Book Review: Great Minds Think Alike

Ron Davis’ “Greatest Ideas of the Alarm Industry’s Greatest Thinkers” reveals 90 pieces of actionable business advice for alarm dealers and security integrators.

Is there some secret formula to an alarm company or security integration business eventually selling for $2 billion? That is just one of the questions Ron Davis posed to Todd Pedersen, founder of Vivint. The answer? There is no secret formula … Pedersen’s recipe for success was “relentless hard work.” Nearly every evening after work, Pedersen said he gathered staff and others to his home to engage in freewheeling, no-holds-barred discussions about business practices and opportunities. The lesson … just like your central station monitoring facility, you can never “turn off the switch” on learning about the industry, especially if you really want to succeed.

That is just one prime nugget contained in the newly published book from industry icon Ron Davis, principal at Davis Mergers & Acquisitions Group Inc. and longtime director of Security Associates Int’l.  The 222-page book, titled “Greatest Ideas of the Alarm Industry’s Greatest Thinkers,” is targeted at security integration company executives across North America.

It reiterates some of the top pieces of advice culled from 2007 to the present from Davis’ monthly “Big Ideas” column in Security Sales & Integration.  In his column, Davis asks an industry leader one simple question: “If you had just one really great idea to share with the alarm industry, what would it be?”

The 90 ideas, like Pedersen’s cited above, range from personal advice revolving around balancing your work/life to focusing on continued education to embracing market changes, from wireless to DIY.  The book is a quick read because each tidbit is only one-and-a-half to two-pages long. (That brevity is ideal because Davis’ enthusiasm for the industry can sometimes lead him to be a bit verbose in person, but not here.) The advice is organized by topic, covering RMR, customer service, continuing education, personal motivation, building prosperity and personal development.

Within each category, the ideas are displayed in chronological order as they were written. Davis even offers up an “Author’s Update” for every entry informing readers of the current status of the company. In some cases, these updates are the best part of the book because they act as “proof” that verifies the sagacity of the advice being offered.

Davis’ writing style is easy to read and colloquial. It reads like you are sitting across the breakfast table from the man himself and having polite conversation. The only tweak I might recommend for the book would have been to reorder the ideas by their strength versus keeping them in chronological order to help capture readers’ attention more within each section.

They say what you learn after you know everything is what really counts. If that is true, then industry icon Ron Davis’ new book “Greatest Ideas of the Alarm Industry’s Greatest Thinkers” will mean a lot to alarm dealers and security integrators across the U.S.

Available at
$40 hardcover/$25 paperback

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About the Author


Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at [email protected]

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