Summary of The Zigzag Principle

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The Zigzag Principle book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Applicable


The way the crow flies – the shortest distance between two points – is a quick, straight line. Many people apply this routing principle to business and to life by chasing success on the apparently quickest, easiest route or the direct path of seemingly least resistance. Serial entrepreneur Rich Christiansen suggests that, instead, you progress toward your goals by “zigzagging.” His “Zigzag Principle” consists of three main steps: make a profit, add resources and scale your business. Christiansen provides solid advice that’s easy to follow. Most of his examples spring from his own successes and failures. He readily admits the latter but glories perhaps a bit too much in the former. Outside examples might have balanced the risk of self-promotion. Even so, Christiansen clearly proves the effectiveness of his zigzag strategy. getAbstract recommends his manual to entrepreneurs, small-business owners and managers of larger companies seeking direction.

About the Author

Rich Christiansen, a former executive at Mitsubishi Electric and, is a serial entrepreneur. He has founded or co-founded more than 30 enterprises.



“Zigzagging Your Way to Success”

When you’re starting or running a business, don’t try to bulldoze your way through obstacles or seek the shortest path to your objectives. Instead, to improve your chances of success, systematically “zig and zag” through a series of linked goals.

“Identifying Resources”

Begin by listing the resources you already have. Clearly, you need “financial capital” – that is, money. But many people don’t realize that they already own other crucial resources, including “mental capital” and “relationship capital.” Your knowledge, expertise and skills make up your mental capital. Your connections with friends, family members and business associates make up your relationship capital.

Tapping into your mental and relationship capital can help you find the financial capital you need. Even if you work for someone else, always regard yourself as your own boss. When you view your career development as working for yourself, you can draw on your resources to find the necessary capital.

Your mental capital is much more than your formal education. Your passions and motivations form a significant portion. Share your mental capital with ...

More on this topic

The Relationship Economy
Management Fundamentals
Everyone Deserves a Great Manager
No Stopping Us Now

Related Channels

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    A. S. 8 years ago
    Althought this summary is in the strategy catagory, it's helps you focus and define your personal goals. Very useful advice.