Review: “The infinite game” by Simon Sinek

A while ago, I reviewed Simon Sinek’s book “Start with why” and were not too happy about his message. I really like him as a speaker but so far he could not catch me as a reader – maybe this time? Though the same problem applies to this book like the previous book, the infinite Game is eye-opening and more than worth a read. 

The infinite game is a quite new book which was realeased in autumn of 2019. I listened to the audiobook version in December and would like to share some thoughts. 

Content

The book focus heavily on a very abstracts topic of game theory: Which game a human is playing in his professional work. Game theory is the science of how to interact in an environment on certain rules.

Mr. Sinek finds a relative simple but true answer: Everything around you is an infinite game except your own life. He gives examples of Vietnam war times in which two parties played on different rules. And he gives examples of businesses that are heavily innovation driven. 

He shows in a very straight forward way why leading towards a victory is not sufficient for the overall survival of a company: A game is not won when the other player cannot drop out by fixated rules. And in business environment this is barely happening.

Thumps up

The idea of the book is great. In a way, it has been eye opening because I have simply not thought about what it means to do business and being alive in an ever changing environment. I see the world more relaxed because I know that there will always be competition. Also, I plan for the long run and not for short time victories – they appear not worth anything anymore. 

Thumps down

Mr. Sinek really takes care in the words he writes and the timing he uses his words. He pushes his style to perfection and sticks to it. Actually, I consider this a problem as I have mentioned towards his other book “the golden circle”. If you compare his youtube videos and his books, they are very similar and at least I am missing the benefit of paying for the book when I can have everything for free. As usual, I can link here a talk of Mr. Sinek.

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Another point, I did not like was the aiming of his audience: Again, business leaders for mass consumer markets. The books helps to understand how you should think in a competetive market and an infinite game but the broad audience Mr. Sinek has are not business owners. In particular, these are people which have the inner wish to be led in a better way. And here, the book does not help directly or does not go further: If I am not a business owner or leader, how can the information help me? I think this is not well answered and I wish for an answer myself.

Result

Oh Simon, how I love your smoothing intonation and the way you give your talks. It is very entertaining. And I really like everything, you put into market. Still, I have the same issue with this book that I have with your other books: They are end consumer oriented. This is not a really bad thing but it keeps always this hole open what I would do in a business to business situation where money is everything. I would love to see a more integrated view on your next book. But anyways, still “the infinite game” is a must read in my opinion. 

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