Book review: Maverick!

I havent posted anything for a while. Thats because I have been reading a book.

It arrived sometime ago by mail, it was a pretty used copy with a cheesy cover showing a man squatting on top of his work desk. I thought it was a cheap spy novel or something like that and didn’t pay attention to it.

But it turned out that my cousin Joscha hat ordered it for me. He said: You need to read this, its really good stuff!

So I checked it out and I must admit I was hooked immediately. Ricardo Semmler talks about how he built a company that is organized in a democratic way, where workers make their own decisions and hire and fire their managers. They even set their own salaries. The company has only the bare amount of paperwork and overhead. The company books are open for everyone, corruption is not tolerated.

Sounds like a pretty interessting way of making business. But thats not the most stunning thing. I guess that for example 37 signals would claim similar things. But we are not talking not about a small, idealistic IT company from silicon valley (or Chicago for that matter).

Semco (the company) is located in Brazil, a country known or its economic roller coasters and corruption, not for new ways of thinking.

Semco produces pretty old fashion stuff, like ship equipment, machinery, dish washers many other similar things.

Its not a small company either, they have over 3000 employees (according to CNN)

Its not  a new thing either. Semmler started to turn his inherited company upside down in the 80s, and is still successful.

I wish someone at Daimler would read that book 😉

Anyway its an interessting book, highly recommended for someone who is into new ways of doing work.

By the way, this is the company website: and a profile on CNN

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