‘Business for Punks’ is written by James Watt, the co-founder of the Brewdog beer and brewery company. I am a huge supporter and advocate of “small” entrepreneurial businesses, challenging the larger corporates and providing a product or service with a distinct point of difference. Brewdog is certainly one of these, and the approach they take to running their business is certainly novel, and different to any I have seen before!
Their philosophy is summed up in this great quote:
Don’t waste your time on bullshit business plans. Forget sales. Ignore advice. Put everything on the line for what you believe in.
Having done a hospitality/business degree for 4 years of my life, I saw what could probably be called the “proper” way of doing business. Financial models with strict rules, marketing classes with ‘rights and wrongs’, human resources management lectures with vast archives of academic literature and arguments, operational procedures from experienced practitioners. Now this was great, I loved it (my inner nerd coming out), and this was totally why I went to university. But with hindsight, and over two years since leaving the world of academia, it’s actually good to look at things from a completely alternative viewpoint. And ‘Business for Punks’ does exactly this. I don’t know how this would have gone down as an academic textbook, probably not too well, but the advice it gives is perfectly pitched for young fledgling businesses who want to do their own thing, their way, or indeed established companies who want a new look at how to run their organisation.
The book is structured as you might expect a traditional business book to be, but with off-piste sub-headings. For example:
Starting a business- “Don’t waste time on bulls*** business plans”; “Ignore advice”; “Get people to hate you”
Finance- “Cash is motherf*****g king”; “Make banks your bitch”; “The paradox of growth”
Marketing– “No budget, no problem”; “Fans, not customers”; “Give it away”
Building a team– “Interviews suck”; “Love at first sight”; “Ships need captains”
a few more.. “Steal and bastardise”; “Networking is for fools”; “Don’t follow trends”
See what I mean about an ‘alternative’ approach to business!? Now I don’t necessarily agree with every word inside, although the overall message of the book certainly resonates with me, and I think will with a lot of business people.
Fancy reading it yourself? Buy it online here. And have a nice cold craft beer in hand at the same time.