Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Book as Blog

Harvey Mackey's Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt sat tantilizingly on the thrift store shelf. For a mere 75 cents I could have a copy of the book that followed on the heels of Mackey's 1988 bestseller, Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive. Naturally, I grabbed the book, took a seat, and began turning pages randomly.

Surprise! Mackey is, for want of a better term, a print blogger. In other words the book reads like a series of posts on a business blog. Mackey's format anticipated web logs by a half dozen years or more! If the Internet had been then what it is now, perhaps Mackey would have been a blogger before becoming a published author. Here's a sample:

Spend some time in the trenches.There is no dirty work in your business. One way to prove how important every job is and everyone is, is to take on the job yourself. If you believe there is no such thing as a good job with a shovel, then so does the guy who has the job. You can't expect his attitude to be any better than yours. At least once a year, I'll spend a day at one of the jobs at my company generally regarded as menial. It's not a stunt; I don't announce it in advance or announce it afterward, either. I don't hire a photographer to record it; the house organ does not carry a story about it. I just do it. Believe me, that's enough. Word gets around. And more than once a year, I will go out with a salesperson on his or her calls. That works, too.

The thrift store economy keeps classic books like this one circulating. Anyone can easily find out the New York Times and best sellers. But for a lot of Americans, some living on a limited income and some not, the thrift stores offer a source of affordable reading. And a few surprises, too!



At 6:47 AM, Blogger Peter said...


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