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Book E Pluribus Kinko's: A Story of Business, Democracy, and Freaky Smart People


E Pluribus Kinko's: A Story of Business, Democracy, and Freaky Smart People

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | E Pluribus Kinko's: A Story of Business, Democracy, and Freaky Smart People.pdf | Language: ENGLISH

E Pluribus Kinko’s describes how a highly democratic business structure helped Kinko’s grow and profit for thirty years, and how the loss of democracy contributed to the company’s decline and disappearance. From 1970 to 1999, Kinko’s grew from a one-hundred-square-foot copy shop to a two-billion-dollar industry leader with over 1,000 branches worldwide, with thousands of engaged and participative citizen-coworkers. The foundations of our democracy were The Philosophy, which was like a constitution that clearly articulated stakeholder rights and expectations, our Partnership Ethos, which used profit sharing to spread the benefits and responsibilities of citizenship throughout the organization, and our habit of Pot-Stirring, which produced the frequent revolutions Thomas Jefferson believed were necessary in a healthy democracy. It was very messy – and very profitable.

Guerrilla Writer Dean Zatkowsky is Managing Partner of Dizzy One Ventures LLC. He is the co-author of Two Billion Dollars in Nickels: Reflections on the Entrepreneurial Life (Booksurge: 2008), and The Entrepreneurial Investor: The Art, Science and Business of Value Investing (Wiley; 2007).

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Book details

  • PDF | 234 pages
  • BookSurge Publishing (November 16, 2009)
  • English
  • 8
  • Business & Money

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Review Text

  • By Shane Adair Roginski on January 5, 2010

    I'd like to think so. And this book is an outstanding example of how, contrary to conventional wisdom, a democracy can be successful in a business culture. Because I started my career as a kinkoid at an early age and remained there for 3/4 of my working life, I never realized that the business world operated in any other manner. Dean's book not only brought back fond memories for me, it made me realize that not everyone has had an opportunity to work in such a culture. And that is unfortunate. As I read the book I laughed, I cried. . . because it was a part of me, and it gave me a new appreciation for the opportunities I was given. I know I am emotionally tied to this company and mourn its passing. But I am also hopeful enough to think that a young entrepreneur will read this book and give the concept a try. It works. Thanks, Dean, for the memories. And for opening the vault to our corporate "secret."

  • By Daniel Thies on December 24, 2009

    For every startup out there, trying to figure out where to go and how to grow, there are answers in this book. This is the story of how to build a business that learns, grows, innovates, profits, and flat out rocks... and a cautionary tale of how easily that can be destroyed.For more than a decade, I've been waiting for someone to explain how Kinko's became such a success... and how the "corporate culture" that was transplanted in the late '90s and onward killed it.For everyone who worked there when Kinko's really worked... for anyone who saw the destruction of the culture as the primary driver in the death of the brand, Dean Zatkowsky gets the story right, or at least "right enough," to make sense of it all.Every organization could use at least a little more democracy, most could use a lot more, and this book explains how to get there.This book should be mandatory as therapy for everyone who gave a part of their life to Kinko's. Required reading for anyone who would build a business or any other type of organization. This stuff works.

  • By David Terry on July 25, 2010

    This book will tell you the role democratic principles played in Kinko's history. Since the author was a staff employee, here you have a first hand, behind the scenes, account of what made Kinko's such a great place to work and how that contributed to its success. The book is full of anecdotal stories of its many creative employees and how they were nourished, supported and encouraged by their owner to create a business environment that many managers and employees in various businesses today can only envy. In fact, while reading the book, you will pause many times to ponder: "Now why can't that happen at my company or place of work?" When you read the book you will find out why it doesn't happen at your work and what would contribute to making it happen. The author infuses the book with much humor in retelling the many stories that were pivotal to Kinko's approach. The book also contains contributions from many past employees recalling what made the Kinko's experience significant to their lives. In all, the book serves as a history of the company, an alternative democratic, more humanistic, I would argue, approach to doing business and also a rejection of past, worn out, and over-hyped managerial theories.

  • By M. Fasth on January 13, 2010

    This book is worthy of sharing with people inside any organization from business, non-profits and education. It is truely a book about trusting and verifying people and processes. These are concepts that many people get no exposure to, in the average organization, and Dean shares his own experiences through his book. If you want to take your organization to the next level then read this book. It is worth the money!

  • By Carl Moyer on December 16, 2009

    This is an outstanding book - it's funny and insightful. All business books should be so well written. It's an interesting slice of business history. I'd recommend this book as entertaining reading for anyone, and a must read for everyone that manages people. Most business books are pretty heavy handed, this one leaves the reader to take away what fits. And there are plenty of great take-aways.

  • By Jen Leigh on July 4, 2014

    a few pages into this book and I was crying. the best and most unique job experience I have ever had, and exactly the reason all other places I have worked pale in comparison.

  • By julie dott on September 6, 2014

    I picked it up and couldnt put it down. this book maintained my interest from start to finish. I recommend it.

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