Net Profit: How to Succeed in Digital Business by David Soskin

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Net Profit: How to Succeed in Digital Business by David Soskin

Category: Business and Finance
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A clearly-written look at how doing business on the internet contrasts with more traditional methods. A must read for anyone who want to make money out of the 'net.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 328 Date: September 2010
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISBN: 978-0470660812

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There's a misconception that digital business is just like the old bricks and mortar type, except that the digital fellahs escape a lot of the expense that real people have to pay and that if they learnt how to do thinwhich a traditional business is content with is almost certainly a danger signal in a digital business and unless you can take your idea and make quick decisions then the chances are that you are dead in the water. Life is very different out there on the internet.

There are eight chapters in the book beginning with a short history of the digital revolution. After that it's down to the nuts and bolts of doing business on the internet. Business models, the product, the skills you'll need, the cash and marketing are all covered in some depth. Work steadily through it and you'll come out the other end with a good knowledge of just how viable your business is and what you need to do to make it better. Or – alternatively – you might decide that you've made a lifestyle choice with your site and you don't want to be on the end of a lead attached to your business. Either way, you'll make an informed decision and frankly the cover price of this book could save you a fortune even if you didn't decide to go ahead.

David Soskin knows what he's talking about. He's the former CEO of Cheapflights and Chairman of mySupermarket.co.uk. You've never been there? Go have a look (we'll wait) – it saves me pounds every week and is a prime example of providing what the customer really wants in the form that they want it. He knows – and he's prepared to share - the secrets of converting your idea into something that pays (or accepting that it won't), getting the funding that you need to expand (or knowing when it's a good idea not to) and getting the right combination of people together. I love the idea of hiring for where you want to be, not where you are. If you're in business on the internet then you need this book. There's even a section on managing the best way to get out.

Here at Bookbag Towers we've been in business for about four and a half years. We didn't have a lot of money, but we had enthusiasm and a great combination of skills between the people involved. Over the years we've tiptoed through a lot of minefields (and shed a few tears). Whilst we haven't yet found the goldmine, we've done far better than we ever expected and we get a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction out of it. As I read 'Net Profit – How to Succeed in Digital Business' I wondered about how we would have done things differently if we'd read the book before we made the film, so to speak.

Well, it's always possible that we might not even have got started because this book is comprehensive and I think we might have found it daunting to fully understand what we were taking on. It also talks in big figures. There's a reference to a tiny company with only $1.5m of funding and this might make you feel that it's not worth trying as you're not going to compete in that league. On the other hand when Soskin took over as CEO of Cheapflights he went into a company that hadn't had a lot of investment other than sweat equity. The big bucks are not always necessary to get a foothold on the ladder.

The book is very readable, with plenty of anecdotes to illustrate the points he's making. Sometimes you'll be fascinated to learn the reasons behind the way that things have been done. If I mention 'meercats' you might be put in mind of a television advert which some people (me included) find intensely annoying, but there's a sound financial reason behind it and it's all down to Google AdWords. No – I'm not going to explain – David Soskin does it so much better than I do. Read the book and find out!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you're in digital business you might also be interested in reading Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, which gave us food for thought here at Bookbag Towers – even if it was just image of the rather elderly member of the team dressed as a Deadhead.

Buy Net Profit: How to Succeed in Digital Business by David Soskin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Net Profit: How to Succeed in Digital Business by David Soskin at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Net Profit: How to Succeed in Digital Business by David Soskin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Net Profit: How to Succeed in Digital Business by David Soskin at Amazon.com.


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