14 December 2005

21. Everything I Learned About Business I Learned From Monopoly by Alan Axelrod

This was a very cool little book that I got from Rick for Xmas last year. I thought it would be a book about tips and tricks for how to win at Monopoly, or at least do better, like the book I got from Summer at Christmas 1997. That was the Monopoly Companion.

This book is not that. It is a guide to doing business Monopoly-style. As the author notes in the introduction, many parents and older folk think Monopoly is a great way to teach kids how to be responsible with money. Well, unfortunately the lesson that is reinforced in Monopoly is that risk is the key to success. Risk and pushing risk, taking chances, investing as deeply as possibly in sources of revenue, and making deals with other players until you are ready to stab them in the back – those are the lessons of Monopoly.

This is an interesting book for me to read right now because I am just starting the business plan for two ventures I'd like to start – a magazine and the Mashomack Boatshop that I spoke of earlier (on 8 December).

The business plan has a lot of mystique around it, like it's so hard to get right and write it and only an experienced person should be writing it. All false, as far as I'm concerned. It is just like a screenplay. Just another writing format to use to convey information. No big deal.

Anyway. I found the format of the book to be entertaining – short little bits of Monopoly wisdom followed by short little stories that illustrate that wisdom And clocking in at 200 pages it was a quick read.

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