One year on in a Post Corona world, but still grappling with the impacts. Yes, it’s a worldwide crisis, but also full of opportunity. The DNA for sales and business development means keeping alert to see where opportunity is rising, and to boldly go after it to grow sales revenue. New York Times bestselling author Scott Galloway picks through business, politics and sociology to deliver a book that is arguably the best bird’s eye view of the Post Corona landscape, as business leaders strategise to find the best path ahead.
One – What’s special about this month’s book?
We all want to know what the future holds, especially now with such a changeable year in 2020. Good sales revenue forecasting depends upon a solid pipeline, and an awareness of your best opportunities in the quarters ahead. But few can predict the future when our business landscape has had such a seismic shift post-Covid.
Scott Galloway picks through the devastation that is Corona to highlight both crisis and opportunity that lie ahead.
This is a meaty read so you’ll need to be committed to finish it. Scott Galloway’s sharp wit and insights are delivered with enough humour to make it easy to want to keeping turning each page and get through Galloway’s whirlwind tour of the new business landscape.
Two – Book Details for Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity
Author – Scott Galloway
Publication Date – 24 Nov 2020
Publisher – Penguin Random House
Three – Who is Scott Galloway?
Scott Galloway is probably one of the few people on the planet with enough fingers on the pulses of multiple communities to even be able to attempt such a book. His credentials are impressive. Galloway has clearly spent years perfecting his thinking.
- Professor of Marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business, teaching brand strategy and digital marketing to second-year MBA students
- Founder of nine companies – including Prophet, L2 and Red Envelope
- Named as ‘One of the World’s 50 Best Business School Professors’ in 2012 by Poets and Quants
- Co-host of the ‘Pivot’ Podcast
- Author – The Four and The Algebra of Happiness
- Weekly writer about tech and relationships in the digital economy through his blog No Mercy/No Malice
- Speaker – including at TEDx
- His latest startup is Section4, founded in 2019, with a mission to make elite business education more affordable
Four – What is the book’s premise?
That new business opportunities will always come after an economic landscape has been razed to the ground.
That there is life and hope Post Corona.
Written from Galloway’s US perspective but still looking from every possible angle, Post Corona essentially says that there’s a big mess in the world, not just in business but with society as a whole. When Corona arrived, we just weren’t prepared for it, despite the past decade of plenty. An unprecedented 11-year economic expansion meant the tide never went out. – Pg xix
The pandemic has revealed and accelerated broader trends in our culture and politics. – Pg xv So naturally, the discussion moves effortlessly from business to politics and back again. This is part of Scott Galloway’s plan – This book is an attempt to look beyond our unprecedented present and predict the future by creating it, catalyzing a dialog that crafts better solutions. – Pg xv
First, the pandemic’s most enduring impact will be as an accelerant.
Second, in any crisis there is opportunity; the greater and more disruptive the crisis, the greater the opportunities. – Pg xvi
Of course, there’s a perfectly good solution. Galloway’s flywheel to solve the world’s problems involves taking the best bits of capitalism and having strong government – which will regulate personal greed to create a more equitable society in which we all benefit. Which will lead to more business growth. Looking after everyone in the Post Corona world will mean we get our own needs met. And that we have more functioning consumers to keep growing.
Five – Does the book deliver on its premise?
Yes, especially if you want insights into the US market. Even if you’re not thinking of the US, the problems that Galloway outlines, and the trends he forecasts are already casting a shadow over our global future. For business and for people.
Six – What is the author’s voice like?
Clever. Articulate. Witty. Unafraid to call out the Post Corona world for what it is – potentially an emerging Hunger Games economy. – Pg 165
And empathetic, considering Galloway is a strong advocate for Capitalism. There are some unexpected sprinkles of Galloway’s vulnerability. He shares that Economic anxiety was the sound track of my childhood – a static noise in the background. – Pg 175. The next couple of pages detail his upbringing by a single Mum, the story of two lost coats and the additional distress this caused.
Scott Galloway has come a long way from these difficulties, overcoming economic obstacles to become very highly qualified in his field. Be warned – you might just need a dictionary. This book is not intended to be esoteric (haven’t used that word in a while!) but the subtle nuances that confident usage of the English language delivers are part of what makes Post Corona such a riveting read.
Seven – Any memorable quotes?
Scott Galloway has such vivid, colourful writing – it was hard to choose which quotes to leave out! Here’s a taster to show you just some of his thinking in Post Corona, starting with the Magnify Memorable quote:
A forest fire brings life as it destroys – so too, economic upheavals create light and air for innovation to flourish. The 1918 influenza epidemic was devastating but it was followed by the Roaring Twenties. The strongest businesses are those that are started in lean times. – Pg 167
Once, we elected leaders who cut the tops of trees to ensure saplings get sunlight. Today there is less and less sunlight. – Pg 173
ONE LITTLE VIRUS PACKS A POWERFUL PUNCH
A virus one four-hundredth the width of a human hair grabbed a sphere weighing 13 billion trillion tons and set it spinning ten times faster. – Pg xiv
INDIVIDUALISM VS. THE COMMON GOOD
Whether the US is headed for a Hunger Games future or something brighter depends on which we choose post corona. – Pg xxiv
When the virus hit our shores, it found a society optimised for spread …. Our muscles of collective sacrifice had atrophied so as to become feeble. – Pg 155-156.
