A print review for Get Back in the Box

Well I’ll be. After six months of really nice web coverage, my most recent book, Get Back in the Box: Innovation from the Inside Out, is finally getting some print reviews.

Like they say, it’s not worth saying if you’re not killing a tree or two to say it on.

Figures that this review is by a poet, not a business analyst. Because the book itself is really more of a literary/media critic’s take on the culture of business than your typical “Nine Laws of bla bla” primer. And, ultimately, it’s pretty gratifying to see someone I don’t know – yet who cares about writing itself – “get” what it was I was trying to accomplish. Thanks BT.

Sunday, June 18, 2006
The Oregonian

With “Get Back in the Box: Innovation From the Inside Out,” media theorist Douglas Rushkoff has written a business book that even a poet can appreciate.

For one thing, Spenserian sonnets appear before the introduction is half over. For another, “Get Back in the Box” is refreshingly free of acronyms and jargon. The metaphors are well made — nobody’s stealing anyone else’s cheese — and the tone is conversational. Or conversationally passionate, if that’s possible, as though he’s that friend at work with whom you take coffee breaks, and he has something he wants to tell you that’s important.

Though its focus is corporations and the people who run them, the book has ideas worth considering by all of us.

We’re amid a new renaissance, Rushkoff proposes, one ushered in by the Internet and open-source coding, which breaks down barriers between providers and users. As a result, the old corporate models, metaphors and maxims no longer apply. The lines of competition have blurred.

The best response, he argues, is not corporate reinvention — that is, thinking outside the box — but the rediscovery of core competencies in conjunction with customer’s needs and a commitment to collaboration and community.

Oh, and a sense of fun. In the new-renaissance paradigm, it’s not the one with the most toys who wins, Rushkoff writes. It’s the one who’s played the most with the toys.