Ready, Fire, Aim book review

Ready, Fire, Aim book review

Ready, Fire, Aim book review

Practical advice you can use now 


 Easy to understand


 Organised well




About the author of the book

Michael Matherson, Mark Morgan Ford are the same person - interesting that people still have pen names in the internet age. Michael has written 10+ books and hundreds of essays. He was the founder and a regular contributor to Early To Rise until his retirement in 2011.

Quick summary

Ready, Fire, Aim is Matherson's tenth book. It focuses on growing a business all the way from start up to 100+ million in revenue per year. The focus is on how to break through 4 specific glass ceilings that businesses typically face as they grow. The book provides an interesting combination of research, personal experience (which he has a lot of), and practical ideas that you can apply today.

My thoughts

I run a small business with less than 5 staff so I wondered how this book would go. Specifically because it is pitched at large businesses getting larger. An excellent book but written with a focus on large economies. What I mean is, the first stage of growth in this book covers up to 1 million in revenue, the second stage covers up to 10 million. For a country like New Zealand, this is about as big as we get! Well that's not really true is it. But a 10 Million dollar business in New Zealand is a big business. So maybe it's just my thinking (which it likely is) but growing to be a 100 Million + business in New Zealand is out of the each of most. However, I think the thing I enjoy about these books is that it makes me think. It stretches my understanding of what the world considers big - this a good thing.

Because the book covers sure a huge range of business size, it was tempting to think about stopping after the chapters I related to. However, I've learnt a lot about how bigger business should behave, and how they tend to get stuck in ruts. I learnt a lot about approaches I hope I will get to take in the years to come.

I was actually surprised that in every chapter I found something I felt I could apply. Even in the chapters on business of 100+ million in revenue. So if you are willing to listen, you will find a gem in each chapter.

Recommended to:

  • Anyone in commercial business. specifically marketing or product staff
  • It's not very applicable to local or central government
  • Small business will find lots of useful ideas in the early chapters


  • Lots of practical ideas that come down to the strategy level (they don't get to the tactics)
  • The advice would be applicable for any product-based business immediately
  • Something for all business of any size
  • One of the only business books I've read that goes beyond the start up, or small business stage
  • An excellent combination of personal experience, research, and practical strategies


  • The practical advice doesn't get down to the immediate tactics of "put down the book and do these 5 things right now"
  • The book is written to focus on an American economy which is so much larger than anything we encounter in New Zealand. This makes it a bit hard to get your head around for how to apply. However, it wouldn't take long to translate the numbers to equivalent figures for your country and then it would apply without a problem.
  • The book is written to focus on product-based businesses. So service-based businesses get left out. However, i think the ideas are still very applicable. 

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