Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Business Man” as Want to Read:
Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Business Man
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Business Man

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  285 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Business Man, originally published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1916, is a classic story of a business man in the field of advertising and his journey to business success. It is a story which has lead individuals with business ideas to garner great success in the world of business and in their professions. This Robert Updegraff c ...more
Paperback, 56 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Filiquarian Publishing, LLC. (first published 1953)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Obvious Adams, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Obvious Adams

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  285 ratings  ·  36 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
David
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a brilliant, simple and short story to illustrate something many of us forget in business (and in life).

I wish I'd been given this book when I finished my A Levels, or when I'd started University. This is the kind of book I'll be rereading every year for the rest of my life.

It's out of copyright, so you can get a free digital copy.

(Oh and David Ogilvy of Ogilvy on Advertising used to give this book as gifts to up and coming ad men)
Pankaj
Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
".. picking out the obvious thing presupposes analysis, and analysis presuppose thinking, and I guess Professor Zueblin is right when he says that thinking is the hardest work many people ever have to do, and they don't like to do any more of it than they can help. They look for a royal road through some short cut in the form of a clever scheme or stunt, which they call the obvious thing to do; but calling it doesn't make it so. They don't gather all the facts and then analyze them before decidi ...more
Ruchir
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Seeing Obvious and communicating it properly is the strength of Adams. For any shrewd businessman or marketing persons finding obvious is essential for Success. This simplifies complexities.

A good read. At least once.
Darron
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A short story that highlights something we forget when dealing with challenges. I found it to be of use.
Sara
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
It is an inpirational read fopr a time only, but just that.
Kesavan Hariharasubramanian
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book lucidly showcases how common sense can trump expertise in a given field. A must-read!
Oliver
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First half: story - good but not so informative.
Second half: advice/ steps to being obvious, interesting points that expand upon the original story.

A nice little book, quick and easy to read.

Gui Jatu
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great Book
Saikrishna
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Simple and Brilliant. Author says what he wants to say in few words and that's it ! No Fluff !
Jan Brinkmann
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very short story about advertising. inspiring, obviously ;)
Marcelo Bahia
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
A little tale with a simple lesson we often forget in business: the value of the obvious and the pragmatic seek for the truth as it really is. Worthwhile short read.
Dennis Pilat
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
The book was straight to the point.

Get all the facts and do what's obvious.

"The Mountains Of Holland"

"There are no mountains in Holland."
Jenny
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Key takeaway demonstrates over and over in this short story:

"...picking out the obvious thing presupposes analysis, and analysis presuppose thinking, and I guess Professor Zueblin is right when he says that thinking is the hardest work many people ever have to do, and they don't like to do any more of it than they can help. They look for a royal road through some short cut in the form of a clever scheme or stunt, which they call the obvious thing to do; but calling it doesn't make it
...more
Sean Goh
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Neat short story illustrating the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle.

How many of us have sense enough to see and do the obvious thing? And how many of us have persistency enough in
following out our ideas of what is obvious?

It's that everlasting obviousness in Adams that I banked on. He doesn't get carried away from the facts; he just looks them squarely in the face and then proceeds to analyze, and that is half of the battle.

I have decided that picking o
...more
Barry
Dec 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
A nice, short book on how to be successful not only in business, but also in real life. There are two important lessons that I take from this book. One is that you should strive to seek the whys of any event to find the root cause of any problem, which forces you to be rational about the problems and their potential effects. The second lesson is to simplify your solution to the problem. Don't overthink problems and try to design a sophisticated solution. A lot of the times, the simplest solution ...more
Madhur Rao
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Nice easy read. One can argue that the business environment has changed over the last 100 years, and therefore one needs different tools to succeed in the current age. But this book highlights that some things haven't changed over these many years - the ability to synthesize information in simple terms that can be communicated to a 7 year old. As Albert Einstein said it so well "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler".
Steve
An outstanding little book I'd included in my "American Business Parables" reading partly on a single quote read online.

Very well worth searching out and reading. Lovely story with basic principles well presented.

Don't expect a long read, or something "heady" and over-clever - the basics are always.... Obvious.
Nathan
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super quick read, very practical reminder that it is necessary and not always easy to look for the obvious. This book seems to have fairly low reviews but I'd say you'll get some of the best bang for your buck when you consider how little time/money you spend on it.
Luka Rajčević
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very quick read. In a simple and approachable way it draws the idea of looking for the obvious (and applying it) instead of coming up with obscure just for the sake of it not being obvious - because "obvious is stupid and, well, OBVIOUS!".
Kevin
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of those books recommended by a mentor. Can see why it was highly spoken of. A story of a man who goes straight line toward he wants. Main point of the story is that sometimes the best decisions are the obvious ones. Too much thinking can fog decision making. Great read
Kelly
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it
One of those short business fables, like the Carpenter, written to exemplify one point. This one serves to demonstrate how most professionals overlook the obvious in favor of detailed facts and analysis.
Iain Hamill
Nicely written, and what was true here in 1916 is still true today.
Ben
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help, business
a lovely small book, you can read it in 30 minutes.

It's simple, enjoyable and insightful.

An obvious way to invest 30 minutes of your time
Mari
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very fast read for a book about not taking shortcuts with one's thinking. This is a great reminder to ask the right questions and gain others' perspectives. Highly recommended.
Davi Bauer
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
If you can explain your idea for a child and she understand, then your idea is mature, otherwise, it is not so obvious.
Linda
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very nice, little book. One of those olden golden books. What a little gem.
Esteban Herrera
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books on marketing ever written. The message is very simple and powerful at the same time.
Sal Coraccio
Despite the low mark, it is probably required reading for the bidness-types or the improvers among us.

It's a quick, inspirational read even if many of the examples are quite dated. Just read it.
Nathan
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read highlighting, essentially, the importance of Occam's Razor: sometimes the best thing to do is the most obvious thing.
James Christensen
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great little read. More like a pamphlet than a book.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry
  • I Am John Galt: Today's Heroic Innovators Building the World and the Villainous Parasites Destroying It
  • Hold on to Your Nuts: The Relationship Manual for Men
  • Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making (Bradford Books)
  • Mastering the Complex Sale: How to Compete and Win When the Stakes Are High!
  • Pebbles of Perception: How a Few Good Choices Make All The Difference
  • Paradigms: The Business of Discovering the Future
  • Focus: A Simplicity Manifesto in the Age of Distraction
  • How to Get Lucky: 13 techniques for discovering and taking advantage of life's good breaks
  • Freemasons For Dummies
  • Understanding Michael Porter: The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy
  • Great Leads: The Six Easiest Ways To Start Any Sales Message
  • A Strange Manuscript found in a Copper Cylinder
  • The Pursuit of Wow!: Every Person's Guide to Topsy-Turvy Times
  • Differentiate or Die: Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition
  • The Art of Writing Advertising: Conversations with Masters of the Craft: David Ogilvy, William Bernbach, Leo Burnett, Rosser Reeves,
  • The Ultimate Question 2.0 (Revised and Expanded Edition): How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World
  • Family Fortunes: How to Build Family Wealth and Hold on to It for 100 Years
See similar books…