Fri, 15 Apr 2005

What To Do With The Big Moo?

The two books by Seth Godin that I've read, Purple Cow and The Big Red Fez, were both good. So, when Seth announced The Big Moo on his blog, I was excited about getting my hands on it. The Big Moo is a collaboration between Seth and 32 other business writers, with each writing contributing a chapter on how to make your business remarkable. As an interesting marketing idea, galleys (pre-release) versions of the book were offered in boxes of 50 for $2 each ($100 per box). Their goal was to get word of the book out early so big companies would buy truckloads of the book for their executives.

Back in 2000, the president of BNW bought everyone a copy of Tom Peters's The Professional Service Firm 50. The Big Moo is a similar type of book, but without the annoying typography (lots of different font sizes, bold, exclamation points, etc. I hate the style of writing in Peters's book. If you need to trick me into getting excited about your writing, you haven't written a very good book. Get me thinking, and I'll be excited.) It's not that it's a bad book, but it definitely under-delivers. Each of the authors contributed a single chapter, and most "chapters" are two or three pages long. It feels like you're reading a brain fart that the author couldn't bother to think through fully.

It's definitely not the type of book that forever changes your thinking: it wouldn't be included in a personal MBA list. So I'm not sure what I should do with 48 unread copies of the book (I did give one copy away). I can't give it to people saying, "You have to read this!" And I don't really want to give it someone and say, "Here's an OK book you might want to read if you don't have anything better to do."

If you want a copy, let me know. Some other readers enjoyed it more than I did. Meryl at gave it a decent review.

The book does what it sets out to do: motivate the reader to get out there to put ideas to work to develop a remarkable organization that gets everyone buzzing.

As does Jack at 800-CEO-READ. Though he seems to like the book mostly because the proceeds go to charity. That's not a very good reason to read a book. You'd be better off giving the money directly to charity and avoiding the printing costs.

Update (10/10/05): I managed to unload two copies. Thanks, Heather!

Update (10/18/05): John, who also took a copy off my hands wrote up a review on his blog.

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The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else. - Frederic Bastiat