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The companies that Jarvis is discussing in this book aren't necessarily companies consisting of one person, he has just used that as an umbrella term for companies that choose to stay small, keep overheads to a minimum, work smarter rather than harder, and not chase unsustainable growth. But it can also apply within large organisations; it's a mindset apparently. It's a clunky conceit that doesn't really work. Lean might have been a better way of describing these entities if the term hadn't been loaded with meaning by previous authors.
The book is not badly written and Jarvis refers to lots of real world examples to back up his points but those points are the same ones recapitulated for 220 pages. This isn't an instruction manual for doing more with less. There are some allusions to the ideas in Eric Ries' The Lean Startup but I found this book too obvious and lacking in any new insight.
Paul Jarvis challenges growth as the primary determinant of success. And how well he does that. What emerges is a new paradigm of business, if we so choose, as collectives of empowered individuals doing what they are good at doing business based on relationships and service. Perhaps this is a way we can start creating end results that we want for ourselves and the world
This book came at the right time for me. We've always battled about the aspirations for our company, and this has helped bring some of those nagging feelings to fore and address them. We've always wanted to do good and important work, and this book provides some useful tips on how to ensure this happens (for example by setting an upper limit on how much you want to earn). It's written in a very understated manner and, unlike many other business books, favours substance over style. Recommended.
Company of One carefully balances aspiration with reality. Jarvis pulls from many real-life business success stories, while admitting that while profitability should be reached quickly, success takes time. I've been in business for six years now, so nothing was completely new to me, but it did serve as food for thought as to what I could be doing better. Thank you Paul!
Wow. A Company of One is such a good read! Insightful, enthralling and useful. As a disabled entrepreneur, I wish I read this book sooner, but after reading this book I’m ready to realign to be “better not bigger.” 5 stars. Highly recommended.