GET READY FOR POST CORONA OPPORTUNITIES
Companies fortunate enough to be in a position of strength should be flexing their pandemic muscles. – Pg 12
We love being told our success is the product of our own genius. … if you tell a thirty- or fortysomething person who wears black turtlenecks that they are Steve Jobs, they are inclined to believe you. – Pg 182
Eight – What are some insights I can get from reading this book?
This book will push your thinking as you look to make sense of our brave new world. Take special note of the sections on picking Disrupters (Pg 101-105) and Businesses to Watch (Pg 105-122).
In the pandemic, however, cash is king, and cost structure is the new blood oxygen level. Strong balance sheets mean capital to get through the lean times. Companies with cash, low debt or cheap debt, high-value assets, and low fixed costs will likely survive. – Pg 6
BREAKING UP LARGE COMPANIES LEADS TO ECONOMIC GROWTH
We should stop thinking of the breakup of big tech as punishment for doing something wrong, or that it means tech leaders are bad people. … We break companies up to restore competition to markets, which is the gangster app for a growing economy that demands better. As a result, there are more options from other players who must then…behave better. – Pg 60-61
It’s not punishment, it’s overdue oxygenation of the marketplace that will unleash billions, maybe trillions, in shareholder value. – Pg 208
GOVT FUNDING AND THE BIG FOUR ARE KILLING INNOVATION
That tax-free $10 million hasn’t birthed any new companies, it’s destroyed them. In markets dominated by one of the Four, early-stage venture investors are increasingly uninterested in funding an insect to splat into the windshield of a monopoly. – Pg 186
GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS NEED TO WORK TOGETHER
As consumers, we use our fast thinking. So, we need government to slow our thinking, consider the long term, and register moral and principled concerns. Keeping these forces in balance – the productive energy of capitalism and the communal concerns of government – is key to long-term prosperity. – Pg 162.
DISRUPTION IS LIKELY WHERE INNOVATION HAS STALLED
Sectors that have raised prices faster than inflation, without an equivalent increase in innovation, are the sectors where disruption is more likely. – Pg 101
HIGHER EDUCATION IS RIPE FOR DISRUPTION
We will see a culling among universities. Just as retail closures are accelerating from 9.500 stores in 2019 to 25,000+ in 2020, we’re going to see hundreds of universities begin a death march. … A year without the in-person experience, and the pricing power it brings, could drive 10-30% of universities out of existence. – Pg 141
We need firms (like Apple) to seize the greatest business opportunity in decades and open tuition-free universities that leverage their brand and their tech expertise to create certification programs. – Pg 151
REAWAKENING OUR NATIONAL CHARACTER WILL GET US THROUGH
The good news is that defeating the pandemic and moving from crisis to opportunity requires that we reawaken our national character. The opportunity presented by such a reawakening is immense. – Pg 211
Nine – How relevant is this book right now?
Like spectators and participants in a real live Hunger Games, the world is seeing these events play out while being the successes, or failures, of our decisions reverberate.
Looking after people is core to Galloway’s message. Start with the people and work up. – Pg 203. After all, without a healthy, breathing customer base, there is no business.
Ten – Did the book live up to expectations?
Yes and No. Yes, because it’s an extremely detailed exploration of real-life events that are impacting the world.
No, because it was a pleasant surprise to read such a wide-ranging discussion. Galloway clearly views business holistically, not in a vacuum of spreadsheets and pure numbers. The social statistics are well researched and impressive.
And Galloway’s intellectual rigour is impressive, especially as he makes unexpected connections between previously unrelated ideas, creating new lines of thinking you may not have considered.
Eleven – Who would you recommend this book to?
Everyone responsible for sales revenue and business development, especially for sales into the US.
Everyone who desperately want an answer to the ultimate Post Corona journey question – ‘Are we there yet?’
- When will this all finish?
- When can we stop scanning?
- When are we going back to normal?
Welcome to normal folks. As Galloway says – Habits that should have taken a decade to acquire are a new normal. – Pg 17. Clearly we’ve arrived ahead of schedule.
Twelve – Who should buy this book?
Salespeople and Business Development Managers should buy this book, to get widen the scope of your strategic thinking as you chart a course through the Post Corona world. Also, anyone else directly responsible for bringing sales into your business.
Thirteen – Where can I buy this book?
Order from Mighty Ape here.
Fourteen – Recommended snacks to accompany reading this book?
There’s doom and there’s hope in equal measure.
The prescription for the pandemic is the same as the prescription for our broader illness – a wholesale renewal of our sense of community. – Pg 156.
It’s often said that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This could be just what you need to get through any Post Corona challenges.
Find your favourite armchair, put your feet up and let Scott Galloway take you on a rollercoaster journey through the Post Corona landscape. Enjoy a couple of slabs of Gin and Lemon Drizzle Cake, served with thick Greek Yoghurt. And of course, your homemade lemonade.