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Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Business Man

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Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Business Man, originally published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1916, is a classic story of a business man in the field of advertising and his journey to business success. It is a story which has lead individuals with business ideas to garner great success in the world of business and in their professions. This Robert Updegraff c Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Business Man, originally published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1916, is a classic story of a business man in the field of advertising and his journey to business success. It is a story which has lead individuals with business ideas to garner great success in the world of business and in their professions. This Robert Updegraff classic is often used in business schools and by individuals studying entrepreneurship, advertising, and business.


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Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Business Man, originally published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1916, is a classic story of a business man in the field of advertising and his journey to business success. It is a story which has lead individuals with business ideas to garner great success in the world of business and in their professions. This Robert Updegraff c Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Business Man, originally published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1916, is a classic story of a business man in the field of advertising and his journey to business success. It is a story which has lead individuals with business ideas to garner great success in the world of business and in their professions. This Robert Updegraff classic is often used in business schools and by individuals studying entrepreneurship, advertising, and business.

30 review for Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Business Man

  1. 4 out of 5

    Pankaj Jindal

    ".. picking out the obvious thing presupposes analysis, and analysis presuppose thinking, and I guess Professor Zueblin is right when he says that thinking is the hardest work many people ever have to do, and they don't like to do any more of it than they can help. They look for a royal road through some short cut in the form of a clever scheme or stunt, which they call the obvious thing to do; but calling it doesn't make it so. They don't gather all the facts and then analyze them before decidi ".. picking out the obvious thing presupposes analysis, and analysis presuppose thinking, and I guess Professor Zueblin is right when he says that thinking is the hardest work many people ever have to do, and they don't like to do any more of it than they can help. They look for a royal road through some short cut in the form of a clever scheme or stunt, which they call the obvious thing to do; but calling it doesn't make it so. They don't gather all the facts and then analyze them before deciding what really is the obvious thing, and thereby they overlook the first and most obvious of all business principles. Nearly always that is the difference between the small business man and the big, successful one."

  2. 5 out of 5

    David

    What a brilliant, simple and short story to illustrate something many of us forget in business (and in life). I wish I'd been given this book when I finished my A Levels, or when I'd started University. This is the kind of book I'll be rereading every year for the rest of my life. It's out of copyright, so you can get a free digital copy. (Oh and David Ogilvy of Ogilvy on Advertising used to give this book as gifts to up and coming ad men) What a brilliant, simple and short story to illustrate something many of us forget in business (and in life). I wish I'd been given this book when I finished my A Levels, or when I'd started University. This is the kind of book I'll be rereading every year for the rest of my life. It's out of copyright, so you can get a free digital copy. (Oh and David Ogilvy of Ogilvy on Advertising used to give this book as gifts to up and coming ad men)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jitesh Bhatia

    With all of 56 pages, this book has one of the highest return on time-investments. It is about a man, who, despite his humble beginnings and a lack of the usual 'genius-level' attributes, made it to the top in an industry he was passionate about. I would have given it 5 stars only if the rarity value of the application of its recommendation hadn't gone down a tiny bit due to the passage of decades since this book was authored (1916). Below are the key takeaways for me: 1) Think hard, analyse and s With all of 56 pages, this book has one of the highest return on time-investments. It is about a man, who, despite his humble beginnings and a lack of the usual 'genius-level' attributes, made it to the top in an industry he was passionate about. I would have given it 5 stars only if the rarity value of the application of its recommendation hadn't gone down a tiny bit due to the passage of decades since this book was authored (1916). Below are the key takeaways for me: 1) Think hard, analyse and see the obvious in solving problems. Resist the short term gratification of being associated with a fancy scheme/shortcut (The overarching lesson) 2) Adams (The protagonist) strongly believed that he could excel in an industry of which a leading figure discounted him off early on in an interview 3) He had an unshakable confidence and resolve, which stood out so strikingly after his rejection, that the interview decision was reversed soon after. He said he did not know how but that he was going to set out to find some way to prove that he was going to make good 4) One makes his own luck. Adams could have continued in his entry-level role but he chose to streamline operations, suggest that someone at a fraction of his salary could do it thereon, and begin to work on a new project in a different capacity that he got wind of. The work got notice and he was given a chance to officially start contributing in the new role 5) Have an unconditional love for the things you are passionate about. Adams spent hours on a project despite knowing it was not assigned to him. Eventually, it was his proactive preparedness that got him recognition If you have read or are going to read the book, and have got this far through the review, please do let me know your thoughts on the 'profound' last couple of lines of the book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Zord Guts

