The Personal MBA [summary]


Categories: summaries

MBA book

This book was a quick read.

The author, Josh Kauffman, is precise in his choice of words and covers a gamut of topics such as entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, operations, and productivity. Overall, the book offers nothing new in terms of content that you couldn’t gleam from Wikipedia, blogs, and books. But in its objective of collating a diverse buffet rather than the experience of fine dining, it performs exceedingly well where you might be tempted to read detailed recipes on some of the items.

Here are the snippets:

5 interdependent business processes

Iron law of the market

If you don’t have a large group of people who really want what you have to offer, your chances of building a viable business are very slim.

Core human drives

10 ways to evaluate the market

12 standard forms of economic value

Perceived value

Focus on creating Forms of Value that require the least end-user effort to get the best possible End Result—they will have the highest perceived value.


Twelve Standard Forms of Value aren’t mutually exclusive: you can offer any number or combination of these forms to your potential customers to see which ones they like best.

Bundling and unbundling

Bundling allows you to repurpose value that you have already created to create even more value.


Ideas are cheap—what counts is the ability to translate an idea into reality, which is much more difficult than recognizing a good idea. “Stealth mode” diminishes your early learning opportunities, putting you at a huge early disadvantage. It’s almost always better to focus on getting feedback from real customers as quickly as you possibly can.

6 steps of iteration

Iteration velocity

When creating a new offering, your primary goal should be to work your way through each Iteration Cycle as quickly as possible. Iteration is a structured form of learning that helps you make your offering better; the faster you learn, the more quickly you’ll be able to improve.



Examining the possible Alternatives and considering the customer’s perspective results in better choices.


9 common economic values

  1. Efficacy—How well does it work?
  2. Speed—How quickly does it work?
  3. Reliability—Can I depend on it to do what I want?
  4. Ease of Use—How much effort does it require?
  5. Flexibility—How many things does it do?
  6. Status—How does this affect the way others perceive me?
  7. Aesthetic Appeal—How attractive or otherwise aesthetically pleasing is it?
  8. Emotion—How does it make me feel?
  9. Cost—How much do I have to give up to get this?

Relative importance testing

Critically Important Assumptions (CIAs)

Shadow testing

Minimum Economically Viable Offer (MEVO)

Incremental augmentation

Field testing

Using what you make every day is the best way to improve the quality of what you’re offering. Nothing will help you find ways to make your offer better than being its most avid and demanding customer.


Without Marketing , no business can survive—people who don’t know you exist can’t purchase what you have to offer, and people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer won’t become paying customers.


In order to be noticed, you need to find a way to earn that attention by being more interesting or useful than the competing alternatives.


End result

Random points

Memorable quotes