share so let me just lung right in.
For those who do not acquire this book and read it, shame on you, you have lost a very helpful book and lots of valuable insights that can be put to use immediately.
I found it quite interesting and right on point that Joel refers to the time in which we are living as PURGATORY.  I think he is right on target!  He says if you go to a conference, look around you because 1/3 of those you see will not be around in 5 years.  This is a time of great upheaval in business and Joel says the DNA of business has changed forevermore.  Consumers are smart and getting smarter.  Consumers are ahead of their brands that serve them.  The business challenge of how to adapt technology has put business in what Joel calls "a rapid state of genetic mutation" and we are in the middle of this evaluation.  Joel calls this moment PURGATORY because many businesses are scared and don't know what to do.  A tweaking of the organization will not do.  Businesses have to understand this state of purgatory or the business dies and jobs disappear.  We find ourselves in a world described by co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs,  as "If you don't cannabalize yourself, someone else will."  CtrlAltDelete is all about rebooting your business and yourself.

Now for me at least, I share a few of Joel's more salient points:

  • . Many things we see are changing the way business is done.
  •  -Digital only brands
  •  -Cradle to grave business models like Apple
  •  -Manufacturers who have direct relationships with consumers
  •  -Everything is customer focused; business must look at things like customers
  •  -Businesses asking customers to LIKE them on Facebook
  •  -Customers are not linear, they are what Joel calls squiggly.  They are connected to each other  but also to the world
  •  -To be successful businesses must have a positive relationship with their customers
  •  -Relationships are at the core of every successful business
  •  -As Apple co-founder Jobs said, "It is not the customers job to figure out what they want," that is what successful businesses do
Joel is right when he says business must: (1) deliver value first, (2) be open, (3) be clear and consistent, (4) create a mutually beneficial world, and (5) build true fans.
Well I could go on writing and writing but let me stop here.  To Richard's readers DO NO MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY TO read Joels CtrlAltDelete. Doug Newberry, Antioch, Tn.

 WOW! What a book! This is a must read book for the entrepreneur and would be entrepreneur called Ctrl Alt Delete by Mitch Joel. Be sure to get a copy of it. It is fascinating and provides an insight into how companies should be doing business and how you relate to it. anyone who is thinking about starting a business, or anyone who has a business and needs to kick start it, will not put this down until they devour every page of it. It is the holy grail for businesses and would be businesses. Not only does it provide insight into what is going on now in the world of marketing, it provides a step by step blueprint of how you can adopt to it. This is the bible for learning what is wrong with your business, how you can fix it and what you can do as an individual to find your passion and become an entrepreneur yourself. Barry Epstein, Boca Raton

A couple of specific ideas discussed really struck me. First is the notion of the "one screen world", meaning that businesses need to change their thinking from research and marketing to sales and service with regard to how resources will be budgeted and consumed as we move to the "mobile" screen replacing desktops, and even brick and mortar! Another idea Joel discusses is the coming evolution of DNA marketing. Scary realistic idea that we are being watched and tested for what we may be willing to buy in the future! John Moorehead, Weston

I really enjoyed Joel’s book.  He stressed how important technology is in all areas of business (as seller, marketer, consumer), and in personal life.  We can’t ignore how quickly technology is changing the ways we interface.  He also stresses the importance of building direct relationships, and the “touchy-feely” part of me really identified with this!  His five lessons about building direct relationships  stress the necessity of delivering something of real value and using technology to build upon relationships and something that is mutually beneficial.  Hmmm.  That works for personal relationships as well as business relationships, doesn’t it?
And finally, with so many people losing their jobs, his chapter on Startup Mode was beneficial…  well worth anyone who is disgruntled at all with his/her present work to align with the right people, embrace mistakes, and move ahead.
His motto of “embrace the squiggle” repeats Apple’s “Here’s to the Crazy Ones” advertising, ending with “… the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” Betty G Hubschman, Whitsett, North Carolina

What an energizing book!
I love marketing and it has been my life since high school.
I am amazed at the changes and what lies ahead.
This book opens your eyes to the many opportunities and also their side effects.
Do you want to give up all your privacy to take a chance on making money through a Facebook site for your company and is that the media platform for your business analytics?
All these questions and more are discussed by the author Mitch Joel.
I am looking for the sequel as I have so many questions from reading this book!
I also like his references, it is like a social media course in college.
In today's world everyday is a new technology, a new market tool and you must study what fits in your field.
Mine is Real Estate and which app, twitter or Facebook do I spend my time with to capture the next listing or buyer, besides combing the MLS?
Possibly in the future a listing on the MLS will automatically generate a tweet, show up on Facebook and generate a sale from China!
The possibilities are yet to be explored and this book opens your world to look for new marketing tools every second.
Of course, it also points out you need a life and when do you separate from your Iphone? Last kiss at night and first in the morning!
Excellent book I highly recommend for all professionals to read. Cynergy