    Agora Copy Camp recommended this book. The rating is for how I'd rate the book in comparison to other books I've read. The book follows a simple setup-plot-punchline format. While it is a short and simple story, the lesson is important. There is no shortcut to success. Think on what needs to be done and act on it. Achievement in anything is as simple as that. For an over-thinker like me, I'd do well to implement this line of thinking until it's second nature. The key lesson is summarized in this e Agora Copy Camp recommended this book. The rating is for how I'd rate the book in comparison to other books I've read. The book follows a simple setup-plot-punchline format. While it is a short and simple story, the lesson is important. There is no shortcut to success. Think on what needs to be done and act on it. Achievement in anything is as simple as that. For an over-thinker like me, I'd do well to implement this line of thinking until it's second nature. The key lesson is summarized in this excerpt: "... I have given considerable thought to that very question, and I have decided that picking out the obvious thing that presupposes analysis, and analysis presuppose thinking, and I guess Professor Zueblin is right when he says that thinking is the hardest work many people ever have to do, and they don't like to do any more of it than they can help. They look for a royal road through some short cut in the form of a clever scheme or stunt, which they call the obvious thing to do; but calling it doesn't make it so. They don't gather all the facts and then analyze them before deciding what really is the obvious thing, and thereby they overlook the first and most obvious of all business principles. Nearly always that is the difference between the small business man and the big, successful on. Many small business men have an aggravated case of business astigmatism which could be cured if they would do the obvious thing of calling in some business specialist to correct their vision and give them a true view of their own business and methods. And that might be said of a lot of big businesses, too." 'Business' can be replaced with 'person' for self-development purposes. Gain a true view of yourself, decide what you want to do, make a plan on how to get there, and take action. Avoid shortcuts(5 minutes a day to a slim figure! 10 ways to get rich quick! 15 things you can do to get women to love you!etc, etc) and gather all the facts so you can make an obvious plan to get you there. Most of the time, the obvious plan will require a lot of work and discipline. And the obvious plan might be contrary to how 'everyone else' is doing it, like going straight to the CEO for a job. But the chances of achievement are much higher when you follow the facts.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ruchir Gandhi

    Seeing Obvious and communicating it properly is the strength of Adams. For any shrewd businessman or marketing persons finding obvious is essential for Success. This simplifies complexities. A good read. At least once.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Viktoria Vaisma

    Loved ut: great short book, which should be mandatory reading for every CEO and advertising people - don't over-complicate things, but tell your clientele, why they need your product and how much does it cost :) Loved ut: great short book, which should be mandatory reading for every CEO and advertising people - don't over-complicate things, but tell your clientele, why they need your product and how much does it cost :)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    It is an inpirational read fopr a time only, but just that.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Saikrishna

    Simple and Brilliant. Author says what he wants to say in few words and that's it ! No Fluff ! Simple and Brilliant. Author says what he wants to say in few words and that's it ! No Fluff !

  9. 5 out of 5

    Oliver

    First half: story - good but not so informative. Second half: advice/ steps to being obvious, interesting points that expand upon the original story. A nice little book, quick and easy to read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kesavan Hariharasubramanian

    The book lucidly showcases how common sense can trump expertise in a given field. A must-read!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Pilat

    The book was straight to the point. Get all the facts and do what's obvious. "The Mountains Of Holland" "There are no mountains in Holland." The book was straight to the point. Get all the facts and do what's obvious. "The Mountains Of Holland" "There are no mountains in Holland."

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marcelo Bahia

    A little tale with a simple lesson we often forget in business: the value of the obvious and the pragmatic seek for the truth as it really is. Worthwhile short read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Darron

    A short story that highlights something we forget when dealing with challenges. I found it to be of use.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jan Brinkmann

    very short story about advertising. inspiring, obviously ;)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gui Jatu

    Great Book

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alvin Leong

    Good short story. Get free legal pdf from Google

  17. 4 out of 5

    Miguel Braga

    Common sense Genius on his best.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Konrad Holden

    A good enjoyable read. It is in narrative form so some of the marketing concepts take a little bit of digging to fully grasp—which may be better anyways.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sean Goh

