Book Review (unfiltered): The Four

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Okay so first of all, let’s get all the niceties out the way…

Thanks so much for stopping by!

So. I need to send out a HUGE apology to everyone who has gone out on my recommendation to purchase this book which is, in my informed and humble opinion, incredibly overpriced and to be honest a huge piece of American entrepreneur propaganda bullsh*t. Why you ask? lets get to it then!

“I hope the reader gains insight and a competitive edge in an economy where it’s never been easier to be a billionaire but it’s never been harder to be a millionaire.”

– Scott Galloway (Author of The Four)

Scott Galloway is an incredibly well- researched writer in the scope of the four companies he writes about (Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google) however I personally think that his defense in later chapters of his book regarding why these four companies specifically and why not others was incredibly weak.

Let’s take the one example that I got to that made me throw this book away where he states reasons why Alibaba could never be a company that influences consumer culture. Bullshit right? Cause we know how big Alibaba is and how much of a big deal Jack Ma is from reading ” The house that Jack Ma built“. The author essentially writes off Alibaba based on his ignorant opinion that its not a company that is big enough in America and can therefore never even begin to compete with Amazon. Wait what? I’m not sure who deemed America the centre of the universe but last time I checked Asia has a bigger population than America and Alibaba is highly utilized in China, more so than Amazon. Sooo… how can Amazon be taking over in the bigger scheme of the rest of the world…..? Don’t get me wrong, it is an amazing organization isatin, with an amazing history, however, no corporate, no matter how big and “innovative” is immune to the burning platform syndrome.

As I said, I think the author is well researched but I loathed the ignorance and bias undertones towards a specific region so much that I literally had to throw that book away; it won’t be making it into my collection but it was certainly informative in some areas which were good enough to document.

So in conclusion, if you are looking for fast facts of “the four”, definitely pick this expensive piece of sh*t up, however if you are looking for an objective, well- written observation of who the four leading organizations are  that are taking over “the world”- don’t pick this book up. It spits on entrepreneurial efforts of billionaires with successful business models, who don’t fit the stencil of the “American dream”and God knows we don’t need anymore marginalisation in this cold world.

Some highlights and interesting observations below (if you still care to read):

Chapter 1:

  •  55% of people search for a product start on Amazon vs 28% on Google which definitely shows consumer confidence on the platform that is Amazon.

Chapter 2:

“Instinct is a powerful chaperone, always watching and whispering in your ear, telling you what you MUST do to survive”

  • Galloway sets the scene around consumerism and the role of men and women in this context by referencing Hunters and Gatherers, with a comparison of the modern day man and woman to the Paleolithic and Neolithic people

” if you google biggest mistakes in business history, the majority of results are risks that firms failed to take such as excite and blockbuster passing on acquiring google and Netflix respectively….”

  • Write up on Amazon’s floating warehouse

Chapter 10-“The Four and You”:

My favorite chapter to be honest! Galloway sneakily starts off with the following phrase

” follow your talent, not your passion”

It’s fantastic and so so relevant! In chapter 10, Galloway basically breaks down the critical components one needs in order to stand out in the 21st century. He highlights the number of “good” graduates there are but goes on to state that “good” is just not good enough to survive the digital age. He breaks down key focus areas one must master/ apply in order to beat the curve, show you have grit, and generate wealth.

These are the sorts of things your mentor must be talking to you about; sharing of insider secrets for your success, Not, “tell me how’s work?”.

page 266: together the horsemen employ 418000 employees- the population of Minneapolis. If you combine the value of the 4 horsemens public shares of stock, it comes to $2.3 trillion. CRAAAAZY…

 

 

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Book Review: The girl on the train (my thoughts so far)

Why am I reading (and possibly closing out my year with) The girl on the train by Paula Hawkins? Well firstly because I needed a book that would guarantee to heal the trauma I experienced from attempting to read The heart is a lonely hunter, and secondly because I could no longer resist staring at, and not just reading the very first hardcover book to make my collection!

It’s been a week since I started reading The girl on the train and I must say, I am pleasantly surprised. From the moment I scooped this gem up at the Exclusive Books sale for R160 (from R400) I can certainly say the accountant in me was hella chuffed.

If you know me well enough you know how much I die for psycho thriller reads! When I read that The girl on the train was similar to Gone Girl, I simply couldn’t resist giving the book a chance and well… so far I must say, its pretty close!

The book is set and written in the UK. The main character, Rachel, is a millennial alcoholic divorcee whose picture perfect future was swept right under her and she is now forced to live through her ex husband moving on with a new woman that he decided to marry, have a child with (something that a barren Rachel couldn’t accomplish) and live with in a house that Rachel picked out and bought for the both of them to start their future.

At this point in the book, Rachel is basically hitting rock bottom. Her alcoholism and unemployment are at an all time high and she finds herself behaving in unexplainable ways. For reasons elaborated in the book, Rachel resorts to stalking her ex in order to cope and deal with her trauma and throughout this almost ritualistic activity, she picks up on another couple, not staying too far from her ex husband to pay interest to as well. One day, Rachel gets so intoxicated that she blacks out and the next thing she knows, she’s naked in bed with a gash on her head. the next day, the police show up at her doorstep looking for answers relating to her activities the previous night that could possibly be linked to a kidnapping (of her ex husband’s daughter) and the disappearance of the woman she stalked from time to time.

I read Gone Girl 2 years ago, although the storyline is there in my mind it is quite fuzzy. So far I can definitely see why people would compare this book to it however, something in my gut tells me that The girl on the train is hands down more well written than Gone Girl. Paula Hawkins really knows how to keep a reader in suspense and desperate to turn the pages of her story. Another thing I seem to love now which this book shares with Americanah, is that each chapter is the story of a different character, I think it’s an amazing way to tell and showcase a complex story from a specific character’s perspective while building up to a specific point when all these lives will collide and make sense as one.

All in all, so far, so amazing! I’m really enjoying The girl on the train and would certainly recommend it to anyone who enjoys psycho thrillers, suspense and just reading about messy human beings so you can live vicariously through them- or validate your own bad decisions!

Don’t forget to subscribe for email notifications and follow the blog so you can read my final review of the book! If you’re curious to read other book reviews you can click on the tag “book review” on the home page and this will take you to all the book reviews I have published so far on FemaleMillennialMusings 🙂