The Monk and the Riddle

You may notice that I’ve changed the “DogEars” category to something a little more boring: “Book Reviews”. I really hated to do it, but it had to be done. You may have noticed similar changes to other categories over the last few months.

Be the first to guess why I did that, and I’ll send my copy of Randy Komisar’s The Monk and the Riddle to you.

The Monk and the Riddle (Harvard Business Press) is a “make you think about your life’s work” book by attorney turned Silicon Valley virtual CEO Randy Komisar.

Randy’s been around the best, and the worst. After a time as an attorney for Apple Corp, he moved on to be CEO at LucasArts, co-founder of Claris, and CFO of Go Corp. He was also helped build Web TV and Tivo, among others. These days he’s a virtual CEO for startups who need a hand.

A lot of what Randy talks about in the book is stuff you’ve heard before. “Do what you love and the money will come”, with a twist.

He talks about it in a different light, however. Not about the money, but about the time. Is what you’re doing now really what you want to do for the rest of your life? Do you want to look back on THIS, or will you regret living what he calls the “Deferred Life Plan”, a life lived after you take care of business and make your fortune. Sometimes, that’s a life you never get a chance to lead.

Something else stuck out about this book, well after he’d taken many opportunities to hammer home his primary thought.

Here’s what I tell the founders in the companies I work with about business risk and success, and what Lenny needs to understand: If you’re brilliant, 15 to 20 percent of the risk is removed. If you work 24 hours a day, another 15 to 20 percent is removed. The remaining 60 to 70 percent of business risk will be completely out of your control.

“Lenny” is a character in the story he tells throughout the book. A guy focused on the buzz, the conquest and the money, not on the time or on the big picture of his life.

That quote made for an interesting reflection on some of the business ventures I’ve been involved in.

The Monk and the Riddle is a worthwhile read. If you don’t win my copy, slide on over to Amazon or your local independent book store and pick up a copy.

2 thoughts on “The Monk and the Riddle”

  1. Okay, I’ll play. I’m guessing it’s a combination of:

    1) People keep asking for your book reviews or what you’re reading, but didn’t know you called them Dog Ears.

    2) People don’t search for Dog Ears on Google.

  2. Joel,

    Bingo. Both of those things are what drove the change.

    Like Dan pounds into us from time to time, cute and clever doesnt sell unless everyone else gets it. Ill stick your book in the mail.

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