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The Personal MBA
Read in 17 min.
Listen in 21 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by Josh Kaufman

The Personal MBA

Understanding the world of business

To be successful in the business world, you need an experimental mindset and continuous training. In The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business, Josh Kaufman provides a clear and essential explanation of all the components that make up a business. They range from the basics of entrepreneurship and product development, to value creation, sales and marketing, accounting, finance and productivity. In addition, topics related to communication, psychology, leadership, and performance measurement of complex systems are also addressed, to allow the reader to have a complete picture and create their own  successful business.

The Personal MBA
Read in 17 min.
Listen in 21 min.

The first unwritten rule of business is that you never stop learning

Even financial giants like Warren Buffett are always looking for new concepts to learn. In fact, during an interview with a group of students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Warren Buffett stated that if he could choose a superpower, it would be to read faster. To learn how to move in the business world, however, it is not necessary to wait until you know everything: it is enough to learn a series of basic principles which you can then choose to investigate further. Josh Kaufman defines these basic principles as 'mental models'. These mental models are a series of concepts that can define a person's understanding of how a concept works. Let's think, for example, about driving a car. If you pressed the pedal to the right and the car slowed down, you would be surprised, because we have all learned that the pedal on the right is the accelerator and not the brake. For a beginner, many mental models (and therefore much of what they know) regarding the business world stem from personal guesswork, based on hearsay. This is why business education is necessary and can be extremely useful: business is part of our daily life, and to be successful, it is essential that we understand exactly how it works.

A business is a complex system, made up of five parts: value creation, marketing, sales, delivery of created value, and finances. If one of these key parts fails, we are no longer operating a business, but - depending on which part fails – we are simply pursuing a hobby, a flop, a non-profit, a scam; either that, or we shut it down, and do not pursue anything at all.


The key ideas of "The Personal MBA"

The first unwritten rule of business is that you never stop learning
Before starting a business, it is important to understand what people want and what they need
You can use a simple checklist to determine whether a product or service is ready to become a commercial venture
Creating value is not enough: it is essential that you attract the potential client’s attention and build the right demand for your product or service
A successful business earns the trust of its potential clients and helps them understand why it is worth spending their money for their particular product or service
Understanding how people get their information and how they decide what to do is essential if you are hoping to build a successful business
Scarcity and novelty are two key components to help move a customer towards making a purchase
A business is a complex system in which different forces intervene, such as finance markets and companies, which are also part of other complex systems
Take-home message
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