How to leave a review for our book on Amazon

Step 1: Navigate Back to The Book Page

Here is the link again Note* you can also leave a review immediately after you finish by scrolling to the very last page of the ebook in your kindle.

Step 2: Scroll down to the “Customer Reviews” section

Click “write a review” button customerreview

Step 3: Leave a Review and Star Rating

Hey, I have read the book and written a review on GoodReads. In theory, it should be automatically available in the Amazon page as well, though I now do not see it, maybe it takes some time for the Amazon website to grab it.

The book is really great! Great work @nadia and @matthias. You really made me feel proud here.

However, the second and third parts are a bit too clearly copy pasted. For example, you demonstrate how Markdown syntax works on Discourse, but on Kindle this breaks and the reader is left wondering. Another example is

[…] has the most comprehensive coverage for a rail booking site so far (according to @alberto).

Where the @ mention makes no sense on Kindle.

There is also an inconsistent use of links: sometimes you put them in footnotes, other times in live links.

In general, if you want to make it a book that can live for a long time (8-10 years?), I recommend a deep revision, where also you would put in footnotes or appendixes the short-lived stuff (example: Zoom might be “state-of-the-art” now, but not sure at all it will still be in five years), while keeping the long-lived stuff (social conventions, types of tools etc.) foregrounded.

And a final thing. As I tried to put myself in the shoes of a reader who does not know about this stuff, I would have liked a slightly longer first part (hero’s journey). The narrative is compelling, but I think some examples would help a lot a novice to understand what it means in practice to “use the right tools” in Step 4, for example.

Let me know if I can do anything else!

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Thank you Alberto, the feedback is very helpful. I think it makes sense to do a second edition containing the examples and stories being collected as a result of the book and the services we are running atm.

Thank you for taking the time to write that thoughtful review! :slight_smile: Kudos to the all of us, as I consider the knowledge in that book a collective achievement of Edgeryders. (At least in my case all the meaningful distributed work practice and experiments happened during Edgeryders times.)

Yes, agreed. Many ways to improve the structure and content, easily 1-2 months work full-time for the next revision. For testing the waters and future opportunities, I like the current version a lot already.

I was thinking that including the personal stories from various people in our company and extended collaborator community could also help with this purpose. Distributed collaboration is not an exact science, so different perspectives, wording and framing may help to drive our main points home to a diverse audience. It’s a part that I myself would be curious to read, as it would be very different from the technical sections I contributed, and I expect surprise finds and insights. Like your (@alberto) monastic allegories, which proved to be a great paradigm for various aspects treated in the book.

Yes, absolutely. For now, the hero’s journey reads like this: “apply these principles, and all will be well.” But, if I did not have my own experience, it would be a bit cloudy how I can apply those principles in the practice of my work, and how that would help me. I re-read parts of my own book, and found a strong effort to be super-explicit:

[…] we put all the materials on a blog, and refused to take one-on-one meetings, insisting instead that everybody interact with our [regional government’s] group through publicly visible comments on the blog. This created trust, as people were less prone to suspecting each other to try to open private channels to the decision makers.

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I was talking to @Lee today, and she said she was struggling with the book for this very same reason. Looping her here, so she has a place to share her feedback if she feels up to it.

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Hey,

So I am one of these people @alberto refers to as “a reader who does not know about this stuff”. Reading it like this I find it a very interesting book (kudos @nadia & @matthias and everybody who has contributed!), yet while I am not even half way through I must admit that I share Alberto’s view that the book might benefit from a deep revision (e.g. some things left me wondering about more precise details, in another place I found 5-7 lines that were almost a literal copy/paste of something that had been said already, etc).

If it could be of any use to take notes while I continue my read with an innocent / ignorant mindset I’d be happy to help. If that would be the case (no offense taken if not of course), it would be helpful though if I could get the file in another format. E-readers are amazing, but this 20th century bred puppy is still much quicker with pen and paper :upside_down_face:.
Cheers!

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Hello @Lee – thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us! It’s really useful for us to know from actual readers into which direction we should be heading. Such as, being more precise with the instructions. And, agreed on the deep revision – we certainly can do better than this initial version. I’d like to save your offer of more detailed reader’s notes for when that extended and corrected revision is out. Just because it makes little sense to bother you with this while there are enough things we ourselves are aware of (by now) that we can improve in the book.

But I’d be interested in your opinion about the book’s potential role. Given the style and direction the book has right now, who do you think is the audience we should focus on? Such as, fresh work-from-home employees, or corporate managers, etc… And do you think buying and reading the book will feel as a worthwhile investment for them? (You can assume a second revision with obvious improvements already.)

Because, this is the hardest part for us when creating this book: knowing what investment is worth it, and avoiding too much wasted effort. So in a way, this imperfect first version is us exploring the space for such a book without going all-in yet. But with serious intentions to create the best book we can, once we found the right spot and audience for it.

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Should I suspend communication about it until version 2?

Not at all, feedback is very welcome :slight_smile: It’s just that feedback that helps to evaluate the strategy and positioning for version 2 of the book would be much more helpful right now than detailed bug reports. Means, answering questions like:

And similar aspects like price point, topics to cover to make it more useful, observations about general shortcomings in knowledge presentation (such as your “it should be more specific”) etc…

I feel a bit uncomfortable answering these questions, because I don’t think my opinion is worth a lot, as I don’t know anything about the books market just to mention one thing.

