I am not particularly proud of this fact, but I was the Cliffs Notes queen in high school. You remember Cliffs Notes... those handy little yellow and black books that were promoted as study guides BUT actually enabled you to know the main characters, themes, etc. of a book without even reading it cover to cover (or at all).
Somewhere along the way, I picked up a box of used Cliffs Notes at a garage sale and literally owned almost every Cliffs Notes ever published. They sure did come in handy when it came time to write papers or answer questions in class. I know, I know... that's horrible. I cheated myself by not reading the Classics word by word and drawing those same conclusions myself. But, it worked for me in high school, and I have found a similar product for the grown up me that's now a small business owner.
This may surprise you given my characterization above, but reading books (especially books about business) is actually one of my favorite pastimes. I am the nerd who reads business books for pleasure while sitting on the beach. The problem is that I, like you, am not sitting on the beach too much these days. I am busy building a company. And, I am so tired at night that I am out like a light one paragraph into a book.
So, what's this solution that I have found to quench my thirst for knowledge? It's getAbstract - a compressed knowledge service. Compressed knowledge? Kind of sounds like Cliffs Notes, huh? According to their website, their "solutions include a library of thousands of business book summaries. 20% of the Fortune 500 companies avail of getAbstract to drive performance, provide tailored corporate learning solutions and help employees become knowledgeable leaders."
I am so excited about this service! Yes, it is quite a bit more expensive than my box of used Cliffs Notes, but I am seriously considering a subscription. The full subscription is $299 for 12 months (ouch!), but if I make a point to listen to/read these summaries in my car, at the office and maybe on my iPhone at times, the argument could definitely be made that I will make my money back by filling my head with valuable business knowledge. And, my customers will benefit quite a bit when I am even more on my game in the world of marketing.
So, the question remains if I am going to bite the bullet and get this service. Would you? Why or why not?