Everything I Know About Business I Learned From The Grateful Dead

I am out of the office for the week preparing for some upcoming matters and brought along a few books to read during the downtime. One of the books is Everything I Know About Business I Learned from the Grateful Dead: The Ten Most Innovative Lessons From a Long, Strange Trip by Barry Barnes.

You don’t have to be a Deadhead to enjoy the book. The business lessons are strong and applicable to most businesses today. What I really find interesting is the “behind the scenes” look at the Dead and how they became the juggernaut they still are today. I didn’t associate some of their traits with business principles before reading this book.

There is also an excellent foreword to the book by John Perry Barlow, the late founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Ten Lessons from the Grateful Dead

You should pick up the book to get the stories behind the lessons. The general statements of the lessons:

  1. Master Strategic Improvisation: How the Dead Learned to Plan and Act at the Same Time
  2. Live Your Values: How the Dead Did Well by Doing Good
  3. Be Kind to Your Customers: How the Dead Offered Superior Customer Value
  4. Share Your Content: How the Dead Exploited the Power of “Free”
  5. Create a Business Tribe: How the Dead Collaborated with the Deadheads
  6. Insource: How the Dead Learned Do-It-Yourself Business
  7. Innovate Constantly: How the Dead Stayed on the Cutting Edge
  8. Transform Through Leadership: How Jerry Garcia Inspired Greatness in the Dead
  9. Share the Power: How the Dead Encouraged Employees to Lead
  10. Exploit the Experience Economy: How the Dead Kept It Real

If you’re looking for an offbeat business book, with some really good ideas for your business, I recommend picking this one up.

Andrew Ayers
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I work with business and estate planning clients to craft legal solutions to protect their legacies.
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