By David Silverman Scribe Publications
Feel-good stories tend to warm my heart. Tragedies reduce me to a snivelling mess. Typo, by David Silverman, fits somewhere in the middle and left me feeling sorry for the author, despising the American typesetting industry and pining for a happy ending that I knew would never come.
Typo follows entrepreneur-adventurer Silverman and his partner and mentor Dan’s acquisition of one of America’s fledging typesetting companies, Clarinda. David is the lovable technical guru with few management skills while Dan is the “man”, loved by all and able to get all onside with his silver tongue.
Or so it seems.
Typo documents Clarinda rise and rise in an industry where outsourcing to India is the new cash-cow, the customer is always right (and apparently very angry) and American typesetters are expected to remain profitable as their world is falling apart.
Throughout Typo, one develops a great liking for David. He is regularly too honest with his employees and customers for his own good. He jumps from one fire to another, dousing each just enough to prevent the company from burning to the ground. This is never better illustrated than in his first foray into senior management.
As I’ve already alluded to, this doesn’t end well. Without going into too many details, by the end David is left with very little aside from a lesson he is unsure he has learnt, a debt that will see you picking your jaw off the floor and very, very few friends.
Ultimately, Typo is a slightly depressing tale, but it is also a ripping read. It doesn’t teach the seven steps to marketing success or how to get rich by working three hours every fortnight from your parent’s back room. But often, life happens between the lines.
By Paul Gordon Messenger Publishing
Paul Gordon has led a very interesting life. His career has included working in a drug squad and heading up a major bank. As a result, his life has been anything but common.
In this his first book, Uncommon Sense from an Uncommon Mind, Gordon takes a look at working life a little differently. In the first chapter, Gordon explores how the world has changed a lot in a short amount of time. He then goes on to suggest reasons for this change and ways today’s business men and women can alter their life and work styles to take advantage of the new business landscape.
Although the book is mainly focused on providing advice and insight into financial and career planning – achieving what you want with the least amount of stress and effort – it also touches on ways to improve work/life balance.
With chapters such as “What a Dickhead!” (which includes a test to determine whether you have become a dickhead at your place of work or home) and “Who thinks a CV is bullshit?”, you know this is not your typical business instruction manual.
Gordon’s observations are simple and he does not get mixed up in the jargon and buzz words that are so often overused in this genre. Gordon’s insights are genuine common sense – an all-too-rare commodity in modern society.