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Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure on Bad Roads with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Hyperion 2012
Status:
Available from OverDrive
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/17/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781401304102
ASIN:
B00T7VCH8G
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Max Alexander. (2012). Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure on Bad Roads with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan. Hyperion.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Max Alexander. 2012. Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure On Bad Roads With a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan. Hyperion.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Max Alexander, Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure On Bad Roads With a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan. Hyperion, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Max Alexander. Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure On Bad Roads With a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan. Hyperion, 2012. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
f7fea8ea-c02c-fa21-cf77-be5e757ca1f8
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Needs Update?:
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:10:18
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:42:27
Last Metadata Check:
Jun 26, 2022 07:38:35
Last Metadata Change:
Jun 05, 2022 07:20:22
Last Availability Check:
Jun 26, 2022 07:38:39
Last Availability Change:
Aug 06, 2018 13:51:03
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Jul 01, 2022 02:36:59

OverDrive Product Record

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Book description to come.

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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 21, 2012
        Overseeing the start of a new energy business in West Africa, Alexander, a former executive editor of Variety and Daily Variety and a former senior editor at People, details the arduous task of selling durable, rechargeable AA batteries for flashlights and radios to poor rural villagers in Ghana despite government graft, tribal conflicts, superstition, and general apathy. The author, with his rich brother, Whit, the cofounder of the Cranium board game, just goes along for the ride, asking himself: “ow many chances would I get to do something significant and crazy with my kid brother?” What follows is not a tame Forbes business model in action, but a zany, surreal terror-ride into the bush trying to get supplies, acquiring reluctant customers, hiring courageous agents to seek buyers, sidestepping the local priests and ever-demanding law. Slowly building the business of hawking the reliable “The Burro” battery, the Alexander brothers see their enterprise gradually become profitable, yet it is Ghana, with its peanut soups and tilapia stew, tropical music, cultural differences, and exotic medical plagues, that steals the show. At times improbable yet always comic and wise, Alexander’s tale of the brothers making a business pitch to Africans renews our understanding of service, need, and determination in the global village.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        June 15, 2012
        The story of the trials of running a startup company in Africa. "I never cared about Africa," writes Alexander, a former executive editor of Variety and senior editor of People. "I never wanted to join the Peace Corps, raft the Zambezi, haggle in Fez or climb Kilimanjaro." Nonetheless, he accompanied his brother, Whit, on one of his entrepreneurial quests there. Whit's company, Burro, which rents batteries to people in villages in Ghana that lack electricity, aims to help the villagers save money while making a profit. It has been a worthwhile but arduous venture, and Alexander documents the many challenges of running a profitable business in an unfamiliar country. Burro is not Whit's first company, however; he was also co-founder of the board game Cranium. Alexander notes that getting a startup off the ground is complicated even for the experienced entrepreneur, and sure enough, Burro ran into problems such as unreliable workers, faulty batteries and missed payments. There were two main issues underlying most of the complications: selling to a consumer base with extremely limited disposable income and working in a country without a viable infrastructure. Whit's insistence that the company operate as a profitable business without handouts has made it an even more difficult, yet more rewarding, journey. After the author's yearlong stay, Burro was still not breaking even, but it was closer to doing so with the help of a few interns and new advertising strategies. Alexander vividly describes the landscape of Ghana's urban areas and villages; the portrait is beautiful at times, but the poverty is astonishing. Ultimately, the author's colorful writing and humanitarian drive make the book well worth reading. An invigorating reality check for anyone thinking about starting a business in a developing country.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        July 1, 2012
        With decades of experience editing and writing for the likes of People and the New York Times, among other periodicals, Alexander has been thoroughly immersed in American culture for most of his life. So when in January 2009 he tagged along with his entrepreneurial younger brother, Whit, cocreator of the board game Cranium, to an underdeveloped area of Ghana in West Africa, it was with no small amount of trepidation. While Ghana is one of Africa's more affluent nations, Whit's target population was the country's rural poor, and his somewhat quixotic business plan involved creating a start-up company, Burro, aimed at renting rechargeable batteries to local villagers lacking electricity. With the ultimate ambition of making Burro profitable to Ghanaians themselves, Whit and his journalist brother endured a hostile climate, insects, medical scares, police run-ins, and their own bickering to make it work. Overflowing with wit, cultural insights, and colorful anecdotes, Alexander's work is an inspiring example of Third World renewal and an irresistibly readable, true-life travel story.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

subtitle
An African Adventure on Bad Roads with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan
popularity
61
publisher
Hyperion
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