Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What a Difference Between Industry Books Written By Academics and Those From Real Experience

Recently, I had read a book on Construction Management written by a PhD professor, and just last night I finished a construction book written by those in the industry who had been in the building and construction trade for 40 plus years. Wow, what a difference indeed. Let me discuss with you some of the differences.

Now then, I am not going to recommend the Construction Management book, which also appears to be used as a textbook, as it was uneventful and not such good advice, fairly shallow information which wouldn't help an actual business person much. The book I'd like to recommend to you is;

"Running a Successful Construction Company," by David Gerstel, a Taunton's "For Pros, By Pros" series book, Taunton Press, Newtown CT, 2002, 265 Pages, ISBN: 1-56158-530-0.

Okay so, am I chastising the PhD publish or perish professor? No, because she too was once out here in the real world prior to going back to teaching, who knows why, maybe she couldn't make it in the real world or maybe she just retired and likes to teach, so she got her PhD and a nice college gig?

It's just that these professors try to pull rank on all of us out here in the real world who have actually done something, it makes me wonder why. You see, I wrote a business plan, mine was 400 pages and although that's not the common format, I did that much research, which is double the normal dissertation, but the content and amount of work involved was similar to the work to put together a thesis or dissertation, I studied the industry, carefully projected what I was going to do, wrote it all down, but then this is where things change - as I actually created the business. So, I ask; where is my PhD? See that point.

Back to these two books. It is amazing how easy it is to see if the author or authors know what they're talking about. There are just little tidbits of information, things which are very important which are explained in greater detail by those who are actually in the field. Merely categorizing facts, figures, and information is one thing, but explaining how all that information and knowledge must be used, with relevant case studies is surely another.

Additionally, it is quite obvious when an author of a business book goes into greater details about all the rules and regulations of the industry, rather than the how-to knowledge it takes to actually do it. There is a big difference between following all the rules, getting all the licenses, and doing an overview of the industry than when you actually get out there and have to do it in the real world.

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