We get it! These entrepreneurs overcame the odds, but their stories have been written ad nauseam. It’s time to ditch these business cliches.
One of the more interesting business books available this summer is Roadside MBA: Backroads Lessons for Executives, Entrepreneurs, and Small Business Owners. Written by three economists, it’s a rather corny look at various concepts you’d learn in business school, like barriers to entry, and economies of scale. What’s redeeming about it is that the authors went out and created case studies about dozens of small- and medium-sized businesses that you’ve never heard of. From Arnold Tool in Council Bluffs, Iowa to Key Fire Hose in Dothan, Alabama, most small business owners have a compelling story to tell.
These stories are fresh. Unfortunately in a lot of business literature, many stories, while interesting at one point, have ripened too much over time. Read enough big idea books and articles, and you’ll notice the same examples are used over and over again. There are acceptable reasons for this, but still, here are a few case studies that smart authors should stop using: