Book: The Pumpkin Plan, Mike Michalowicz

The Pumpkin Plan


Really good book and very fun to read. It reminded me again of the importance of systemizing work and focusing on your best customers. Highly recommended.


Find the top clients (/client type), treat them preferentially, fire all other clients (/client types). Ask the top clients about their frustrations and solve them. Don’t work, build systems for people and things to do the work.


  • find your company’s AOI (Area Of Innovation) – quality, price, convenience [~USP]
  • find the best top clients and treat them preferentially but never say they are VIP clients, fire all other clients (if you have many customers, find best customer type)
  • the best top “right” client is always right, others no
  • find your company’s immutable laws (core values) and find customers with same
  • cut all unnecessary costs

Don’t work, build systems for people and things to do the work.

  • create a top clients’ wish list, ask about frustrations in the industry, their challenges, aspirations, goals etc. -> “idea extraction” + crowdsourcing -> entering “Blue Oceans”
  • ask for vendor referrals, ask the vendor’s for advice on how you can help mutual client and them
  • create an organizational structure that supports the new plan
  • UPOD (under promise/over deliver) – most of the time but not always so people don’t get used to it
  • your brain can help solve complex problems if you ask it the right questions
  • when systemizing, create the Three Questions for employees to ask themselves when a scenario is not covered by a manual