The author is very current on the most popular app and provides examples for the digital strategies in marketing a business.  The writing is broken into small sections mostly not more than one page which makes the book difficult to follow.   The  content has good examples of new technology but the writing can have more explanations.  The book has an index and is divided into two.  The first half is on the company and the second half on the individual marketing.  The orange cover makes it a light and amusing read. William Murtada, Miami

In CONTROL ALT DELETE , Mitch Joel states from the time he wrote his book to it's actual publication, the contents may be outdated.
However, he covers so much useful material while sighting many creative methods, ideas and examples of both successful and unsuccessful endeavors, the outdated suggestion is highly unlikely.
His book points out the importance of the digital world of the internet and it's components in every aspect
of life in today's ever changing world of technology.
He points out the importance of the social media (Face Book etc.), the mobile devices and active and passive media. The internet is an amazing source of information! Even clean bathrooms,"sit or squat" can be found there.
Not only can various kinds of information be found but purchases can be made as well.
I have recently discovered that a book published in the UK can be purchased before it is made available in the U.S. That is helpful if you don't want to wait for it to arrive here.
In order to keep up with world of almost daily changes, businesses as well as their employees need to
"reboot" in order to remain a part of it. To be indispensible is to do something others can not do.
Trying to be like everyone else is risky business in the forseeable future. An entrepeneur needs to have
the desire to create the future.
Joel also points out there may be consequences for using the i-phone and other devices as a companion
rather than another human being. It is important to ask yourself if what is happening on your i-phone or other devices is more important than the here and now. Remember that thought when you are with your children or
other people and don't forget to set your priorities.
If longevity is your goal in business and relationships with others, Mitch Joel's book should be made an
important part of your life. It's a necessary read! Margot Byrnes, Miami

I did not enjoy this book as I did the others.  Iwould get to a part that started off interesting but by the time I got to the end of the section or example I had to reread the beginning of that part to remember the subject.
There were some parts I liked, e.g. the squiggly - the idea not his examples.  The five dynamics were good, I do not think he brought the idea home for the rebooting your personal life though.
To me this was a very confusing book which did not hold my attention.  I may read it again, but after I read the previous three books I reviewed first. Forrest Carper

Mitch Joel writes a useful book on how businesses must adapt to the virtual digital world in which we now operate.  As a small business owner, I daily wrestle with the shifting tides of marketing in the twitter/Facebook/website environment.  My business does not naturally lend itself to any form of traditional marketing.  This continues to be true as a digital presence becomes "traditional."  Personally, I am afflicted with the need to constantly check my twitter feed, so I understand the necessity to adapt to the "One-Screen World."  While Joel's suggestions on meeting goals for delivering appropriate content to millions of potential clients don't always align with what my business can or should be doing, it provides a fresh view to the reality of the need for a digital presence.
I found it interesting that Joel readily cites other authors and thinkers, and recommends numerous books, blogs and websites when explaining a premise or position.  For what its worth, that gave me a positive feeling about the ideas and the author, and also led to additional "research" and other great business ideas.
Overall, the content was sharp and thought-provoking, and the presentation in multi-heading "bites" made it an easy read.  I felt like I could always pick it up even if I could only read four or five pages during a brief sitting.  This kept me coming back for more, and led me beyond the pages to bonus ideas. S D Rembold

It's hard to keep the subject of how technology influences your marketing, your relationships and your life fresh, and this book is no breakthrough.
Divided in two sections, the first dealing in how rebooting can impact your business and the second about rebooting your life, the book, like every marketing book in this day and age, showcases many successful enterprises and the strategy they used to get there. It's a tried and true strategy, and judging by the amount of similar books proliferating, a winning one.
The problem with this particular one is  that a found limited applicability to the advice doled out. Perhaps because I'm not in the service community trying to reach thousands of distant eyes, but even when the book turns to "personal life" advice I found its logic unnecessarily stretched just to prove a point, and even then I didn't find it that useful. Maybe I need rebooting, but this book never pushed the right keystrokes in my brain. 5 out of 10. Miguel Cobas, MD

