Book Review

E-business to the Power of 12 by Thomas Power, published by Pearson Education (ISBN 0273650211)

It is somewhat ironic that Pearson and its flagship site have just begun the long and painful process of retrenching. After Pearson's last set of results, the company announced it was halving its internet investment, and more recently announced staff cuts.

It is ironic because the company churns out e-business books proclaiming the revolution, with the better ones, such as The Cluetrain Manifesto, leading it.

This publication is not in the class of that book. It lacks the bite, the wit and the sense of danger, but nonetheless, it wouldn't do any harm for someone other than the proofreader at Pearson to read it.

Thomas Power is an e-vangelist. He founded the Ecademy and isn't afraid to call himself a guru. He really does believe this stuff. This is not a book of his thoughts so much as his interviews with leading executives from 48 companies finding out about their experiences.

Unfortunately, he feels it necessary to pin down these and his own thoughts into digestible and marketable rules: the 12 "pizza" principles. These are then respun through Karl von Clausewitz's On War and… well you get the idea – "It's hell out there, but if you have these basic moves, you may not end up in a bodybag."

But no book with case studies or real-world experiences, particularly in this over-hyped, cyberbabble world, is completely without merit. Power also adds summaries and questions to ask oneself and others.

The problem I have is summed up in the blurb – by a Pearson copywriter presumably – "E-business to the Power of 12 simplifies

e-business into a manageable 12 step process". Unfortunately, or fortunately, it just isn't that simple.