2010 was, for 800-CEO-READ, a year of stability, growth and redesign. Not everyone nor every company is so lucky as to say the same about the past year, but after the chaos, both internally and externally, of 2008-09, we count ourselves lucky that we close the year in a celebratory mood.
Some highlights and happenings from 2010:
January: We celebrated the winners of the annual 800-CEO-READ business book awards and other industry folks at a party in NYC. The first issue of the second-coming of The Keen Thinker newsletter is released.
February: After a printer error, our annual review of business books, In the Books, finally became available. We resurrected inBubbleWrap, our free book giveaway site, from a long slumber. The sixth PechaKucha event held in Milwaukee was outstanding and overstuffed. We began our move into our new space after years of being cramped in a small but charming warehouse space.
March: Jack received a request to supply copies of books chosen for The 100 Best Business Books of All Time for a military base library in Afghanistan and through the generosity of authors and publishers, we were able to supply 5 libraries worth of books by September. Marshall Goldsmith brought his MOJO to Milwaukee for our LeaveSmarter series.
April: Shawn and Nancy said goodbye to Mack (who many of us remember puppy-sitting here at the office when he was just a little lab) after 11 years of friendship, and Dylan dedicated this Juniper Tar song (Aaron’s band that toured a lot this year) to them on our blog.
May: We began our partnership with Inc.com in creating a business book bestseller list. Dylan installed a quote on our office wall, a quote that links us to, and reaffirms, our company’s culture and past. We presented Pecha Kucha #7. Adam Hartung talked at the 800ceoread LeaveSmarter series.
June: We launched our first digital book over at ChangeThis.com, Tough Love by John Moore, a business-inspired screenplay. 800-CEO-READ’s ChangeThis was one of the co-sponsors for the Seth Godin-inspired Linchpin Meetup event in Milwaukee.
July: We celebrated the 1 year anniversary of our Big Brain Business Club. Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten’s book, The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, And How They Can Help You became available as an audio book through Audible.com.
August: The business book world lit up when author Seth Godin announced recently that he would no longer be publishing through a “traditional way.” We held Milwaukee’s 8th PechaKucha Night. Jon went country.
September: We were thrilled to have Jonathan L. S. Byrnes, author of Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink, in Milwaukee to speak at our latest LeaveSmarter event.
October: Zach and Kristen welcomed Virginia into the world and we welcomed her into the 800-CEO-READ family. Jack is featured on Cave Henricks Communications’ new blog feature: Five Quick Questions with Publishing’s Top Leaders. The company sponsored the David Byrne film, Ride, Rise, Roar, at the Milwaukee Film Festival and then went on a field trip to see it. We held the 9th Milwaukee Pecha Kucha night. Roy grew up bought a condo.
December: We held our annual Business Author Pow Wow event here in Milwaukee (and had our first party in our new offices!) The category winners of our annual 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards were announced. We released the our 2010 best seller list.
Our 2011 Resolution
When I wrote a company-wide email asking for help on compiling the best or most notable moments of 2010, here is a sample of the responses I received. (Keep in mind that our company motto is: We tease because we love.)
Aaron: We didn’t fire anyone!!
Jack: Not yet, there are a couple days left.
Jon: Zach had a baby.
Sally: That should be the name of a sitcom.
Roy: Jack stopped hitting me this year… Oh, wait, nevermind…
Meg: Jon scored 244 at Wii bowling today. Does that count?
Aaron: That counts to get him FIRED!!
Jon: Aaron, you’re fired. Again.
Sally: You people are useless.
Carol: I love this company!
The reason I inserted that banter above is to give you a brief (hopefully humorous) taste of what it’s like to work here. Relationships are important to us and we are much like a family with our own shorthand, our inside jokes, our combined history. It’s what makes this place work.
We also put a premium on getting to know our customers and our contacts, our co-conspirators in this world of business books. If we had to pick one event out of 2010 as emblematic of 800-CEO-READ, it would be the Author Pow Wow, where we got a chance to meet so many of you and share what and who we know with you.
Our resolution for 2011 is to focus even more intently on getting to know you. All of you. Our customers (whether you are author, publisher or book buyer) are our company.