 Every time I opened "Ctrl Alt Delete" to read a few more pages, I hoped it would get better. It never did. With so much energy and enthusiasm about the opportunities presented by the Internet, Mitch Joel seems perfectly positioned to make sense of it all. Instead, he delivers a shabby quilt of ill-stitched memes, reverent of the entrepreneurial spirit and fail-fast startup culture that has so radically transformed business since the Internet's inception.
The book's string of bite-sized sections, each carrying a short but catchy subhead, is enjoyable at first. But while the style gives author Mitch Joel a chance to punctuate his transitions with wit, the transitions eventually fall flat. The quick-pivots between case studies, admonitions, and advice intended to help the reader understand how to keep pace with modern consumers quickly turn into little speed-bumps in overly-long stories that should have been trimmed by a good editor.
Remarkably, this book does deliver a little value along the way. For the unaware, it creates a clear and compelling view of the convergence of media platforms that Joel casts as "The One-Screen World." It points to the wholly under-appreciated imperative of building direct connections with customers in a world where social media is taking on added importance to marketers every day. And for people who missed out on the revolutionary Tom Peter's book, "The Brand You 50," it makes clear the many reasons for resetting one's priorities in a business world that has so firmly placed us at the helm of our own careers. Michael Fitzhugh

Everyone knows we are in the “Information Age,” but Mitch Joel warns that only few today are poised to succeed as the digitization of our interactions continues at warp speed.  Great discussion of how digitalization of consumer interaction, through smart phone, tablet and/or wearable computer technologies, is drastically re-shaping our business and personal lives.  Adapt and embrace the new realities of communication, and everyman smart-technology, or be left behind.  Clever and worthwhile reading. Doramary

This book goes into detail about how our world is changing at a phenomenal pace.  In order to be successful, it is important to be like one of the customers, walk in their shoes and step outside the box, get away from sitting behind the desk.  In order to gain a customers attention, one needs to be up to date in all areas of technology and digital media in regards to advertising and marketing.  It may seem fairly basic, but today’s fast paced world waits for no one.  We cannot sit idly by as the competitors are always a step ahead to get the business.  This book embraces today’s technological world in an easy to follow format. Trisha Molina, Miami Springs

 A very thought-provoking book is this Control, Alt, Delete.  As the title implies this is an information-age book that addresses the dilemma of computer improvements, applications to personal devices and their impacts on business.  It goes without saying that since days of Marshal McLuhan the impact of technology has radically altered the economics and decision making processes of business.  And in the current economic sphere that writer Mitch Joel addresses, where sole practitioners take on the corporate giants, the challenge becomes how to re-invent ourselves and our businesses to address the influences of 24x7 access, big data’s impact on consumers, and the associated real problems of finding a job via cyber mode, where we can apply our unique talents.
    When so much of the employment picture is run digitally, our digital presence has to resist becoming digitally stereotyped, such that individual expression is limited by your tech presence for good or bad.  As one makes your digital self known, it might be said that you survive only by what you write, and the digital impact you make for your product saves your identity and defines your worth.
    Besides mastering the technological innovations and hardware the Futurists dilemma (and sometimes the consumer person’s nightmare) becomes; Do we function well by allowing the media mode of social network and web presence, to be the place where we strive to retain our unique identity?  Or sorry to say, do we just let media filtering translate our message in bulk with an archetypal message?
    Seth Godin might say “Weird” is alright, “just be you”; but this book goes to the next level and favors a new approach to media presence where people market themselves by striving to get to app status, so to speak.  This book says there might be some new thinking required too, about how we create our private space and then take it to big data to draw attention to ourselves and thereby justify other people’s time for a message.
    But McLuhan’s message and admonition are still valid here.   Your message depends somewhat on the media transmission method.
             Yes, we’re all going to be increasingly connected to the technology to connect to our customers.  But the valuable message to new workers, from the characteristics Control Alt, Delete supports, is worth reading.  Be careful of throwing out the baby (our special message) with the bath of continual static virtual evaluation.  A New You might encounter a Reality Check when the final impression gets transmitted..   Is there a danger of being co-opted? Jim Swaner

Mitch Joel makes a clear case for what he calls the seismic shift in the way we do business.  I liked the book because he not only drives home the point that we must make this change, or get left behind, but he then goes on to tell us in an upbeat manor how to make these changes not only in our business, but in our whole way of thinking. Emily Gilday, Miami

I did not enjoy this book as I did the others.  Iwould get to a part that started off interesting but by the time I got to the end of the section or example I had to reread the beginning of that part to remember the subject.
There were some parts I liked, e.g. the squiggly - the idea not his examples.  The five dynamics were good, I do not think he brought the idea home for the rebooting your personal life though.
To me this was a very confusing book which did not hold my attention.  I may read it again, but after I read the previous three books I reviewed first. Forrest Carper


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