You get five excellent books for the price of one with Clicks and Mortar. Let me explain.
This is the first book that I have read about innovating with e-commerce that truly straddles the divide between existing business principles and the new economy. Unlike many of the books on e-commerce which are written by consultants, pundits, Web site designers, and technologists, this book is written by business people who have successfully made the transition into using the Internet to enable all their stakeholders. That perspective alone makes this book a valuable contribution to the literature, because it allows everyone to understand the overall business perspective of how to think about this new technology.
Beyond that benefit, the book also serves as a fine best practice example of developing e-commerce businesses based on the successful experiences of Charles Schwab. The details of this example are much more complete than I have read elsewhere, and Charles Schwab is one of a handful of firms that have successfully changed their business models. In fact, the company has appeared on my CEO 100 list more times than any company other than Clear Channel Communications and Tellabs.
Third, this book is valuable for focusing on people (customers, employees, suppliers, partners, and regulators) as the basis for thinking about technology and new business opportunities. The book does so in a sound and thoughtful way that will be helpful to companies that are not challenged by new technologies, as well as those that are. If you are a humanist, or someone who believes that business starts with creating a customer, you will find that this book expands your perspective on great ways to do that. The authors understand that passion for a larger purpose is the glue (the mortar of the title) to bring people together to advance service for customers (using clicks, in this case, through computer technology).
Fourth, this book also has value in filling in gaps in the perspective of most business people, technologists, and new business developers. The beauty of the book is that it does so in a way that will encourage the dialogue and community across narrow perspectives to build something better.
Finally, the book transcends its narrow example base of Charles Schwab by referring to other books, studies, and companies to provide a full perspective on effective ways to drive innovation and improvement in a large or small organization.
The book is easy to read and interesting. Although financial services is not my favorite subject, I enjoyed what the authors had to say about Charles Schwab. The rest of the material was even more compelling and useful.
The book is also very well organized. Summaries of key points are interspaced with more fully developed arguments and examples. The authors alternate in presenting their ideas and experiences, so you also get the benefit and the interest inherent in two voices and speakers. That was very well done. It is a device that more co-authors should consider using.
Finally, the book did something that almost no case history books ever do. It took a moment to look ahead for the next 20 years. The final section is a roundtable discussion with 8 experts in the field. I would give the book 5 stars, just for the idea of including this section. The execution is also excellent.
am 17. April 2000
The focus of my research and authorship is corporate branding and net-age leadership. Both, when realised for maximum human potential, revolve round making unique promises simply and earning the trust of all of the community that interacts with your company. The content index of this book provides a more promising map for 21st C corporate value leadership than any outline I can recall. As a cherry on the top, the book's finale makes you wonder wow - why can't all worthwhile business books launch the erader into the future in this way:
"We used to have debates in undergraduate religion classes about whether prophets predict the future or create it. I came down on the side of creation because I'd seen the impact of declaration on the action of others. "All men are created equal" was not fact until Jeferson and others said it was so. When it was established by declaration, everyone who wanted it to be true took actio to make it real and those who didn't want it to be true took counteraction. So to me it seemed reasonable that declaration was an act of creation, not an act of clairvoyance.
In that spirit we asked 8 people to join us in a dialogue (a virual conversation) about the future, on what we hoped would put some rhetorical stakes in the ground, helping to create the future of commerce.
Our group of 8: Steve Balmer, Microsoft President Leonard Berry, Professor Texas A&M, author discovering the soul od service 1999 Tom Gerrity, Professor Wharton, Director of e-commerce forum Bill Harris, Former President, Intuit Lew Platt, Chairman Hewlett Packard Condoleexa Rice, former provost Stanford Erich Schmidt, Chairman/CEO Novell Ann Winblad : co-founder of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners
To get the dialogue started questions asked were:
Looking ahead 10 to 20 years: other than technology and change management, what factors will most affect organizations' ability to thrive?
It is often said "employee and customer loyalty are dead". To the extent that this is true, what is driving this perception. How do we reverse it? Do we need to?
The internet is certainly driving enormous price competition. What beyond price will matter to consumers and what will be valued most? How will companies differentiate themselves in an internet-driven world?
Is the new technology like the telephone or the assemble line that will transform business, or is it the beginning of a revolution that will
have an impact on every area of our lives?
chris macrae, author Brand Chartering, contributing author The 2025 Report. editor of the special issue of Journal of Brand Management: 21st C brandknowledege : human relationships and e-branding
am 29. Mai 2000
Wow! The dynamic duo of Pottruck and Pearce have presented a truly inspiring book in *Clicks and Mortar*.
