As someone who is opposed to higher education for the same reasons the author is against it, I was very excited to pick up The Personal MBA to feed my own opinion as well as learn from someone much more informed than me. After coming across the author's blog I wanted to shout "hallelujah amen!" and shake his hand as he went on about the questionable economic sense of an MBA. When I was finally able to pick this book up and dedicate some time to it, I was very excited as I read through chapter one "Why read this book?". However, I was greatly disappointed when I got about a quarter of the way into it and fully realized how shallow/limited of a view we were taking of each topic.
In chapter one the author writes "The Personal MBA is a set of foundational business concepts that you can use to get things done. Reading this book will give you a firm foundation of business knowledge you can use to make things happen." Unfortunately, I would take issue with the author's claim that after reading this you will have a firm foundation in the topics covered. I felt that the book read more like a Spark Notes encyclopedia or dictionary and did not make me equipped to adequately think or apply any of the topics to my own professional life. It was as if there was a machine gun firing off all of these quick topics that followed the outline of casual story or comment and then one paragraph of depth. When I purchased this book, I was looking forward to more detail than the author presented and I think the first chapter does not adequately set the stage for what the author's goal is.
More examples could be given buy my intent here is not to berate the author. I simply would like to point out that if you have a fair amount of academic or practical business knowledge already, this book may not be as enlightening as you would like it to be. I will not discount my own fault here because I should have read more about the book rather than judged it by the title... shouldn't I have learned that by now?
On a side note, I would like to take some time to mention how impressed I am that the author has responded to many reviews here on Amazon, especially the negative reviews. In one of his responses he writes something that summarizes my feelings regarding this book excellently. I quote him in response to someone on a negative soapbox thinking MBA programs are the greatest thing since sliced bread:
:Quote: "If a reader who isn't familiar with business can learn the essentials in a few hours for a few dollars, the book is a worthwhile investment. For experienced readers, the value is conditional: it depends on your willingness to step back, reexamine your assumptions about how businesses work, and reconsider how you're operating. The biggest barrier to learning something new is usually realizing you still have something to learn." :Unquote:
I cannot help but admire his response and I think it is a very valuable three sentences to read before purchasing this book. If you know nothing/little of business, this is going to be a great read for you. If you studied it in college and like to read business books on occasion, then I would say that spending visiting his blog with an open mind would be just as beneficial in the long run.
At the end of the day, with well over 100 reviews and nearly 5 stars, many acolades from very successful business people, and a successful following on his blog, this book is not going to waste your time. I believe the author is challenging the status quo in a vocal, logical, and well thought out way and for that I wish him the best on his journey to convince people to self educate themselves. It is a powerful lesson that everyone can challenge themselves more on.