Roadside MBA: Back Road Lessons for Entrepreneurs, Executives, and Small Business Owners
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What We're Saying
The culling process we undertake during the awards process is always rigorous, but we've narrowed it down to 40 books—5 each in 8 categories. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Roadside MBA: Back Road Lessons for Entrepreneurs, Executives, and Small Business Owners by Michael Mazzeo, Paul Oyer, and Scott Schaefer, Business Plus, 279 pages, $27. 00, hardcover, June 2014, ISBN 9781455598892 Three microeconomics professors enter a shoe store in Maine… It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, or a very boring story. It is actually the beginning of a great new book that combines two quintessentially American things: the road trip and small businesses. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
While playing hooky from a conference in Boston a few years back, three former colleagues from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management hopped in a car and headed on a road trip. They pulled into a shoe store in Maine and noticed that the sales help was unusually pushy. After a few questions, they discovered the store had a "secret shopper" program, in which employees would be marked down if they were not sufficiently aggressive with customers. A lightbulb went off.
Instead of teaching the tried-and-true case studies involving GE and Microsoft, what if these three wise men pulled their heads out of their ivory towers and went in search of insights about product differentiation, pricing, brand management, building a team, and organization? Why study Mrs's Paul's fish sticks when you can learn from the 80-year-old proprietor of Joe Patti's, the leading and legendary local fish monger in Pensacola? Want to learn about scaling a business? Come meet Dr. Burris, the flying orthodontist, who operates multiple, profitable practices in rural Arkansas.
The book isn't all egghead as the chapters are spiced with the type of vehicular mishaps and Maalox moments that are common on any road trip.