Everything I Know about Business I Learned from the Grateful Dead

The Ten Most Innovative Lessons from a Long, Strange Trip

By Barry Barnes; John Perry Barlow (Foreword by)
Business Plus, Hardcover, 9780446583794, 256pp.

Publication Date: November 2011

List Price: $24.99*
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The Grateful Dead is one of the most popular bands of all time and they have enjoyed incredible relevance to this day. But let's admit it, they were not exactly poster boys for corporate America. In EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT BUSINESS I LEARNED FROM THE GRATEFUL DEAD, Deadhead and business scholar Barry Barnes proves that the Dead's influence on the business world will turn out to be a significant part of their legacy. Without intending to, the band pioneered ideas and practices that were subsequently embraced by American corporations. And in this book Barnes shares the ten most innovative business lessons from the Dead's illustrious career, including:
-Creating and delivering superior customer value
-Incorporating and establishing a board of directors early on
-Founding a merchandising division
-Giving away your product for free to increase demand
Above all, Barnes explains how the Dead were masters of what he calls "strategic improvisation" -- the ability to adapt to changing times and circumstances -- and that their success lay precisely in their commitment to constant change and relentless variation. For an extraordinary thirty years, the Dead improvised a business plan and realized their vision -- all while making huge profits. EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT BUSINESS I LEARNED FROM THE GRATEFUL DEAD will show you how they did it -- and what your business can learn from their long, strange trip.

About the Author
Barry Barnes is a former codirector of the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society at the University of Exeter, at which he was formerly professor of sociology. He is the author of several books on the sociology of the sciences and was awarded the J. D. Bernal Prize for his career contribution to the field.

Praise For Everything I Know about Business I Learned from the Grateful Dead

It is Barry Barnes' not-too-outrageous conceit that the Grateful Dead, a prototypical band from the era of Vietnam and shoulder-length hair, have something to say about running a business. Jerry Garcia was no mogul (a fact for which his fans will rejoice). Yet perhaps in these life's lessons the executive will learn to loosen his tie, widen his gaze, and rescue his bottom line by not, for a change, obsessing over it. I have read many business manuals. This is one of the few I will remember.

"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."

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.

"Barry Barnes 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."

"In their early days, the Dead's extreme fondness for idiosyncrasy earned them a reputation as business naifs. But irony of ironies, by persevering with 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 About Business I Learned from the Grateful Dead tells you how they did it."

"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 EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT BUSINESS I LEARNED FROM THE GRATEFUL DEAD a first-rate business book."
-Wayne as H. Wayne Huizenga, Chairman, Huizenga Holdings, Inc

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