That being said I think that maybe you are asking the wrong questions. I am rather sure that as Edgeryders you have a unique story to tell, that many people would be interested to read. The challenges that I see however would be twofold:

  1. Make the book more complete and easier to access to people who have no clue at all about what you are doing and what’s the story behind that (my experience: I have been hearing about it for about a year, and I still didn’t completely follow it);
  2. What is the scope of the book? Is it about remote work only? Or does it also cover the wider topic of developing a different working culture that could also be useful in a more classically organised organisation? (my idea: I think it’s the latter, and many people would be interested in that, but it requires more detail).

Same disclaimer as above (I am not qualified on this topic), but here is my intuition. You have managed to create a pretty unique organisation that many people could learn from a lot. At moments however it feels like you may have lost touch a bit with the sheer retardedness and absurdity that characterizes daily office life, and that might affect your story telling. You seem to assume it’s all clear and self-evident and so you don’t explain things to people who have no idea that thinking can actually be done outside of the box, let alone that it can lead to great things.

Doing this might require a big investment, but I would assume the ROI would be proportionate. First of all it might make it easier for inside-the-box people to understand what Edgeryders is and how it works (took me 12 months to get my “aha erlebnis”), second it may inspire an aweful lot of people to try similar things in their own organisations?

Anyway. Just some thoughts. Hope it helps!

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Here’s an interesting idea. I had not thought about this, I guess I assumed we are so weird that no sane manager would want to imitate us. Thanks @Lee!

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Second this (thanks @Lee!). I can picture how that looks … like another, not too long part prepended to the current two-part book that tells our organization’s story, also providing context to understand everything that follows. It would also, finally, be a piece of material to point people to who really want to understand what Edgeryders is and how it works. (“There’s a book about us.”)

So yes, I think this is a great proposal.

Not easy to pull off though, as we’d have to work closely with an “untainted” reader from beyond our community to make sure that section is legible to outsiders, for whom it would be written.

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Indeed, but again, consider the ROI. We have been hearing about Valve’s unorthodox management style for 15 years; many books have been written on it, endless seminars and TED Talks, but you don’t see many companies – no major one that I know of – doing this stuff.

Which gives me an idea. Maybe we could reach out to some academics and see if some master student would like to do a thesis on Edgeryders’ process and management style? Some kind of knowledge gathering? Maybe offer a small reward for an editorialized offshoot of the thesis that we can use internally?

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I don’t expect that anyone would try to imitate us closely (it might not be a good idea, even). Wouldn’t want a whole book just about Edgeryders the organization, but a part that provides context to how we work and how we developed the workstyle we have. Fleshing out, from our own perspective, one of the interesting questions I stumbled on while writing about distributed collaboration: how does an organization learn and evolve?

So yes, let’s totally consider ROI. The idea of a master thesis or other student project sounds good for that. Maybe one of @amelia’s students might want to study us, as one of the usual student exercises? We certainly have a lot of digital artifacts around to study :slight_smile:

Lee this is very helpful, thank you so much for taking time to read and share such thoughtful feedback. My understanding of what you are saying is that there are two issues:

  1. Situating the contents of the book in a story of Edgeryders living in the future of work and the core benefit it brings: a better quality of life through more freedom at work for oneself and ones colleagues.

  2. Grounding it’s claims in real world stories/data. Possibly through in depth interviews with people who’s experiences each hold a piece of the puzzle. Asking what have we learned from the experience of work and life under COVID.

Did I understand this correctly?

FYI @Alberto and @matthias there are at least two books on management that I know of who have featured Edgeryders more or less extensively. I will have a look at them again and see what they say…

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This is the first: https://www.waterstones.com/book/cultivating-flows/herman-wagter/jean-m-russell/9781909470989

“ Most of the significant change that’s happening in the world, usually ‘under the radar,’ is not the result of structured innovation in blue-chip companies. It’s a function of massively enthusiastic people, in love with what they’re doing, working with the marbles of ‘social technology’ and ‘social flows’ to shift impossibly large rocks.

Jean Russell and Herman Wagner are immersed in that world of nudge and reframing, social protocols, and culture hacking. They share their experience and case studies from dozens of colleagues in this invaluable book. The Introduction explains the theory of social flows, how to spot them, and how they work in practice. It also introduces ways to get involved in designing, structuring, and influencing social flows.

Part 1: Understanding Social Flows describes the characteristics we need to understand in order to see why social flows are so important and how to cultivate them.

Part 1 also introduces topics, such as: Flow Interactions seen as a Network, Trust, How to Outperform Hierarchy, Social Technology, Ecosystems, Boundaries, Leadership, Organizational Complexity, and Prototyping.

*Part 2: (Re)Creating Social Flow breaks down Social Flows into a process with four key stages. Part 3: Bringing Social Flows into Form. And, finally, Part 4: Learning Flows considers issues like cultivating flows, feedback, and harvesting. *** *

*“In the Big Shift, we are rapidly moving into a world of flows. This amazing book offers the key to unlocking the mysteries of social flows. Those who master these techniques will not only survive, but thrive, in the new world that awaits us.” – John Hagel, Center for the Edge

“Flow and the emergence of thriving systems will define the next era at all levels. I’d love this book to also be turned into a primer for kids. Literacy and fluency with flow will be a critical skill for global citizens in the years to come.” --Mickey McManus, Chairman & Principal at MAYA Design [Subject: Management, Sociology, Business]

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Yes I think so since it seems we need to develop it further. I have a few ideas for how we can keep cost of change low while still fulfilling purpose of turnt edition of book’. Let’s have a chat this week?