4 out of 4 stars
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Almost everyone has heard stories involving the Titanic and the tragedy behind it. However, in the book The Titanic Effect: Successfully Navigating the Uncertainties that Sink Most Startups, authors Todd Saxton, M. Kim Saxton, and Michael Cloran bring a new light to this tragic story. The purpose of the book is not actually to tell the story of the Titanic. Instead, it uses mostly unknown facts about the business behind Titanic in order to create an understanding of businesses as a whole and how key factors in a business startup will lead to either success or failure.
The book is written with entrepreneurs in mind, as they will surely face the difficulties mentioned when they decide to venture into a business. As they navigate through the writing of this book, the authors use "iceburgs" as the main symbol. They start off by explaining about hidden debts, or "debtburgs," that lurk beneath the surface of any business, just like the huge part of an iceburg that is invisible because it is underneath the water. We only see the big problems or debts in a business, just like the tip of an iceburg. The book then begins to describe the different ways that these debts occur. The four "oceans" that entrepreneurs must navigate through are the Human, Marketing, Technical, and Strategy Oceans. A section of the book is dedicated to each of these oceans in terms of how they may negatively affect a business and ways to avoid creating the "debtburgs" that can easily occur in these areas.
I was very intrigued by this book. I feel like the authors have an immense knowledge of the subject matter. It is obvious by the way that they structure the book and because of the type of symbolism used. They don't just give facts. They thoroughly use examples and bring everything together in a way that a normally bland subject can be understood. The many stories and facts about the Titanic are the main example of how the authors accomplished this task. I was drawn into many of the historical facts about the Titanic and the business of the White Star Line, which was the company that owned the Titanic. Historical facts were interwoven into the book and helped bring the authors' points to life.
I also enjoyed how the authors threw in other well-known figures such as Abraham Lincoln and J.P. Morgan to prove certain points about the history of business concepts. Mini-stories about various people and occurrences were placed throughout the book and brought clarity to many points made by the authors.
The book was edited well. I did not see any mistakes. I have no negative comments. Obviously, the book is geared toward a certain crowd, so everyone may not find the subject matter interesting. However, it is not necessarily only meant for those who know a lot about business. I, myself, do not have a vast knowledge of the business world. I am interested in learning more, though, and this book is a huge help for those who are looking to learn more about business startups. With the amount of Titanic history in it, it also would be interesting to those who are just interested in learning some historical facts.
I have decided to rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. It is a very thorough and researched book that I believe would be a tremendous help to many people. I encourage any entrepreneurs or history lovers to check out this book!
The Titanic Effect: Successfully Navigating the Uncertainties that Sink Most Startups
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