“Kevin Maney: Trade-Off”

A Kindle Sample Review

After a lengthy foreword, the excerpt from the book was only a 2 page introduction and the prologue, or beginning thereof so most of this review does is not actually based on Maney’s writing.

Luckily the foreword by Jim Collins already refers to and summarizes some points from the book:

  • Maney came to the conclusion, that the “best people […] have the courage to make rigorous choices”
  • Basic concept: “rigorous choices between high-fidelity and high-convenience”
    • fidelity: “being something special and hard to get”
    • convenience: “being easily accessible, even at the expense of quality”

According to Collins the books “does not in itself gives answers about what you should do, and not do. Rather […] it forces you to engage in a powerful question, […] from which you derive your own insight […]”.

Quoting Maney: “You have to make trade-offs to become distinctive, rather than merely employable.”

Then Collins describes Maney’s job description as “Kevin Maney”, suggesting that he has successfully done just that.

Maney starts the book with trade-off examples from the movie industry. How Netflix stuck to DVDs even though basic streaming was available (but the CEO believed in the quality advantage of DVDs over the convenience of streaming of the time)[1], and how Hollywood jumped on the 3D bandwagon to keep people going to the theaters.

  1. Attributed to Reed Hastings (CEO of Netflix): People are willing to trade the quality of an experience for the convenience of getting it, and vice versa. ↩︎