Friday, November 29, 2013

50 Best Business Ideas of the Last 50 years by Ian Wallis (Editor)

As the title mentions this book offers a selection of 50 business ideas which according to the editor are the best ones over the last 50 years.
Each of these business ideas are described in a seperate chapter in a structured manner  as per the following sections -
The Background,  Commercial Impact, What Happened Next

The ideas are categorized as per the decades as follows:

1960s (18 chapters) - The Pill, The Disposable Nappy, Contact Lenses, Sattelite Television, Biometrics, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), The Ring Pull, Touch-tone Phones, Equal Opportunities Policy, Video Conferencing, The Fax Machine, The Plastic Bag, The Microwave Oven, The Smoke Alarm, Kevlar, Aerosol Deodorant, Computer-aided design (CAD),The Internet
1970s (14 chapters) - The Pocket Calculator, Budget Airlines, Email,The Automated Teller Machine (ATM),The Computer Game, Just-in-Time Inventory Management, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI),VHS,The Barcode, Electronic Point-of-sale (EPOS) Technology, The Global Positioning System (GPS), Fibre Optics, The Electronic Spreadsheet,The Walkman
1980s (9 chapters) - The Personal Computer (PC),Infrared Remote Controls,The Post-it Note,
The Compact Disc (CD), The 20-70-10 Rule,The Digital Camera, Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) Systems, Dyson (Dual Cyclone Vacuum Cleaner), Tablet Computers
1990s (7 chapters) -  International Overnight Courier Services,The Smartphone, Search Engines, Pay-per-click Advertising, Pay-by-swipe Technology,The Hybrid Car,The MP3 Player
2000s (2 chapters) - Google's 20% Innovation Time,The E-reader

Many writers (too many to be named) have contributed to the chapters in the book. But apart from the fact that there are some interesting facts you can find here and there in bits and pieces, none of the chapters could keep me engaged. The narration and discussions lack depth and vitality. It is just overloading the reader with facts.
You can make note of the ideas from the above list and look them up in the internet. Or you can collate all the Wikipedia articles about these ideas in one place. They will certainly make  a better read and provide you more depth in the subject matter.

But if you want some quick facts about  the 50 ideas in a handy and compact form, then this book may serve some purpose.

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