Launch: A book review by Bob Morris

Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition
Michael A. Stelzner
John Wiley & Sons (2011)

If your product, service, project, or business were a rocket….

Where to begin?  Unlike Michael Stelzner’s previous book, Writing White Papers, this one has a much wider focus as he explains

• Why most marketing initiatives fail

• Why the Internet is “the Great Paralyzer”
• What Channel Overload Syndrome is (COS)
• How to determine whether or not people trust your business
• The elements of the Elevation Principle
• Why the formula proposed really does work (GC + OP – MM = G)

All this is covered in Chapter 1, “Rockets Don’t Fly Themselves.” There are eight others, followed by (count ’em) five appendices and then a glossary. So, what’s this book all about? To paraphrase Stelzner’s response to that, this book provides a detailed manual for creating “combustible” content, rich, magnetic content that attracts people and opportunity, creates or increases interest in what is offered…whatever the ultimate objective(s) may be, wherever and when the competition may appear.

If your product, service, project, or business were a rocket, everything depends on a successful launch. After that, figurative language (e.g. fuel, lift, thrust, boost, trajectory, drag) simplifies and clarifies explanations. Obviously, “fuel” provides energy and contributes to power so it is an essential resource or could be viewed as several resources: the talents and efforts of people in combination with sufficient funds to cover various costs of operation. Also, “trajectory” could refer to the path on which growth develops.

Stelzner introduces and then thoroughly examines what he calls “The Elevation Principle Formula”:  Great Content plus Other People (e.g. strategic allies, business partners) minus Marketing Messages (i.e. hard-sell) equals Growth (GC + OP – MM = G). Here are a few of his key points within an excerpt cluster:

“Once the marketing messages are caged, the focus of your company shifts from ‘What can we sell you?’ to ‘How can we help you?’ You shift from pitching products to boosting people. Instead of investing in ad space, you invest in creating great content, experiences, gathering points, and communities where people who need help can find it…The result: You no longer need to sell! Instead, you demonstrate your expertise by the content you produce, the ideas you show case, the stories you share, and the people you attract.”

Stelzner clearly understands the “what” of accelerating business growth and briefly but sufficiently explains its key components. The great value of this book is derived from how brilliantly he explains the “how” and “why” of business growth, more specifically the acceleration of business growth, within a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective program. He would be the first to agree that it would be a fool’s errand to attempt to adopt or even adapt all of the information, insights, and advice he shares. It remains for each reader to determine what is most relevant to her or his own situation as well as what is most appropriate to the given organization’s strategic objectives, core values, and available resources.

Speaking of resources, Michael Stelzner offers free resources to his reader that can be obtained by clicking here. They will supplement the abundance of resources provided in this book. They can help leaders of almost any company (whatever its size and nature may be) to (a) attract leads, prospects, and opportunity without actively and aggressively selling, (b) gain direct access to influence people in their industry, and meanwhile (c) connect with and earn the trust of prospects, customers, and others of unique interest and value.


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