About The Book
"I think of Rules of Thumb as the world's first business hybrid book - the same way Fast Company was the world's first business hybrid magazine. Rules of Thumb is in part a memoir: In writing it I drew from more than 30 years of work and life experiences. Some of the rules come from the 1970s when I worked in the Mayor's Office in Portland, Oregon; some come from my time working as the editorial director of the Harvard Business Review; quite a few derive from the experiences I had in launching and editing Fast Company. And there are even some rules that I've learned in the years since I left Fast Company and started traveling extensively, speaking internationally, and meeting a whole new circle of fascinating, talented, and instructive people. So that's part of the book - it has the flavor of a memoir.
The other part of the book is a how-to set of instructions or suggestions for people who seek to learn something from the rules I've recorded. Every rule ends with a section that I've labeled "So What?" The point of the "so what?" section is to take my experience and try to relate it to what you're dealing with, working on, or seeking to learn.
The combination of a memoir and a how-to business book - think of it as a "mem-to" - gives Rules of Thumb its unique voice and flavor. It's meant to stimulate your own thinking and provoke your own questioning. It's a tool for observing your own work and life and coming up with rules that can help you work smarter, grow faster, and succeed sooner.
And at the end of my 52 Rules of Thumb I present you with an invitation: send me your rules of thumb as you write them down on three-by-five cards, the way I learned to do.I'm hoping that we can create a global dialog to develop a new operating manual with rules of thumb from around the world - rules designed to make the world a better place and the future the way we want it."
- Alan Webber