This article was originally published on October 17th, 2008. It’s a good reminder for me to continue to show the bizlove as my reach and influence grow over the years.
I first read Love is the Killer App about 3 years ago. I was just starting RockStar Consulting and I stumbled upon it sitting on a friend’s bookshelf. It turned out to be a great book back then and I just reread it after picking up my own copy. As I was rereading it, I found myself wondering, “Was I doing these things all along or did I learn them from this book and just integrate them so deeply I feel like I’ve always been a lovecat?”.
Tim and I share a similar outlook on how to become successful in business, so it’s easy to love this book. As I’ve written before, it’s always a treat for me when I come across a book that seems to take the abstract principals that I follow, and makes them vividly concrete (and it saves me the time of having to actually write them myself).
The strength of Love is the Killer App stems from a two step process. The first step is that Tim tells you why being a nice guy is actually a useful career path, which is quite contradictory to many of the tough-guy business books. It’s refreshing to see someone elucidate the value behind being a good person, not just rest on tired cliches. Not that you should be a good person just to get stuff; but if you got to choose between being kind or a jerk, wouldn’t you want to choose being nice? Here are the benefits to being a “lovecat” as Tim sees them:
- You build an outstanding brand as a person.
- You create an experience.
- You have access to people’s attention.
- You harness the power of positive presumption.
- You receive exceptional feedback.
- You gain personal satisfaction.
Tim takes the process a step further, though, and goes through how to be a nice guy. When someone gives you nuts and bolts tools, it’s an indication that they have really thought their ideas all the way through. For Tim, showing what he calls “bizlove” rests on sharing three resources with other people:
- Knowledge – that you’ve gleaned from reading voraciously.
- Connections – that you’ve developed through networking constantly.
- Compassion – that you’ve accessed by accepting and sharing your humanity.
“Nice, Smart People Succeed. To become successful in business, you must share your business love, which is a combination of your knowledge, network, and compassion”
Ideas, Implications, and Questions
- I was reminded of his idea that every book has a “Big Thought”, the main compelling point that it is trying to convey. A good way to make sure I’ve absorbed the message of book is if I can tell someone its Big Thought. I think it’s important enough that I’ve added it to my Book Ruminations – see above.
- It’s great to see someone reinforce what my inner nerd knew already, “…for the student of business, books are the solution…Books give you knowledge, the news gives you awareness. The later is a measurement of today. Knowledge is a measure of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Awareness is finite. Knowledge is forever.”(pgs. 69–70) This echoes Nassim Taleb’s ideas in Fooled by Randomness about the signal vs. noise problem. What does it mean for the average person? – read more books!
- If I do have to disagree with him somewhere about his thoughts on reading, it’s in his idea that you have to buy a book and mark it up to get value from it. I do like taking notes when I’m reading, and any book I own is filled with underlines, notes, circled paragraphs, and stars. That being said, I think that the public library is one the best inventions we’ve come up with, and it’s a great place to experiment and test books. It’s an easy way to quickly read a lot of books; grab a stack and start reading – if you don’t like it just try another (without buyer’s remorse). If a book really appeals to you, then you can spend the money on it; but you don’t have to buy it to make it’s information work for you.
- Tim’s section on networking challenged me to reevaluate how many introductions I’m making in my network. I think I make a good effort – but I think I can make a great effort. I do a really solid job of collecting nodes in my network, but I need to do a better job of making those connections. What would happen if I set a goal for myself to do x number of introductions a week?
- I know that I need to bring more compassion into my business life, or rather, I need to express it more. I think that, even though I feel the love, if I’m not sharing it enthusiastically with other people it is sterile. I’ve been doing it haphazardly over the past few years; now I need to do it deliberately. I realize that in the past I have gotten stung by some stand-offishness, and it has made me retreat a little. I can’t let those past experiences keep me from “showing the love”.
Should you Read this Book?
Absolutely. I think this is a fantastic primer on how to operate in the business world as a loving person focused on the success of yourself and others. It gives the practical tools that are needed to stop being an island and connect with big wide world. As Tim concludes:
“Why do we have to wait for these moments? Why is it only during peak experiences that we offer love? Why does it take a championship to show emotion? Why not reach inside ourselves and, whenever we have an appropriate urge, tap in to that love and express it. It can make a wonderful world of difference to you and to everyone around you.” (p. 194).