Business systemization gained notoriety from the bestselling book by Michael E. Gerber, published in 1986, The E-Myth – Why most businesses don’t work and what to do about it. In 2011, this groundbreaking book was named the number 1 business book of all time by The Wall Street Journal. In The E-Myth (Entrepreneurial Myth) Gerber explains how businesses are usually started by those who know the content of a business – so-called “Technicians”, people who know how to do the technical work involved in an enterprise – rather than by those who know business itself – so-called “Entrepreneurs” – and why start-ups are therefore by definition prone to failing.
In order for a company or business to thrive, it must move beyond relying on the so-called “Technician” who is now also the company owner. Gerber uses the franchise model to demonstrate how a business does this: Franchises are prototype businesses that are operated in terms of well-documented systems, i.e., there are manuals describing in minute detail how to run the business. Gerber argues that the entrepreneur should spend time creating a business that can run by itself, without the presence of the entrepreneur, and this is achieved through business systemization.