Tuesday Book Review: Platform
A couple of years ago, I came across a link to this post about developing good habits from Michael Hyatt. My schedule then, was much like it is now (full time commitments at home, work, and school, in addition to freelance pursuits) and I was frustrated with a couple of ruts I kept finding myself falling into. Hyatt’s writing is practical and easy to read, and soon I found myself immersed in the content on his blog. His content on leadership and writing were most helpful, and his posts dealing with practical daily life topics were just a bonus.
When his newest book, Platform, was released last year I knew I wanted to find out what Hyatt had to offer in terms of building an effective base from which to launch great products and services. In short, the book takes you through a step-by-step process of creating a product or services that wows customers, and then creating a platform on which to showcase this product or service.
What I like about the book is Hyatt’s practical, manageable approach to a task that can truly be overwhelming at times. Each of the five parts is broken into short chapters that present you with a nugget of truth and acton items that help you get started. Regardless of your level, there is something to be learned from each part, and reading through from front to back is a great way to begin your journey into producing and promoting a product or service. I was able to find actionable items from each chapter that could be applied to my work in construction, to my research and writing in academic disciplines, and to my goal of promoting my freelance IT and design work. There really are parts of this book that can apply to virtually any business or personal venture.
My only real complaint about the books is not really a complaint, but more of a content advisory. And, it’s a shared observation I’ve seen in many of the Amazon and Barnes and Noble customer reviews. Nearly all of the core content from the book can be found on Hyatt’s blog. For example, part four includes several chapters on learning and mastering the use of Twitter. Most of this information can be found starting with Hyatt’s beginner’s guide to Twitter, and following links and recommended articles from there. Information contained in his chapters on WordPress and blogging can be found sprinkled throughout his blog, and his current guide to getting started with WordPress started is perhaps more useful as it includes a screen cast.
So, is it worth purchasing the book when most of the information can be found online? For me, yes. Having all of the information compiled in one placed helped me focus on absorbing and acting on the content. While I’m young enough to have grown with technology and have the capacity to seek out the information on my own, I’m still old enough to appreciate the feel and experience of reading the printed page. That said, you may be interested to know that I purchased both the hardcover and ebook version. After reading the hardcover, I passed it on to a friend and purchased the ebook for continued reference.
Finally, I think it is important to note that the results Hyatt achieved from implementing the strategies he lays out in Platform will not necessarily be achieved as quickly by you and I, the average joe blogger and freelancer. Hyatt’s position at Thomas Nelson and pre-existing popularity as a speaker and industry expert no doubt contributed to his rapid growth of Twitter followers and blog subscribers. That’s not to say success isn’t possible, but I think it’s important to recognize reality.
Note: I have received no compensation for this review, nor did I receive a free copy of the book in exchange for the review.