Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Businessman

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Harper & Brothers, 1916 - Advertising - 56 pages

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I found out about the existence of this classic book ,Obvious Adams, while reading another classic on the subject of advertising entitled How to Advertise, sub-titled:
Professional guide for the
advertiser. What works. What doesn't. And why. written by Kenneth Roman and Jane Maas in 1976
The introduction for roman and Maas's book was written by David Ogilvy, who along with both Roman and Maas were advertising legends in their day. Ogilvy did the Hathaway Shirt Ad and the original VW Bug commercials among countless others. His advertising agency was Ogilvy and Mather.
In any event, it delighted me to find that Google had made Obvious Adams available on line - what a wonderful time we live in to be able to instantly access valuable content that in the past would have been almost impossible to obtain without a daunting amount of effort - especially when the title has been out of print for so long. Obvious Adams was first published in 1916 and is in the public domain with no copyright.
It is a short opus (Opus is Latin for work) but still as engaging and enchanting as I am sure it was to its very first readers almost 100 years ago.
It contains commonsense insights that can help us each achieve success that ought to be obvious but which sadly we all tend to ignore because they are, well too obvious":!
I heartily recommend that you take the brief time it will take for you to read Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Businessman. I know you will enjoy it and benefit from it.

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While this book may seem dated in these digital times. The common sense approach it teaches endures. When all "experts" have had their say it is the simple answers that are always the best. That's why managers who are trying to turn around projects in trouble always start by getting back to basics.
Anyone who reads this book will quickly agree that the best solutions are those that are "obvious" in retrospect. A must read for anyone who wants to see problems with clarity rather than the techno-babble that the pseudo-experts love wrap them in.

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Page 14 - It all struck me in a heap. How many of us have sense enough to see and do the obvious thing? And how many of us have persistency enough in following out our ideas of what is obvious? The more I thought of it the more convinced I became that in our organization there ought to be some place for a lad who had enough sense to see the obvious thing to do and then to go about it directly, without any fuss or fireworks, and do it. "And, by George ! the next morning I sent for that lad and gave him a job...
Page 12 - I liked him well enough, but he seemed to lack alertness — that little up-and-comingness that is necessary in advertising. And so finally I told him, in as kindly a way as possible, that I didn't think he was cut out for an advertising man and that I was very sorry, but I couldn't give him a position, and a lot more fatherly advice. It was really a choice little speech, firm but gentle. "He took it all nicely enough. But instead of begging me to give...
Page 10 - Though the idea frightened him a little, it never occurred to him for a minute but that he should do just that. And so at two o'clock that afternoon he asked for two hours off at the market, that being the quiet time of day, and, after carefully blacking his shoes and brushing his clothes, started out for the big office-building which housed the Oswald Advertising Agency.
Page 2 - Ordinary -looking man, isn't he?" "Yes, to look at him you would never think he was the famous Obvious Adams of the biggest advertising agency in New York. And to tell the truth, I can't see why he is such a little tin god in the business world.
Page 10 - Oswald was busy, he was informed by the girl in the receptionhall who had telephoned his name in to the big man. Oliver thought a minute. "Tell him I can wait an hour and ten minutes." The girl looked surprised, for people were not in the habit of sending such messages to the big chief. But there...
Page 2 - And yet this same Adams has been an important factor in the success of more well-known businesses than perhaps any other one man. Even at this moment, while the two men were talking about him, he was making business history. He had turned the menu card face down and was drawing lines and making...
Page 11 - He will see you in about twenty minutes," she announced. Of the interview itself James Oswald used to delight to tell: "In walked young Adams, as serious as a deacon.
Page 8 - On the way home he thought over what Mr. Oswald had told of the advertising business. As he prepared for bed in his little thirdfloor rear he thought over the man Oswald and decided that he must be a fine man. As he pulled the blanket up over him and nestled down into the pillows he decided that...

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