    Neat short story illustrating the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle. How many of us have sense enough to see and do the obvious thing? And how many of us have persistency enough in following out our ideas of what is obvious? It's that everlasting obviousness in Adams that I banked on. He doesn't get carried away from the facts; he just looks them squarely in the face and then proceeds to analyze, and that is half of the battle. I have decided that picking out the obvious thing presupposes ana Neat short story illustrating the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle. How many of us have sense enough to see and do the obvious thing? And how many of us have persistency enough in following out our ideas of what is obvious? It's that everlasting obviousness in Adams that I banked on. He doesn't get carried away from the facts; he just looks them squarely in the face and then proceeds to analyze, and that is half of the battle. I have decided that picking out the obvious thing presupposes analysis, and analysis presuppose thinking, and I guess Professor Zueblin is right when he says that thinking is the hardest work many people ever have to do, and they don't like to do any more of it than they can help.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Key takeaway demonstrates over and over in this short story: "...picking out the obvious thing presupposes analysis, and analysis presuppose thinking, and I guess Professor Zueblin is right when he says that thinking is the hardest work many people ever have to do, and they don't like to do any more of it than they can help. They look for a royal road through some short cut in the form of a clever scheme or stunt, which they call the obvious thing to do; but calling it doesn't make it so. They do Key takeaway demonstrates over and over in this short story: "...picking out the obvious thing presupposes analysis, and analysis presuppose thinking, and I guess Professor Zueblin is right when he says that thinking is the hardest work many people ever have to do, and they don't like to do any more of it than they can help. They look for a royal road through some short cut in the form of a clever scheme or stunt, which they call the obvious thing to do; but calling it doesn't make it so. They don't gather all the facts and then analyze them before deciding what really is the obvious thing, and thereby they overlook the first and most obvious of all business principles. Nearly always that is the difference between the small business man and the big, successful one."

  21. 5 out of 5

    Barry

    A nice, short book on how to be successful not only in business, but also in real life. There are two important lessons that I take from this book. One is that you should strive to seek the whys of any event to find the root cause of any problem, which forces you to be rational about the problems and their potential effects. The second lesson is to simplify your solution to the problem. Don't overthink problems and try to design a sophisticated solution. A lot of the times, the simplest solution A nice, short book on how to be successful not only in business, but also in real life. There are two important lessons that I take from this book. One is that you should strive to seek the whys of any event to find the root cause of any problem, which forces you to be rational about the problems and their potential effects. The second lesson is to simplify your solution to the problem. Don't overthink problems and try to design a sophisticated solution. A lot of the times, the simplest solution suffices.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Madhur Rao

    Nice easy read. One can argue that the business environment has changed over the last 100 years, and therefore one needs different tools to succeed in the current age. But this book highlights that some things haven't changed over these many years - the ability to synthesize information in simple terms that can be communicated to a 7 year old. As Albert Einstein said it so well "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler". Nice easy read. One can argue that the business environment has changed over the last 100 years, and therefore one needs different tools to succeed in the current age. But this book highlights that some things haven't changed over these many years - the ability to synthesize information in simple terms that can be communicated to a 7 year old. As Albert Einstein said it so well "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler".

  23. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    An outstanding little book I'd included in my "American Business Parables" reading partly on a single quote read online. Very well worth searching out and reading. Lovely story with basic principles well presented. Don't expect a long read, or something "heady" and over-clever - the basics are always.... Obvious. An outstanding little book I'd included in my "American Business Parables" reading partly on a single quote read online. Very well worth searching out and reading. Lovely story with basic principles well presented. Don't expect a long read, or something "heady" and over-clever - the basics are always.... Obvious.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    Super quick read, very practical reminder that it is necessary and not always easy to look for the obvious. This book seems to have fairly low reviews but I'd say you'll get some of the best bang for your buck when you consider how little time/money you spend on it. Super quick read, very practical reminder that it is necessary and not always easy to look for the obvious. This book seems to have fairly low reviews but I'd say you'll get some of the best bang for your buck when you consider how little time/money you spend on it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Luka Rajčević

    Very quick read. In a simple and approachable way it draws the idea of looking for the obvious (and applying it) instead of coming up with obscure just for the sake of it not being obvious - because "obvious is stupid and, well, OBVIOUS!". Very quick read. In a simple and approachable way it draws the idea of looking for the obvious (and applying it) instead of coming up with obscure just for the sake of it not being obvious - because "obvious is stupid and, well, OBVIOUS!".

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    One of those short business fables, like the Carpenter, written to exemplify one point. This one serves to demonstrate how most professionals overlook the obvious in favor of detailed facts and analysis.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    One of those books recommended by a mentor. Can see why it was highly spoken of. A story of a man who goes straight line toward he wants. Main point of the story is that sometimes the best decisions are the obvious ones. Too much thinking can fog decision making. Great read

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sal Coraccio

    Despite the low mark, it is probably required reading for the bidness-types or the improvers among us. It's a quick, inspirational read even if many of the examples are quite dated. Just read it. Despite the low mark, it is probably required reading for the bidness-types or the improvers among us. It's a quick, inspirational read even if many of the examples are quite dated. Just read it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Esteban Herrera

    One of the best books on marketing ever written. The message is very simple and powerful at the same time.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Very nice, little book. One of those olden golden books. What a little gem.

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