Book Review: The Personal MBA

If you are interested in learning about business from nonfiction books, you may have seen a recommendation for The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman. It's supposed to help you "master the art of business" in 300 pages. Tough task, but ok, let's just jump right in.

First, the book tries to cover every possible business topic on earth. This wouldn't be quite so bad if it was 1) better organized or 2) pointed you to other resources. For example, I have read books about copyrighting that recommend you use other books/websites for marketing, finance, or public speaking help to supplement. Those supplements really help someone truly at the beginning of learning.
The book cover is really cool at least
As it is, The Personal MBA gives a whole page and a half to topics as large as "Branding" and "Risk". A few case studies are mentioned here and there, but there just isn't enough room to cover any topic in any depth. It felt like (at best) intellectual whiplash and (at worst) completely random stream of consciousness. 

The writing also is only about average for a business manual/nonfiction book...don't expect any grand analogies or metaphors: think "my wife and I took out a mortgage" or "my personal experience of building a website for my business". In contrast, Ash Ambirge's project has great writing (even when the material covered is not new). Her way of describing things makes me reexamine certain concepts, and I highly recommend it.

Overall, I think this book is extremely overhyped for the value it delivers. Although it's often recommended as a "must have business book", I feel like my time would have been much better spent reading a book in depth on one topic (like a book on digital branding) or a better-written general business book. It wasn't terrible, but I would have to really hesitate recommending it.