Let's start by giving this book credit. It does give you the steps on how to begin your own e-commerce business. However these steps are very generic and could have been found easily trough an online search. The book reminds me of the Geico commercials, "So easy a caveman could do it." There are plenty of parts of this book where I think their targets audience is cavemen. For example, there is a section that explains to the reader the need for a telephone, telephone service, and waste basket. The majority of the book is below the reading level of MBA students. The authors discuss simple marketing decisions such as target markets and market share. True, this information is important for any business. Unfortunately for me, I chose to book hoping it would focus more on the computer/internet aspect of developing an e-commerce business and the office decor and general marketing principles. And to be honest, I probably should have realized this before investing time in reading this book. However, I did not, hence this book review blog.
Outside of the first half of the book which should have included crayons and a coloring section, there are a couple e-commerce tips that can I did enjoy. The first was the turnkey solutions. Speaking for myself, I knew very little about where to begin in creating a website. The book offers several turnkey solutions such as www.godaddy.com to help a beginner on their way. My complaint is that this information can be found through a simple google search and this book does not provide any input outside of the site suggestion. The second part of the book I did enjoy was the interviews with successful e-commerce businesses that started from stratch. some examples are www.peppyparents.com, www.organicsleepproducts.com, and www.kieljamespatrick.com. The book talks about learning from other websites when creating your own. Pick out what you like and dislike and customize yours to your clientele. This is a fairly simple thought but I think it can be overlooked.
In summary, this book has a purpose. It's purpose, however, is not in an MBA classroom. It is for beginners, not only in the e-commerce world, but in business in general. I would suggest a title change to highlight this fact. "Design and Launch an E-commerce business in a week" led me to believe it was a book solely on e-commerce and for someone with average knowledge. Everyone has a different level of knowledge and you can decide on your own if this book is for you.