by Donald Trump & Tony Schwartz
I have to say that this is one of the most unique books I have ever read.
The majority of the book is an autobiography of Trump's greatest early successes. The remainder of the book, made up of just one chapter, includes Trump's personal philosophy on himself, and how he carries out his business.
While this book is not what I expected -- a wonderful guide on the art of striking perfect revenue-producing deals -- I never-the-less received the advice I was looking for, but in a much more entertaining and tangible fashion.
To begin, Trump enjoys making big deals that make himself rich.
He doesn't apologize for exploiting others, such as perhaps his earliest success which was a 40-year property tax abatement for his building, the Commodore. The consequence of this deal was Mayor Koch never forgetting, or forgiving, Trump.
Sprinkled throughout the book are what I consider Trump's true genius:
- Trump is prepared to walk away from any project at any time, when he feels it is no longer viable
- Trump will ruthlessly fight opposition no matter what the cost, and his experience has taught him bad press is better than no press
- Trump feels that anything the government touches turns to shit
- Trump believes if you're going to do something, do it BIG
- Trump realizes that, while his degree at Wharton impressed many people, being equipped with intelligence and craftiness is better than an education at the world's best institutions
- It is critical to be able to size people up very quickly, and be able to anticipate their behavior. No matter who Trump describes, you can tell he spent a great deal of effort thinking about what their nature is, and why.
- Trump will do charity only when it makes sense, and when he can personally oversee it as it's obvious he feels a lot of things are run by incompetent people.
Overall, this book is a beautiful narrative of Trump's successes and failures (which end up turning into successes anyway), as well as all of the people Trump had to deal with, and what he really thought about them.
The Art of the Deal is a great marketing book simply because it stresses the importance and effectiveness of many promotional techniques, such as simply picking up the phone and asking for what you want, even if it's asking competitors to pay for your star quarterback (yes, he actually did that).
After this book was released, Trump obviously ran into a lot of financial trouble due to the housing market flopping. Today, he is running for President, and winning in almost every Primary poll. When you read this book, you'll see that his methods have always been the same, and he will always find a way to be successful.
While Trump has been erecting some of the world's most beautiful hotels and casinos, the brilliance of Trump has been his ability to erect his own reputation of hard work, wealth and credibility that at the end of the day, has been the real source of his enormous success.
This book is his blueprint. Enjoy!
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