Rough Books for Roughening School

After months of procrastination, I’ve finally managed to put together the promised ebooks of the Gervais Principle series ($3.99 on Kindle in the US) and the archives of the Be Slightly Evil email list ($2.99 on Kindle in the US), which I’ve officially retired as of last week.

I will also be conducting the Gervais Principle online workshop for the first time in the coming months. You have two opportunities to attend, on Tuesday Oct 22 or Tuesday Nov 5, between 7:00 – 8:30 US Pacific Time. It will be a small-group (limited to 8) workshop based on the Gervais Principle. Since I am test-driving the idea of this workshop, the price is basically beta-testing cheap: $95. If the thing is successful, I’ll figure out the actual sustainable price I’ll need to charge.

  1. The Gervais Principle ebook has a bonus essay on the movie Office Space, as well as an extended preface outlining a philosophy of organizational literacy, and a TV/movie watching guide for your continuing education.
  2. The Be Slightly Evil ebook has a bonus 5000-word essay called Inside the Tempo, which pulls together a broader philosophy of adversarial decision-making.
  3. The workshop will be a mix of presented and interactive material that I’ve been working on for quite a while now.

These ebooks (which are the first two in a series I am calling “Ribbonfarm Roughs”) and seminars are part of this idea I’ve been slowly developing for a sort of “roughening school” approach to business education, as opposed to the “finishing school” approach that most business training adopts. The general idea is that the transition from theory to practice requires adding an element of roughness and barbarian thinking to abstract ideas, rather than refinement and finishing touches. If these ebooks and trial seminars work out, I’ll develop and offer more such material.

So check out the ebooks and sign up for the workshop. If you’d like to help promote them, here are some tweetables and shareables for you to use. I hope you will add some enthusiastic and flattering superlatives.


Check out the Gervais Principle ebook from @ribbonfarm (click to tweet)

Check out the Be Slightly Evil ebook from @ribbonfarm (click to tweet)

@ribbonfarm is offering a Gervais Principle online workshop on Oct 22 and Nov 5: (click to tweet)

Shareable (for email, Facebook, Google+)

Hey guys,

A blogger I follow, Venkatesh Rao of, has just released two Kindle ebooks: The Gervais Principle ($3.99) and Be Slightly Evil: A Playbook for Sociopaths ($2.99).

The first one is based on his popular series of posts (which became a viral hit on Slashdot). It’s a detailed analysis of office politics and organizational dynamics and dysfunction based on the TV show, The Office (think Dilbert+MBA).
The second is based on the email newsletter he’s been writing for the last 3 years and just retired. It’s about developing skills to navigate workplace politics.
Both are basically about management science from a tragic/Machiavellian perspective, plus a dose of humor. Check ’em out.
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About Venkatesh Rao

Venkat is the founder and editor-in-chief of ribbonfarm. Follow him on Twitter


  1. Joseph Ratliff says

    Print versions? I’ll buy instantly. :)

  2. Afraid not. Don’t think print is worth the trouble for these quicker projects.