Everything I Know about Business I Learned from Monopoly: Successful Executives Reveal Strategic Lessons from the World's Greatest Board Game

Overview

Everyone has his or her own strategy about how to win at the MONOPOLY game — bank lots of cash, invest prudently in real estate, or take plenty of chances and hope for a windfall from the Community Chest. The reality is that many entrepreneurs had their first real estate and finance experience while playing the world's most popular board game, and many formulate lifelong business philosophies as they learn to balance skill, luck, competition, and social interaction. In this authoritative, thought-provoking book, ...

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Overview

Everyone has his or her own strategy about how to win at the MONOPOLY game — bank lots of cash, invest prudently in real estate, or take plenty of chances and hope for a windfall from the Community Chest. The reality is that many entrepreneurs had their first real estate and finance experience while playing the world's most popular board game, and many formulate lifelong business philosophies as they learn to balance skill, luck, competition, and social interaction. In this authoritative, thought-provoking book, America's top executives and entrepreneurs — including the likes of Michael Dell, Carly Fiorina, and Jeff Bezos — reflect on the lessons they learned from rolling the die in the fantasy game of self-made wealth and power. Their insights are both practical and entertaining, and they also prove the enduring popularity of the MONOPOLY game.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Money-minded readers who gaze longingly at their Monopoly boards' Broadway and Park Place properties will undoubtedly chuckle over Axelrod's irreverent entrepreneur's guide. The author (Elizabeth I, CEO) here playfully examines how to apply the game's strategies to real-life business situations. After an introductory historical chapter-Monopoly debuted during the Depression and has since sold about 200 million sets-Axelrod covers game strategies and how they can be applied in real life. His advice is generally sound, and at times comically simple ("Cheating and other unethical conduct are not sustainable... You can win a game or two by cheating, but unless you devote yourself to it, you cannot win consistently"). In discussing salary, Axelrod writes, "Successful business people understand salary much the way that good players of Monopoly understand `Go.' Salary is about subsistence and survival. To get beyond this basic level in business, you need to get beyond mere salary. You need to put money at risk." In some ways, the game is a perfect example of how the business world works. For instance, the best Monopoly games are dynamic, with players putting up properties for auction, just as in real life. Cards that mimic the game's own are sprinkled throughout the text, carrying the sentiments of famous business leaders. While it's a bit of a stretch at times, the book is still fun and an ideal gift for the gaming entrepreneur. (Nov.) Forecast: A launch party at Hasbro's New York showroom, national publicity and the appealing topic will help get this book off to a strong start for holiday gifts, but its concept may not have staying power. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In this readable and thought-provoking book, Axelrod (Elizabeth I, CEO) draws fruitful parallels between this best-selling board game, which was introduced during the Depression, and the real world of earning money. In Monopoly, everyone starts off with the same amount of money, and the winner emerges through a combination of chance, luck, and skill. Axelrod emphasizes that skill comes into play when making purchase decisions and taking risks. He details various game strategies and shows how they relate to the real world. For instance, salary is a means of subsistence, but to gain real wealth, some money must also be invested, something the game teaches via property purchases, mortgaging, and occasional windfalls such as landing on Free Parking. Adding to the appeal of this pleasant and often humorous book, Axelrod uses Monopoly cards to highlight successful business people (Jack Welch, Bill Gates, Mary Kay Ash). He also critiques the game to show how ruthless it can be: after all, the object is to bankrupt all of your opponents. A good choice for ages 14 and up who use public, school, and academic libraries.-Steven J. Mayover, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641620614
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.52 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Axelrod is the author of numerous books on the subjects of history, business, and management, including Elizabeth I: CEO, Patton: A Biography, and Thomas Jefferson: A Critical Life. He has also been a creative consultant to several television documentaries and series, including The Wild West, for the WB Network, and Civil War Journal, for The Discovery Channel. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Table of Contents

Preface 11
Introduction - Monopoly 101 13
Part I There Are Rules 21
Lesson 1 The Object of the Game: What the game is about--according to its makers 22
Lesson 2 All Things Being Equal: The consequences of starting off on a level playing field 26
Lesson 3 A Roll of the Dice: The role of luck 32
Lesson 4 Passing GO: Managing a regular income 40
Lesson 5 The Rule of Opportunity: The philosophy of acquisition at every turn 44
Lesson 6 Facing Reality and Paying Your Debts: Balancing needs, wants, opportunity, and resources 51
Lesson 7 Mortgaging the Future: Using credit 56
Lesson 8 Vigilance: You snooze, you lose (as in Monopoly, so in life) 64
Lesson 9 A Random Walk: What can you expect each time around the board? 70
Lesson 10 The Taxman Cometh: Tax strategies 76
Lesson 11 On Sitting It Out: The pluses and minuses of Jail and Free Parking 84
Lesson 12 The Virtue of Shortage: Exploiting a little-used feature of the game: the housing shortage 89
Lesson 13 Let's Talk: Exploiting another under-used feature: the player-to-player trade 95
Lesson 14 Going Once ...: Auction time 103
Lesson 15 Kicking over the Bench: Bankruptcy (and the Alamo defense) 108
Part II And Then There Are Your Rules 113
Lesson 16 The Real Object of the Game: Don't try to win. Just make everyone else lose 114
Lesson 17 Psych (Or, Who's the Shlub Who Chose the Shoe?): Using your token and theirs to psych your opponents 122
Lesson 18 Gain the World and Lose Your Soul? The role of ethics 130
Lesson 19 Hell Is for Nice Guys: Committing to ruthlessness 134
Lesson 20 Cornering Corporate Karma: Committing to cooperation 138
Lesson 21 Luck Is the Residue of Design: Playing the odds 146
Lesson 22 The Smartest Properties to Own: What to buy and why 152
Lesson 23 The Dumbest Properties to Own: What to avoid buying and why 159
Lesson 24 Cash Cows and Old Sows: The tried, true, and resolutely unglamorous 163
Lesson 25 Pit of Vanity: Don't work from emotion 168
Lesson 26 Start-up Strategies: Smart moves at the beginning of the game 173
Lesson 27 Turning the Corner: Developing a winning strategy at mid game 178
Lesson 28 Winning the Endgame: On being a closer 184
Lesson 29 The Limit of Greed: How far will this engine get you? 192
Source Index 199
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