Published: 2004, 352 pages, no audiobook
Reviewed: September 2011 by Tyler Christensen
Other Reviews: n/a
Official Site: n/a
Overview: Author Gary Erickson describes his journey in creating the company Clifbar, a nutrition bar with a unique business model and clientele, and why he decided against selling the company (taking it public) in 2000 when there was great pressure by his business partner and others to do so. This book doesn’t delve deeply into the specifics of building and running a company but uses a cycling metaphor of riding on “white roads” to describe how he feels a business should be run. My rating: 7/10.
Who will benefit most by reading this book: While this book is kind of about how to build and maintain a business, it is more autobiographical than anything else, and is more of a “fun read” than a book that might be used in creating your own business model. So this is a book for someone who likes biographies, is somewhat interested in business, and/or any fans of the product (Clifbar) or cycling enthusiasts.
How the rest of us can benefit: It was pretty good
Complete Review: Gary uses the metaphor of red roads and white roads in cycling and compares those to running a business (more specifically, how he runs his business). In this metaphor he has a Red Road. This is one that is built for the masses by a large corporation. It is busy, huge, very structured, run boards and shareholders, and is the one that most people use to get from one place to the next.
White roads, on the other hand, are those that have great uncertainty. These are the ones you can’t always find on the map but that the locals tell you about. They are risky, sometimes dangerous, and difficult but provide great adventure and have huge potential.
Gary’s experience with Clifbar has been akin to riding the “white road.” While it has been extremely difficult, it has also been a great adventure and is one that he is committed to. It is a lifestyle.
Tyler is a husband and dad, professor, writer, web designer, and DIYer.
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