Interrupted Entrepreneurship

Interrupted Entrepreneurship ISBN: 9781946633361, Forbes Books by Ramėz A. Baassiri.

The subject of Baassiri’s book is to provide information with respect to retaining a business through many generations. According to a compilation of statistical facts, this indeed is a daunting task. The author’s research discovered that “…even though family firms make up two-thirds of the businesses around the world, they struggle to survive beyond generation one” and that “only about 30 per cent of family firms make this transition successfully, while only 10-15 percent make it to generation three and only 3-4 percent make it to generation four. What’s more, it is estimated that 70 percent of a family’s inheritance is lost by the second generation and 90 percent is gone by the third generation.” The author, desirous of extending his own family business researched further and discovered that “those families that do survive are the ones willing to keep an eye on new horizons. Just because a business model or product has worked in the past doesn’t mean it will continue to do so, and while innovative diversification and delving into something altogether new could be disruptive (IE), it is an opportunity to negotiate a new path.” He then provides numerous examples of families who did just this followed with seven more chapters expanding upon how his family accepted a powerful key interruption and the adjustments they had made and how expansion of earlier preparations aided. These he followed with an eighth extolling the need for forward, positive thinking.

Discussion/Conclusion: The author has provided a template upon which to extend a family business for countless generations. Among many suggestions offered are: “Live what you love and love what you do” and to “hone your skills toward what you love to excel in”. Also included are the necessity to believe in yourself, openly communicate, be trustworthy and able to trust other family members, establish a sound basic constitution (actually similar to that of the U.S.) for running the business, avoid confrontations among the ‘board’ with respect to hiring, firing and other minutia, and above all, the CEO must be resilient, self-controlled and forward-looking with respect to entrepreneurial interruptions. The book, as so often seems to happen, offers description and suggestions somewhat repetitively throughout the chapters. However, the material provided is well documented and even scholarly in its presentation with a quite impressive list of 210 references. Thus, it is a must read for any individual running a family business or anyone anticipating such action. Also immensely interesting material as collateral knowledge for the intellectually curious.

5* Must read for family owned business; fascinating for intellectually curious.


I Only Wanted to be a Dad

I Only Wanted to be a Dad ISBN: 9780956907653, VASPX (Steve Petrou), contributing author Dr. Robin Hadley.

This unusual book contains a Prologue followed by twenty-five chapters and an Epilogue all about a problem that is far more extensively distributed than generally expected. The subject of infertility is commonly thought of as more specifically pertaining to women. Here the reader is apprised of the fact that it also affects men with similar thoughts, fears, hopes, desires, anguish and attacks on their faith as well when, subject to their desire (or more specifically, overpowering need) to become a father. The discussion is provided by the owner of a ‘fish and chips’ store, who as an ‘average man’, seemingly brings startling reality to the picture. Perhaps a little unusual for today’s seemingly somewhat less committed population, he is a man who is completely devoted to his wife and her desires, emotions and needs. Thus, throughout the lengthy presentation he demonstrates the tenacity of purpose so often missing or overlooked today when problems mount to large proportions in a marriage – specifically the few words called for in the marriage vows providing this phrase: “…. ‘till death do us part”. The author’s presentation is highly descriptive with all-encompassing minute details.

Discussion: According to statistics provided, the infertility problem is of significant proportions and the various means taken in attempting to solve it are far more numerous, than generally believed. This story as set forth, examines intimate details and their effect on every feature of the problem/solution. Further, it is done from an interesting point of view of an average citizen so affected. Solid additions are provided by the contributing author whose studies have contributed much to the understanding of persons suffering from the malady, no doubt aided by his personal experience. There is extensive repetition in the overall manuscript and obviously has provided a welcome catharsis that can be recognized and empathized with by affected readers. The statistics provided are most enlightening and the last chapter and Epilogue offer most thoughtful advice actually for any ‘thinking’ reader.

Conclusion: A book that interestingly shines light on an apparently quite common but generally little recognized problem. It is important material that no doubt certain readers may find helpful. Other readers unfortunately will find the presentation boringly repetitive and depressing. As stated above, however, the last chapter and epilogue offer excellent and, again although repetitive, thoughtful advice worthwhile for most of today’s readers, many of whom consider the bottom line as their only goal and know ‘the price of everything and the value of nothing’.

3* 5* for empathetic readers; regrettably 2* or less for others apropos my conclusion.