Nicholas Lovell, author of the The Curve discusses ‘How do you make money when everything is going free?’

Nicholas’ latest post on The Bookseller Blog is a must read for all those interested in the future of business:

Stop worrying about the price of books, or music, or art, going to zero. It’s happening. It’s happened. There is no going back.

So now that we’ve accepted that, how do we answer the really interesting question of the twenty-first century: how do we take advantage of the unique, amazing features of a connected society to finance the profitable creation of art and culture?

To discover what Nicholas’ solution is read the full article here:

Portfolio Penguin is really excited about the release of The Curve book in October. To learn more about the ideas behind The Curve head over to Nicholas’ site: the video link on his page is definitely worth 15 minutes of your time!!!


To get your hands on a copy of The Curve, watch this space for details of how to pre-order!


Portfolio Penguin Competition – Your chance to win a bundle of our business and self-development books


From budding entrepreneurs to people curious to read more about the world of business and self-development, we have an exciting competition that is not to be missed.

Portfolio Penguin are giving one lucky winner the chance to get their hands on a fantastic bundle of 30+ books from our current and past catalogue of Penguin Portfolio Books, including Josh Kaufman’s The Personal MBA, James Caan’s Start Your Business in 7 Days, Michael Woodford’s Exposure and MANY more. All you have to do is click on the link below and complete the short survey (it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes) to be in with a chance of winning.

Terms and Conditions apply.


How do you compete when everything is tending to free?

The Curve, A new business model for the 21st Century.


Portfolio Penguin are very excited about Nicholas Lovell’s forthcoming book The Curve, which in a nutshell is a business thinking revolution for how to compete with the world of free and cheap consumption.

The last century has been dominated by companies striving to sell more and more products at uniform prices. But the future of business is all about variation: tailoring products for customers of all stripes, and letting your biggest fans spend as much as they like on things they value. The Curve shows how businesses should not be afraid of giving some things away for free. The internet helps them forge direct relationships with a vast global audience, and take them on a journey from freeloaders into superfans.

Value lies in how businesses make people feel, by building communities, bespoke products and experiences. Small numbers of high spenders are enough to fuel a profitable business. Free or very cheap consumption at the other end of The Curve should then be embraced as a useful marketing mechanism to raise awareness of a brand and create the foundations for a successful business.

The Curve is transforming both the digital world of music, books and film, and it will rapidly spread to the physical world as 3D printing becomes commonplace. It will redefine how businesses devise future pricing and product strategy! With stories drawn from artists, toymakers, sports, food, manufacturing and more, The Curve is nothing short of a business thinking revolution.

If you are now sufficiently curious to learn more, then you should definitely check out Nicholas’ fifteen-minute video presentation, which is a further intriguing insight into The Curve’s relevance to the 21st Century.

Also check out Nicholas’ website for The Curve which has further information – there are some interesting articles based around the idea of The Curve on the site including discussion around piracy in the physical production industry, 3D printing of an AK47 and how The Bodyguard Musical fits into The Curve.

If you are dying to get your hands on a copy of The Curve watch this blog for how you can pre-order your copy for this October.

The Launch Pad, Randall Stross

The Ultimate Start-Up Programme: Y-Combinator in Silicon Valley 

Randall Stross’ book will give you an exclusive behind the scenes account of what goes on in one of the most sort-after and prestigious start-up initiatives in the world, the Y-Combinator; The Launch Pad  is a entertaining and fascinating read all about this programme and what it takes to make it in the world of small business.


If you don’t know, Y-Combinator is the most sought-after home for start-ups in Silicon Valley. Twice a year, it funds dozens of just-founded start-ups and provides three months of guidance and mentoring to help refine the start-ups for ‘Demo Day’ where they will pitch their businesses to a large group of investors. Y-Combinator has been part of the success stories behind several recent start-ups including Dropbox, Airbnb and Codeacademy.

The Launch Pad is Randall’s captivating tale of how he was granted backstage access to follow the programme and its 64 candidates in the Summer of 2011.

Among the candidates were Codecademy, a Web site offering to teach anyone programming; Rap Genius, a Wikipedia-like site for rap lyrics; and Clerky, whose software is written by a pair of attorneys who are also software engineers seeking to “make attorneys obsolete.”

