Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Three Summaries We’d Like to See as Films

As predicted in this … very … blog …, The Social Network, the new film based on Ben Mezrich’s Facebook bio The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal, debuted at number one at the box office last weekend. Don’t forget to send me your comments on the film, and while I wait, I’ll continue to track its box office progress.

While The Social Network is busy bringing in dollars, there is another film based on a business book that’s currently circulating. It’s hard to believe, but there is now a documentary based on Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s book Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything.

This sudden conjunction between Tinseltown and the generally stoic world of business books makes me believe that movie producers have finally wandered away from the graphic novel listings on and are now scrolling through business book listings for ideas. Far be it from me not to fall headlong into the Hollywood hype machine. I started thinking about what other business books could become great films. Here’s a list of three:

Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni.I’m cheating a bit with this selection. Lencioni’s line of business fables lend themselves well to filming because they deliver their messages via fiction. In light of the fact that Lencioni chose to name his main character Jack Bauer, the easy pick to star in the film would be Keifer Sutherland. I’m going to go in a different direction and give Don Cheadle the role of the consultant who learns about building stronger relationships by honest communication.

Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki. I can’t remember who said it, but someone said the following: If, in the fall of 1977, in the wake of Star Wars’ massive success, George Lucas charged admission to watch him stand in front of a chalkboard and explain what happened next to the film’s characters, it would still have grossed $100 million. That’s how I feel about Kawasaki and Reality Check. A brilliant book from one of the most entertaining and knowledgeable authors working today.

Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin. The winner of Soundview’s Harold Longman Award as Best Business Book of 2009, this book would make a fantastic film. If you attended the Soundview Live Webinar with Colvin, you saw video of a few individuals demonstrating the results of what Colvin terms “deliberate practice.” Imagine watching three tales of otherworldly abilities and the harsh reality of what it took to develop them.

What business book would you turn into a feature film or documentary? Send me a few suggestions and I’ll post the best ones in a future blog.


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