Look at the back of a book and you’ll see lots of comments from those who are usually subject matter experts related to the topic of the book. I reached out to several folks too, and here are some of their unedited comments.
Dennis McNally worked for the Dead for 11 years as their publicist and official biographer. His book Long Strange Trip is the most complete and authoritative book on the Dead.
In their early days, the Dead did not enjoy a reputation for business acumen. But irony of ironies, by persevering with all manner of policies rejected by their “smarter” brethren, they ended up as a stunning business success story. The best part was that they succeeded because of, not despite, those decisions. Barry Barnes’ Everything I Know tells you how they did it.
Marshall Goldsmith is the best-selling author of MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. He’s also a highly sought executive coach by the Fortune 500.
“Decentralized decision-making,” “virtual community,” “socially conscious business model” — none of these phrases would normally be associated with a successful rock band. Yet Dr. Barnes draws brilliant parallels between Jerry and “the boys” and those corporations that have risen to the top of the U.S. food chain.
In Everything I Know About Business, Barry Barnes draws a striking comparison between how The Grateful Dead created a musical empire by “doing good” and how today’s most successful corporations can follow the band’s groundbreaking model of “strategic improvisation.”
As much as The Grateful Dead outwardly shunned corporate America during their rise in the counter culture era of the ë60s, they also, perhaps unwittingly, created a business model that all companies yearning for success should follow today.
Nicholas Meriwether is the Grateful Dead Archivist at the McHenry Library at UC Santa Cruz as well as editor of Dead Letters a scholarly journal, and author of All Graceful Instruments: The Contexts of the Grateful Dead Phenomenon.
A host of journalists, business writers, and consultants from a wide array of industry perspectives have written about the Dead’s remarkable success and unconventional approach to business. Insiders and fans always knew better: that the band’s success owed more to old-fashioned commitments to excellence and honesty and hard work, coupled with a real ability to improvise, just as they did on stage.
Barry Barnes has put in more time than any of his fellow business writers, as a professional, professor, and Deadhead. He fuses his decades of deep thought, detailed research, and passionate immersion in Everything I Know About Business I Learned from the Grateful Dead.
This is the book for executives, managers, and anyone who wants to really understand the power of the Dead’s fascinating, enduring, and iconic example as an artistic and commercial enterprise. As Barnes shows, that example is more relevant now than ever.
Wayne Huizenga is the billionaire entrepreneur who made his money building companies like Waste Management and Blockbuster Video as well as owning three major league sports franchises: the Miami Dolphins, the Florida Marlins and the Florida Panthers.
Strategic improvisation — planning and doing simultaneously — as presented by Barnes and illustrated by the Grateful Dead is what all successful entrepreneurs do…and is what all businesses must do to survive in today’s turbulent times. This is just one of the surprising yet practical lessons that make this a first-rate business book.
David Gans is a musician, producer of the weekly syndicated radio program the Grateful Dead Hour, co-host of Tales from the Golden Road on the Grateful Dead channel on Sirius/XM, and author of several Grateful Dead related books,.
In a culture that has come to regard humanity as a customer base and nothing else, we who followed and did business with the Grateful Dead have done our best to behave as a community, with friendship and mutual comfort as default objectives and values. Barry Barnes knows this and explains it warmly, concisely, and convincingly. I have had the good fortune of being a part of the Dead’s economic sphere for more than a quarter century, and I can’t imagine any other way of doing business. The title of this book is a genuine fact, for me.
Mitch Joel is president of Twist Image, a digital marketing agency as well as a journalist and blogger where you can find him on Six Pixels of Separation dedicated to digital marketing and personal branding.
It’s always the incompatible-types that are the most interesting. Whether it’s Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein or The Grateful Dead. In Everything I Know About Business I Learned From The Grateful Dead, Barry Barnes deconstructs one of the most fascinating rock bands of our time and uncovers some very powerful and unexpected lessons in innovation, marketing and entrepreneurship. The freaks and weirdos are always the ones with the best ideas and The Grateful Dead is no exception. If you want your business to go on a long, strange trip – in the best possible way – this is the book for you.
William D. Cohan, is the New York Times bestselling author of Money And Power (on the collapse of Bear Stearns) and House Of Cards (on the rise of Goldman Sachs) who spent 17 years working on Wall Street.
Barry Barnes deftly shows how the magic and authenticity of the Grateful Dead transcends its musical prowess, providing invaluable insights into how successful organizations thrive.