Randall also offers some intriguing words of wisdom from the programmes leader, Paul Graham: Paul’s first and most important piece of advice is ‘make something people want.’ His further unconventional advice advocates “Here, we don’t fire you, the market fires you. If you’re sucking, I’m not going to run along behind you, saying, ‘You’re sucking, you’re sucking, c’mon, stop sucking.’” An eye-opening and reality check mantra but nevertheless important and certainly worth a read within The Launch Pad.

Whether you are a budding entrepreneur, the next start-up wannabe or just curious about the more Hollywood-esque world of start-ups and gain behind the scenes access, The Launch Pad is a page-turning account of Randall’s time in Silicon Valley and will have you captivated at what it takes to make it in the world of start-up business.

To find out more about Y-Combinator and The Launch Pad check out Vanity Fair’s recent adaption of an excerpt from the book:

To pre-order a copy of the paperback from Portfolio Penguin now visit the following link:

FUTURE RELEASE: What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings–and Life
WTMSPD Before Breakfast

Laura Vanderkam is the reknowned author of the successful and inspiring, All the Money in the World, a definitive guide to money management to improve your life and 168 Hours, an essential time managment guide to getting the most of your day. Due for release in September 2013, Laura Vanderkam’s lastest book, What the most successful people do before breakfast collates three of her recent small-guides into one concise life-management book. In her latest read, Laura will teach you how to redefine your morning morning routine and jump-start your day, rethink your weekends and start your workweek on track and finally she will challenge you to make the most of your time spent at work to ultimately ensure you are being as productive and efficient as you potentially can be in all aspects of your life.

Find out more about Laura’s efficient morning regime and ideas when she put into practice her own philosophy and documented it on her blog:


Red Magazine is bringing you the opportunity to meet Laura Vanderkam in person this September! CHECK OUT THE EVENT HERE. This is an opportunity not to be missed to meet Laura in person and learn more from this brilliant writer who will most likely help you to redfine and make the most of your life to find a healthy balance between work, sport, free time and everything else you wanted to make time for.

Event Information
Price: £10
Date: Thursday 5th September; 8.00am – 8.45am
At: Waterstones, 203-206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD
Price includes tea, coffee and pastries, a goody bag worth £40.

To book call 020 7312 4190

Terms and conditions:
Separate transaction needed for each ticket.
Bring email confirmation to gain entry.
Tickets subject to availability.
Sorry, no refunds.

Got any questions for Laura? Then tweet Red @redmagdaily using the #BeforeBreakfast hashtag.

Why the Bank of England is paving the way for small businesses and why today is a good time to start-up.


The recent announcement by The Bank of England’s new Canadian governor, Mark Carney has been causing quite a stir since yesterday. ‘Forward guidance’ is the new mantra for the BoE, with a pledge to keep interest fixed until at least 2016.

So what does this mean for start-ups, small businesses and entrepreneurs? Well on paper, it all seems very promising; Carney’s plans generally seem to propose that now is the time to go ahead with any projects you may have in starting or growing your business as assuming everything goes to plan until 2016 there will be no surprises in investing or taking out a small business loan. HOORAH you may say; so what next? (

Well here at Portfolio Penguin, we would like to help you decide, which business book can help you realise your dreams of starting or growing your own business:


Now if you are one of these people who always like to say I have a brilliant business idea or think you have spotted a gap in the market but unsure if and how your idea could become a business then James Caan’s Start Your Business in 7 Days is the book for you. This is a comprehensive 7 day guide to establishing if your idea is a viable business opportunity and will help you put into motion the necessary steps that can help you to determine if you can get your idea off the ground. If you are really thinking of making a dream a reality then find yourself 7 days and see if you can’t be the next big thing.  (

If you already have a definitive idea and you know your market and audience, then Luke Johnson’s Start It Up will be your all round guide from getting your business off the ground to the general running and day to day tasks involved, providing the ins and outs and high and lows of being your own boss. In a nutshell Management Today says ‘Just buy this book.’ ( )

Finally, for all you techies, digital innovators and inventors our final recommendation is Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup. This international bestseller is a new approach to running an adaptable and innovative business in the competitive world of digital and product development. Ries advocates the need to streamline your production process from day one to minimise your costs and failures from the outset. How is this achieved? By focusing on your customers wants and needs rather than be engrossed in your products and their launch.  (