As I told you yesterday, I read two books while on vacation. The first one was Yes Man, and it was hilarious. The second was The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, and it was the exact opposite. It was close to perfect, but it was a rather sad story.
It was about Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was going to give “the last lecture” and the book is about this lecture, and his view on life.
The book is sad, but it’s also a beautiful book and sometimes even a little funny.
The last lecture is a book everybody should read, because it’s a book about dreams and it really makes you think. If I had to choose one word to describe the book, then I think it would be “inspiration”.
The last lecture is not a book you forget a month or two after you read it, I believe that this book will be somewhere in my mind for a very long time. It made me realize how trivial life can be, and what to do about it.
And it even includes a very good marketing tip on page 165, it’s called “the $100,000 salt and pepper shaker”.
It’s the story about when Randy Pausch was twelve years old and his sister was fourteen. They went to Disney World with their parents. Randy and his sister wanted to thank their parents by pooling their allowances and buying them a salt and pepper shaker. They paid $10 for the saker, and where heading up the street for their parents when it slipped through Randy’s hands. It broke, they both were in tears when an adult suggested they should walk back to the store and ask for another one.
They did, and the people in the store gave them another shaker and said it was their fault (not Randy and his sister) because they hadn’t wrapped the original shaker well enough.
When their parents heard the story, it increased their appreciation of Disney World. And because of this, his parents made visits to Disney World an integral part of their volunteer work. They spent moren than $100,000 on tickets, food and souvenirs.
Marketing should be integrated in the product and the people working in the store, if it is, this is what can happen.
The Last Lecture is an awesome book, and I highly recommend that you read it.
The officially site of the book is located at www.thelastlecture.com and you can actually watch Randy Pausch’s last lecture on YouTube. It’s called “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” and has been watched more than 7 million times.
Is this one of the most inspiring books I have ever read?
I am not quite sure, but it might be.