“Synthesis is the very essence of management. Within their own contexts, managers have to put things together in the form of coherent visions, unified organizations, integrated systems, and so forth. That is what makes management so difficult, and so interesting.”
— Henry Mintzberg
“If a person masters the fundamentals of his subject and has learned to think and work independently, he will surely find his way and besides will better be able to adapt himself to progress and changes than the person whose training principally consists in the acquiring of detailed knowledge.”
— Albert Einstein
Spointra and the Secret of Business Success (The Aged Edition) aims to capture the smallest amount of knowledge that explains the largest amount of phenomena in the business world. It is the 20 that explains the 80. It is concise, yet entertaining. A children's book for grown-ups, this "aged" revision of the 2007 first edition details a fundamental theory of business that provides you with an integrated perspective on the basic behaviors of individuals, organizations, and economies.
For centuries, Europeans thought of their world as being flat; and so, accordingly, all their possible solutions for reaching India pointed East. But once they learned that the Earth was round, new solutions to their problem emerged — they could also go West. Similarly, Cristian Mitreanu’s Spointra reveals a broader and more realistic business and economic worldview that will provide a comprehensive foundation for your story (as an individual, product, or company) and your strategies, thus increasing your odds of success in a rapidly-changing world.
Concepts and theories put forth by many influential thinkers such as Peter Drucker, Michael Porter, and Clayton Christensen can now be brought together meaningfully on this unifying platform, which Mitreanu assembles by keeping the focus of his rationale on behaviors, at the individual and then at the aggregate level. But the book’s innovative character goes beyond the novel models that explain how individuals, organizations, and economies respectively work. As a vehicle, Spointra is brief, yet dense. Just like a favorite Dr. Seuss book, it invites repeat readings, bringing to light new insights every single time.
Mitreanu has worked on these theories for over a decade now, publishing the first edition of the book, Spointra and the Secret of business Success, in April 2007 in a short-run of 500 copies, hardcover. The current, second edition includes several refinements, with the most significant being the replacement of the term “issue” with the term “need.”
Cristian Mitreanu has almost twenty years of experience in product and marketing. He is the founder of BizBigPic and TEDxUIUC, and the creator of the video game Ofmos. Mitreanu holds an MBA from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a Masters in Management and a Bachelors in Computer Science from the ‘Politehnica’ University of Timisoara.
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Risk is its own Reward
In a field marred by dreadfully dull discourse and laboriously incremental advances, Mr. Mitreanu presents the framework for a fresh theory of business based on novel postulates derived from Social Psychology. He communicates this in the format of a children’s book where key ideas are developed through a narrative involving two characters: a child and an alien who is temporarily stranded on earth. From the perspective of conceptual content, as well as narrative style, the reader is not left with a the feeling of having, once again, read the same old book with the same old ideas. The author takes big risks with “Spointra” and deserves the highest praise.
Deep and Original
The book offers a refreshingly original and penetrating perspective on business and market systems. Mitreanu artfully crafts a big-picture theory of business based on careful reasoning and a deep understanding of the human psyche. Noteworthy here is the total absence of jargon and buzzwords, which is refreshing in a business book. The author carries off a perfect marriage of art and science through his creative use of visual imagery. The writing is lucid and engaging. Read it with an open mind and read it for its originality of thought.
The future of management is all about ecosystems and speed
The future of business management is all about ecosystems and speed. Companies (global and local) have to become nimble to be able to take advantage of the increasingly shorter product life spans, and they have to develop and rapidly fine-tune portfolios of offerings and customers were the value created is the highest. And for that, Mitreanu’s framework (ahem… Spointra’s framework) is perfect.
The book’s first part shows you how human needs are organized in a hierarchical tree, driving the individual’s motivation and behavior. In the second part, you will learn about the two basic forces that shape all marketplaces (or economies): commoditization and innovation, both driven by the human inherent motivation. Finally, in the third part, you are being shown how companies can achieve lasting success, by maintaining an alignment between their strategic intent (Focus) and their emergent business behavior (Center). And this is a powerful set of theories.
IBM almost died in the nineties, because the company’s rapidly commoditizing PC business became a large part of the entire portfolio, thus driving an emergent behavior that was more suited for commoditized products. But, historically, the company was set up to handle high-value (not commoditized) offerings. As a result, the Focus and the Center got out of alignment, creating a rift that almost killed the venerable company. It was only after they decided to significantly increase the share of the “solutions” business (under Lou Gerstner, CEO) and, later, completely divest the PC business to the Chinese company Lenovo (under Samuel Palmisano, CEO) that IBM was truly out of the woods and able to march on to celebrate 100 in 2011… If Spointra would have crashed at the IBM’s headquarters in the late eighties, though, things might have been different for them. ;)
In short, the book is a classic, a must-have.