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Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

Time Event
3:56a
And now for something completely different ...
Despite having worked in entrepreneurial settings for the past 30 years (my Mom's business, my own business, and my Wife's business), I've never been much of a "business guy" ... while being quite focused and dedicated to the work at hand, the "business of business" has never much interested me, and so I've never been one to seek out business seminars, magazines, or books. As such, Conor Cunneen's Why Ireland Never Invaded America stands rather lonely in my library; while it may not be the only "business book" in there, it certainly has precious little company. So, you might ask, how did I come to be reading this book?

Well, as followers of my main on-line journal know, I've been recently involved in yet another new job search, and have of late been rather obsessively attending things provided by Chicago's Career Transitions Center. Last Thursday, for the early morning session, Mr. Cunneen was the guest speaker, presenting his SHEIFGAB™ motivational structure to our group of desperate job seekers. Mr. Cunneen is an award-winning humorist and business speaker, and he very generously brought along copies of his book for all of us there that morning. Needless to say, I felt it would be impolite to not at least give the book a shot, and found that it was a bit of a confection (think peanut brittle), with nuggets of solid business advice set in a fast-reading humorous story.

As I have so little exposure to the "Corporate Strategy" genre, I can't "contextify" this as I might a book of Sufi stories, or an archaeological site survey, so let me get to "the facts". The book is "about" an Irish-American entrepreneur, Jake Boyd, who is on vacation visiting an Irish cousin (the inexplicably named Finbarr Kozlowski) back in "the old country" for a week's vacation. Jake's company has been struggling, and he's on the verge of throwing in the towel and selling it off. Finbarr, however, is constantly challenging him to look at things in new ways, and, in doing so, presenting 10 "corporate lessons", from the whimsical Don't Believe Your Own Blarney to such key elements as brand name, brand experience, and brand image. Having been an entrepreneur, there were many messages here that would have been quite useful in my previous businesses!

Why Ireland Never Invaded America is available both via Amazon, etc., and from Cunneen's various inter-twined web sites (it's amusing to me as a "web guy" how often you're in a different domain while navigating through his stuff ... although I don't think that's part of the intentional humor!). The book is also available via the new/used vendors, but I feel a bit churlish mentioning it, having been given a free signed copy. Anyway ... this is a fun read, with good "business lessons" ... if you're in the market for some easy-to-absorb marketing advice, this is one you should probably pick up!


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