Dream Merchants and Howboys

May 6th, 2002 by Tony in * commentary, * one-offs

I discovered at the airport that Barry Gibbons had a new book. He’s the ex-CEO of Burger King, and writes exactly in the manner that you would not expect of such. His previous books (“This Indecision Is Final : 32 Management Secrets of Albert Einstein, Billie Holiday, and a Bunch of Other People Who Never Worked 9 to 5“, and “If You Want to Make God Really Laugh, Show Him Your Business Plan” were both excellent. One Amazon reviewer puts it well:  “This guy writes with the wit and wisdom of Tom Peters and the hysterical observations and honesty of Dave Barry.”

This new book, “Dream Merchants and Howboys: Mavericks, Nutters and the Road to Business Success“, is no exception. He spends a chapter each on some of his business heroes – each one definitely a maverick, and many indeed complete nutters –  Luciano Benneton, Richard Branson, James Dyson, Steve Jobs, Herb Kelleher etc. There’s not a huge amount of research into these – in many of the cases where I’ve read more detailed biographies I could spot either inaccuracies or important omissions – but it’s a great introduction to many of them, told not only with great wit but also with passion. Gibbons obviously admires (almost) all of these figures immensely, and it shows.

Probably the only business book that made me laugh aloud on this trip!

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