(Book, Week) = (A Passion for success by Kazuo Inamori, 1)

Like most Japanese books this one has a Atogaki or
"afterwards" to "to set forth (sometimes with
remarkable honesty) the various flaws, fallacies, logical lapses, and
factual lacunae in the book they’ve just written"). Inamori writes,
"the key to success in business is to exercise a  set of moral
principles which follow the universal law of leading all living beings
to happiness." He also suggest individuals develop a pure philosophy.
In A Passion For Success,   Inamori offers his formula "success = ability X aptitute X attitude." The book is divided into 2 How to sections, section 1, how to succeed in life? and section 2, how to succeed in business?

Although this book is short (168 pgs)
it is not easy flowing. There are chapters (most are one page long)
that have pearls of wisdom in them. One of my favorite is, Heaven or
Hell, answering a young monk the master describes hell as a place with
a very large pot of noodles and a yard long pair of chopsticks. People
fight with one another to control the chopsticks and then struggle to
get feed themselves.
He then describes heaven as exactly the same place, however, the
difference is how people use the chopsticks to feed ones neighbour and
then get fed by the neighbour.

Recommendation: (****)
I think the book has a lot of wisdom and advise. So i hope many aspiring entrepreneurs and managers read it.

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(Book, Week) = (The Mystery of Capital, by Hernando de Soto, 1)

Mystery of Capital is the first book in my summer reading project. This is my first de Soto book.I enjoyed reading it. I took good 5 hours to read and grasp it’s central idea.

According to de Soto the current global socio-economic condition is as
follows,"communism is dead and the (third) world has embraced the only
existing system (Capitalism). They have made all the macroeconomic
changes, balanced the budget, cut subsidies, welcomed foreign
investment, and dropped taffis,
yet, the result has been bitter
disappointment. He ascribes this disappointment to the inability of
these countries (and / or promoters of Capitalism) to produce capital.
De Soto describes capital as "the force that raises productivity of
labor and creates wealth of nations." According to de Soto this is one thing the poor countires are not able to produce.
However in the west, people are very easily able to make capital due to
the strong representational system (property rights) in place. The
property rights system provides more value to owner than mere
ownership- it helps one raise capital. Through meticlouse research in Phillipines,
Peru, Haiti, and Egypt he proves beyond all doubt that poor of this
world has the assets, but lack the system to raise capital from  them.
Through out the book he explains the mystery of  missing Capital in
these developing nations.
De Soto concludes by saying, although he is not a die hard capitalist
he believes its the only "game in town" to help the world achieve what
he considers as imp freedom,compassion for the poor, respect for social
contract, and equal opportunity.


Recommendation: (*****)

This book is a great read and helps one see the worlds poor as the
possible solution and not the problem (they are made out to be). I
recommend this book to anyone interested in developmental economics.

2 a week

Inspired by Brad Feld’s "Book a Day diet", I have decided to start my own: 2 a Week starting today.
This weeks books are :
Mystery of Capital and Passion for success.

Link: Feld Thoughts: Book Review: The Economics of Innocent Fraud.

The World is Flat

A very interesting presentation by Pulitzer prize winning journalist. I think this is makes very interesting blurb for all knowledge workers…

Link: The World is Flat, by, Thomas Friedman

Who lives next door to you?

Confucius_lives_next_doorT.R. Reid former Tokyo bureau chief  of Washington Post; makes some interesting observations and comments about "Asian Century". As folks from the continent we know…we have hardly thought ASIAN ? But it’s worth a thought….
Reid states;

"There was a reason for Asia’s social miracle, but it was’nt the economic miracle. Rather, the explanation lay in something deeper and more permanetn that a spurt in gross national product.

These Asians told me that it all came down to two words: moral values."
(Source: T.R. Reid; Confucius Lives Next Door;P.16)

Ben & Jerry’s Double-dip..tasted

This is the story of two friends- Ben & Jerry (B&J), who in 1978 knew not much about ice-creams or business…and today their name is synonymous with good tasting ice cream and Value-led business.

Back in 1978 they were two regular men – aimless!. The only thing they knew was they wanted to live in a rustic milieu , run their own business, make a living, and give back to society. They just wanted to
start a business and toyed with Bagels & cream cheese, Pizza before zeroing on ice-cream…No, they were not driven by market research data but pure unadulterated “Franklin power”- ice cream business needed the least capital investment.

This book is an inspiration for wannabe entrepreneurs and folks driven to understand socially responsible / value-led business. B&J discusses the hardship, the steep climbs and heart pounding fun of running a startup on shoestring budget, with little or no business knowledge! Some thing lots of People would like to hear about.

The book explains B&J’s concept of value-led business based on the following premise..

1 – Business is the most powerful force in modern society. Therefore business has a responsibility for the welfare of society as a whole.
2 – Value-led business can be highly profitable business.
3 – People can influence business- as investors,as employees,as consumers.
4- Ben and Jerry are two regular guys who succeeded in large part because they were true to themselves.
5- There’s a spiritual aspect to business.

My views on: What matters Most?

I have finally taken time to size up and put my thoughts about the book, “What matters most“. I recommend this book to any one interested in the business and especially emerging business trends.

The book explores the different angles of the phrase,”Socially Responsible Business (SRB)” – is it a contradiction or business heresy, forcing companies away from their profit-making mission – and then does a good job of putting forward the case : “The adoption and infusion of a vision and mission that embraces the values of social responsibility, throughout every stage of business, will increasingly become a necessity for organization of all sizes.”

The book spares many pages to drive the idea of,”transparency and disclosure”, foundation element of the entire concept, by transparency they mean more than accurate disclosure of financial information. Transparency in socially responsible business means – full disclosure of the complete impact of the business operations on all the stakeholders (Society,Employees,Shareholders and Environment). Authors, do a good job in reflecting about the various ownership structures and the benefits w.r.t SRB from the wealth of experience at various companies – Ben & Jerry, Patagonia, Body Shop,Stonyfield Farm, Working Assets, Interface Carpets and Seventh Generation etc.

In my view Jeffery and Stephen has done commendable job of not passing judgment, about the SRB practices undertaken by large companies like, HP, Chiquita,Nike,Shell etc, but they have made their case about what the shortfalls are what is good.

They have given considerable energy, in explaining the matrices, yardsticks, guidelines by which business can start measuring and judging SRB performances.

Overall this book has been a good read and I recommend this book.