To build or start a great business, look out for the obvious#TWBR

May 20, 2017
3 min read

The book I will review today is titled "Obvious Adams", it is a call to business owners, aspiring business owners, marketers and advertisers to look out for the "Obvious ". This book is over a century old, this tells us that there is really nothing new under the sun as the saying goes.

The argument by some people is that for business and advertising campaigns to succeed, it must be new, nostalgic and avoid the obvious. What if you obey all of these rules and nobody is buying or talking about your business or products, not because they do not care, rather they do not understand jack about your business or advert.

Now, have you ever seen an advert that you keep asking, what exactly are they advertising or selling ? You are not alone, it has happened to me before and same can happen to your supposed clients and customers if they can not see nor relate with your products and message.

This business book is the story of a young boy who rose from grass to grace, he was born as Oliver B. Adams and  re - christened Obvious Adams as a result of his ability to see solutions in everyday things which are seemingly termed obvious. Oliver lost his Father at age 12, started working in a grocery store and found  his way to New York  where he worked by day and attended school by night. There he met the owner of the biggest advertising agency and the next day, he went off to inform the man that he will like to work for him.


reference book with coffee cup

The owner of the agency :

Mr. Oswald got to see him, evaluated him, termed him not too smart then told him that he can not hire him. Oliver was told by Mr. Oswald not to consider a job in the advertising Industry. Twenty years down the line Oliver B. Adams aka Obvious Adams  is the Vice President and active Head of the Oswald Advertising Agency.

Obvious Adams also known as medicine man of business did not achieve this mean feat by mere bravado, he was thorough and he put in the work. Take for example, the company got a new brief from a peach canning company which did not even come to his desk. Adams proceeded to study up on the subject of peaches. "He thought, studied, dreamed and ate peaches, fresh, canned and pickled. He sent for Government bulletins. He spent his evenings studying canning". He simply left no stone unturned.

In summary, the story of Obvious Adams points to the obvious which according to him is not as obvious as people think, it involves work and thinking which most people never do. According to him "thinking is the hardest work many people ever have to do to succeed, rather they look for short cut in the form of a clever scheme or stunt, not gathering the fact and then analyze them, thereby they overlook the first and most obvious of all business principles ".

What you can learn from Obvious Adams as a business:

  • As an aspiring or  business man, be thorough and make your products real and usable by people i.e solve a problem.
  • To address a business problem "do not get carried away from the facts; look at them squarely in the face, proceed to analyze, and that is half of the battle."
  • You can build a campaign around mundane things about the business. Competitors might think this is stupid but wait.  Are you advertising to competitors or users ?
  • Adverts do not have to be just slogans, you can have a short and interesting story.
  • Never give up, be persistent and  never wait to be chosen to carry out a task, choose or volunteer yourself.

A client picked Obvious Adams in a limousine and he wondered " What is the secret of this man's success" ? There is no secret—  it is obvious!  Robert R. Updegraff. Here is a call to do the obvious but mind you, it is neither lying  carelessly on the ground nor as easy as it sound.

Interested in reading the book? You can download the PDF version here.

Optimist - I believe in possibilities . Travel enthusiast. Interested in building global brands
Optimist - I believe in possibilities . Travel enthusiast. Interested in building global brands
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Optimist - I believe in possibilities . Travel enthusiast. Interested in building global brands

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