Wintersalen Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Q&A | November 20, 2014

    Ron Rash: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Ron Rash



    Describe your latest book/project/work. Something Rich and Strange is a collection of selected stories, including three stories previously... Continue »
    1. $19.59 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$16.50
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside Africa- Ghana

Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure on Bad Roads with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan

by

Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure on Bad Roads with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The hilarious story of two brothers, a truckload of batteries, and a brilliant plan to bring light--and new business opportunities--to Ghana

At age 47, Whit Alexander, the American co-founder of the Cranium board game, decided to start a new business selling affordable goods and services to low-income villagers in Ghana, West Africa. His brother Max, a journalist, came along to tell the story. Neither of them could have anticipated just how much of an adventure they’d find there.

In Ghana, Whit's initial goal is to market a high quality rechargeable AA battery that off-grid villagers could use to power their flashlights and radios, as well as to charge their cell phones. If successful, he planned to grow a larger for-profit business based on those batteries--creating a trusted African brand that would provide life-enhancing products, services, and jobs, without relying on charity.

Ghana, however, presents extraordinary challenges, and the brothers wage daily battles against deadly insects, insane driving conditions, unspeakable food, voodoo priests, corrupt officials, counterfeiters, and ethnic rivalries on their way to success. From signing up customers who earn a few dollars a month at most to training employees with no Western-style work experience, the brothers quickly learn that starting a business in Africa requires single-minded focus, a sense of humor, and a lot of patience.

Along the way, Whit and Max relive their own childhood, bickering across the African bush and learning a great deal about Africans as well as themselves. Irreverent, hilarious, and ultimately inspiring, Bright Lights, No City challenges accepted notions of charity, shows the power of broadening your horizons, and suggests that there is hope and opportunity in Africa.

Praise for Bright Lights, No City:

"An affectionate, good-humored and finally inspiring account of one American's determination to make good things happen."

--Kate Braestrup, New York Times bestselling author of Here If You Need Me

"My boss, Bill Gates, coined the phrase 'creative capitalism' to encourage the use of market forces to address the needs of the poor. But my friend, Whit Alexander, moved creative capitalism from ideas to bold practice. Bright Lights, No City will scratch your travel bug, tickle your business brain, and touch your heart."

--Patty Stonesifer, former CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

"I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure, which helps to prove that what much of the developing world needs is a hand up, not a hand out."

--John Wood, founder of Room to Read and author of Leaving Microsoft to Change the World

"I loved, loved, loved Bright Lights, No City. A tour de force! Bravo. It's perceptive, informative, thoughtful, engaging, funny."

--Carey Winfrey, editor emeritus, Smithsonian magazine and former Africa correspondent, New York Times

"Max Alexander has woven a compassionate and oft-times hilarious tale of the Brothers Alexander's attempt to save the world, one rechargeable battery at a time. If you have any interest in a great story or helping the other 4 billion, read this book, now."

--W. Hodding Carter, author of Westward Whoa and A Viking Voyage

"A lyrically written universal testimony to the humanity that binds all people together on this fragile planet, Bright Lights, No City is a deeply moving and funny, can't-put-it-down book."

--Frank Schaeffer, author of Crazy for God

"This book is filled with the passion and relentless pursuit that it takes to make dreams come to life, and reminds you that it takes compassion, luck, and humor to make history. A must read for every entrepreneur."

--Richard Tait, Co-Founder, Cranium; CEO, Galazo

Review:

"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. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

The hilarious story of two brothers, a truckload of batteries, and a brilliant plan to bring light--and new business opportunities--to Ghana

At age 47, Whit Alexander, the American co-founder of the Cranium board game, decided to start a new business selling affordable goods and services to low-income villagers in Ghana, West Africa. His brother Max, a journalist, came along to tell the story. Neither of them could have anticipated just how much of an adventure they'd find there.

In Ghana, Whit's initial goal is to market a high quality rechargeable AA battery that off-grid villagers could use to power their flashlights and radios, as well as to charge their cell phones. If successful, he planned to grow a larger for-profit business based on those batteries--creating a trusted African brand that would provide life-enhancing products, services, and jobs, without relying on charity.

Ghana, however, presents extraordinary challenges, and the brothers wage daily battles against deadly insects, insane driving conditions, unspeakable food, voodoo priests, corrupt officials, counterfeiters, and ethnic rivalries on their way to success. From signing up customers who earn a few dollars a month at most to training employees with no Western-style work experience, the brothers quickly learn that starting a business in Africa requires single-minded focus, a sense of humor, and a lot of patience.

Along the way, Whit and Max relive their own childhood, bickering across the African bush and learning a great deal about Africans as well as themselves. Irreverent, hilarious, and ultimately inspiring, Bright Lights, No City challenges accepted notions of charity, shows the power of broadening your horizons, and suggests that there is hope and opportunity in Africa.

About the Author

Max Alexander is a former executive editor of Variety and Daily Variety, and a former senior editor at People magazine. He has co-authored several books, ranging from a cookbook to business books. His writing appears in Smithsonian, Reader's Digest, Money and the New York Times. USA Today rated his first book, Man Bites Log, about his experiences moving from Hollywood and New York to a Maine farm, as one of the best nature books of 2004. He has edited many other books, including George Plimpton's last book, Shackleton. He lives in Maine.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781401324179
Subtitle:
An African Adventure on Bad Roads with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan
Author:
Alexander, Max
Publisher:
Hyperion
Subject:
General Business & Economics
Subject:
Business Writing
Subject:
Biography/Business
Subject:
Entrepreneurship
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20120717
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in 22.8 oz
Age Level:
from 18

Other books you might like

  1. Basic Writings of Nietzsche (Modern... Used Trade Paper $12.50
  2. The Portable Nietzsche (Viking... Used Trade Paper $8.50

Related Subjects

Biography » Business
Biography » General
Business » Business Plans
Business » General
Business » Management
Business » Strategy
Business » Writing
History and Social Science » Africa » Ghana
History and Social Science » World History » Africa
Travel » Africa » West
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure on Bad Roads with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.50 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Hyperion Books - English 9781401324179 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , The hilarious story of two brothers, a truckload of batteries, and a brilliant plan to bring light--and new business opportunities--to Ghana

At age 47, Whit Alexander, the American co-founder of the Cranium board game, decided to start a new business selling affordable goods and services to low-income villagers in Ghana, West Africa. His brother Max, a journalist, came along to tell the story. Neither of them could have anticipated just how much of an adventure they'd find there.

In Ghana, Whit's initial goal is to market a high quality rechargeable AA battery that off-grid villagers could use to power their flashlights and radios, as well as to charge their cell phones. If successful, he planned to grow a larger for-profit business based on those batteries--creating a trusted African brand that would provide life-enhancing products, services, and jobs, without relying on charity.

Ghana, however, presents extraordinary challenges, and the brothers wage daily battles against deadly insects, insane driving conditions, unspeakable food, voodoo priests, corrupt officials, counterfeiters, and ethnic rivalries on their way to success. From signing up customers who earn a few dollars a month at most to training employees with no Western-style work experience, the brothers quickly learn that starting a business in Africa requires single-minded focus, a sense of humor, and a lot of patience.

Along the way, Whit and Max relive their own childhood, bickering across the African bush and learning a great deal about Africans as well as themselves. Irreverent, hilarious, and ultimately inspiring, Bright Lights, No City challenges accepted notions of charity, shows the power of broadening your horizons, and suggests that there is hope and opportunity in Africa.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.