Accelerated changes brought forth by the Internet economy have created a lot of excitement, hype, and of course, confusion. When things are changing so fast, what should you do to keep creating or maintaining competitive advantage?
Instead of fighting price wars and throwing all kinds of marketing tricks, practical wisdom of both authors look into something much more fundamental: energizing passionate leadership to communicate fundamental values and vision, in order to build and foster a corporate culture so strong - like DNA ingrained in every cell - whereby every person may be empowered to act upon such values, and constantly innovate to provide the best customer experience. That is their secret to creating employee and customer loyalty. Wouldn't you feel proud to work in a company like that? Or, if you were a customer, wouldn't you want to be dealing with a company like that?
Just read the book and learn from them, as they had masterfully filled and articulated every chapter with wisdom, practical advice, and colorful anecdotes. In addition, they also mention several other great titles worth reading, including *The Innovator's Dilemma* - one of my favorites on the topic of innovation.
If you are a management consultant, business executive, or even a technologist, this book will really make you think about the kind of companies that will weather the Internet shakeout...
It's time to be passionate about what you believe, and make a difference!
am 13. Mai 2000
This book surprised me on several levels. One is that Pottruck is refreshingly but not inappropriately candid about more than business. By way of supporting his notion that consensus-building and compromise (not just "leadership") is vitally important to any organization that seeks to succeed, he reveals that a reason that his (two) earlier marriages failed was not because he had a "wife problem," but because he was, in fact, a "husband problem." He claims that he had used the traditional "executive" operating methods within his marriages, meaning a "you're in charge of this, and I'm in charge of that," way of doing things. Rather than acting as a reasonable "division of labor" model, this ended up being merely divisive, since it provided neither the experience of sharing and compromise within the marriage(s), nor the relationship-building practice that is so essential - in business and marriage. Wow! That's pretty interesting and univerally useful material for a business book. Pottruck's use of personal anecdote is appropriate and trenchant throughout. Wise authors, and a very worthwhile book.
am 10. April 2000
In Clicks and Mortar, Terry Pearce and Dave Pottruck cut through the dot.com hype to present a clearly drawn vision of what "Passion-Driven Growth in an Internet-Driven World" looks like. At the core of that vision is the need for strong company values which guide management decisions and are effectively communicated in word and action. The authors do not diminish the importance of strong financial performance and increased shareholder value. Rather they argue that successful companies inspire the loyalty of their customers and their employees by listening to them and letting them know their opinions and commitment are vital to success. Well written and tightly woven, Clicks and Mortar is a must-read for executives and a detailed blueprint for knowledge workers who have a choice about where to work, where to invest, and where to do business. I plan to place my bets on companies like Schwab where management is not afraid to make bold decisions which transform their companies based on feedback from their customers, their employees, and changing market forces.
am 5. Juni 2000
Clicks And Mortar: Passion Driven Growth In An Internet Driven World is organized around the three marketplace issues of building and sustaining corporate culture; leading for commitment rather than compliance; and building inspiration into traditional business practices. David Pottruck and Terry Pearce effectively collaborate to provide the reader with solid research, practical hands-on advice, and insightful personal examples drawn from their real-life experiences with the online Internet trading business, as well as examples drawn from such diverse companies as Harley-Davidson and Hewlett-Packard. Clicks And Mortar is an exceptionally recommended leadership guide for aspiring corporate managers in the rapidly evolving and expanding age of the Internet.
am 14. Juni 2000
This book is a wonderful example of how experience and grey hair do contribute in a great manner with new business models and new technology. The examples given in this book and the main 3 concepts for getting better management skills in this new era, combine years of experience and a terrific speed for assimilating new things. The authors share with us great ideas for building corporate culture, for building inspiration in the way we do business and for changing compliance for commitment, even in a fast growing world as the Internet. Please read it. It will make your relationship with your employees, shareholders and even your familiy, a better one.
am 23. Juni 2000
Pottruck and Pearce take their combined business experience and weave a great primer on passion driven growth. It all begins with culture, diversity, leadership, innovation, measurement, technology and ends with the customer experience. Their wonderful examples show how to achieve the highest level of success from your business. An engaging presentation made stronger by actual experiences.
am 12. Juli 2000
One need not be involved with the corporate world to benefit from reading Clicks and Mortar. As a visual artist, I find Terry Pearce and David Pottrucks philosophy of passion driven business highly applicable to my work. Clicks and Mortar transcends the world of business, it is for anyone interested in examining their own values and putting them into action. This is a superb book.
am 5. Juni 2000
The title on this book is a bit of a misnomer -- this isn't really an Internet business book. The book's focus is on building a sustainable, healthy corporate culture. While it's not an Internet book per se, some aspects and examples can be applied to Internet businesses too.