Recommended Reading List

For the last six years I’ve been looking at business problems that arise because people can’t find the information they wnat or specifically they can’t find the information about your company that you want them to find.  The following is a series of books that I have found helpful in understanding the simple questions around search: who, what, where, when and most importantly, why??

Those are six books I’ve read over the last few years that I think everyone should read.

 

Posted on July 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm by admin · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Insights

Switch, Chip and Dan Heath

I first became aware of the authors Chip and Dan Heath through their first book, Made To Stick.   Their latest book, Switch, is equally as easy to read and even practical.   The premis of the book is that there are three forces acting on our ability to make a switch in our life: the rider, the elephant and the path.   This might seem like a strange metaphor but after reading the book it will make a lot of sense.

Making changes are never easier.   Just ask any parent that’s trying to teach their children to pick up after themselves.   After reading this book I decided to smooth the path for my kids.   For months I’d come home and try and park in my garage only to find a bicycle in the way.   I followed in Les Nessman’s steps and put yellow tape on the floor of my garage.  I explained to my kids that their stuff had to stay on one side of the garage.  The tape like made it very easy for them to figure out if they were on the right side or not.    Instead of find a bike in my way every other day I’ve cut it down to once every couple of months.  I don’t expect perfection, they are kids afterall.   This little experiment did teach me there is something to their approach.

I highly recommend Switch.

Posted on September 26, 2011 at 7:00 pm by admin · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Book Reviews

Free: The Future of a Radical Price

Having read and enjoyed The Long Tail I decided to pick up Chris Anderson’s new book Free: The Future of a Radical Price.  I didn’t really pick it up I downloaded it, for free, from Audible.  I was not disappointed.  I thought it  was quite interesting that I could get a book about “free” for free.  That’s putting your money where your mouth is.

It me be that I agree with Mr. Anderson’s thesis that the Internet has me it easy to create pricing models that include free and still make money.  Businesses have been doing this since there was such a thing as businesses.  Free samples readily comes to mind.  In FREE Anderson explores other ways that the Internet is making it easier such as the freemium model where large portions of a service offering are free for everyone, a kind of free sample, and a small number of users pay a premium for some advanced features.  Unlike a typical free sample that tends to have limited utility the freemium model offers good value for free.

I enjoyed the book.  My clearest take away from the book was that we need to start managing abundance and not scarcity.  If it’s online someone is bound to give it away for free.  Like it or not that’s going to happen.  You can fight against the tide or you can go with the flow.  Find a way to make money out of abundance rather than the limits of scarcity.

Posted on December 18, 2009 at 8:31 am by admin · Permalink · Comments Closed
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What the Dog Saw, Malcolm Gladwell

A good collection of stories from Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker articles.  You can see the genesis of some of the ideas that would appear a books by Gladwell such as Blink and Outliers.

Posted on November 9, 2009 at 9:45 am by admin · Permalink · Comments Closed
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Tribes, Seth Godin

Godin does it again.  Another insightful book that will get you thinking about how you market.   Tribes are a primal force in all of us.  We long to be part of a tribe whether we know it or not.  Technology has enabled us to be members of many tribes.

Posted on July 12, 2009 at 10:11 am by admin · Permalink · Comments Closed
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Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell

Being born at the right time has something to do with how successful you will become.   That and the fact that you need at least 10,000 hours of practice to get good at anything.

Posted on April 20, 2009 at 9:49 am by admin · Permalink · Comments Closed
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What Would Google Do? Jeff Jarvis

I’ve read a number of books on the rise of Google.  This book was interesting in that it discusses not just the rise of Google but the Google Way.  Much like HP was known for the HP Way, Google will become known, or is known, for how they do business.

Google loves free.  They love to give the user stuff for free.  Free applications, free data, free services, lots of stuff for free.  But why?  Google makes money from ads.  The more ads they display the more money they make.   The more services we consume the more ads Google can show us.

This was a good read.  A must read for anyone in publishing.  Use the Google examples presented in the book to change your business.

Posted on March 18, 2009 at 8:37 am by admin · Permalink · Comments Closed
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Blink, Malcolm Gladwell

Split second judgement aren’t always a bad thing.

Posted on September 18, 2008 at 9:49 am by admin · Permalink · Comments Closed
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Meatball Sundae, Seth Godin

Once again Seth Godin captures a point of view and presents it in a clear way that just about anyone can understand. In fact the points made in this book are articulated in such a way that I will be forwarding the book to some people I know that could benefit from understanding the 14 trends that are changing advertising.

A big part of this new book – Meatball Sundae – discusses the impact the Internet has had on Advertising and Marketing. As Godin’s describes it however it’s not the Internet per se that has changed advertising it’s more about how people use the Internet to communicate.

It is all kind of Web 2.0 but his point is that new communications have to be engaging. It’s about stories, not messages. So what is your story?

Posted on March 21, 2008 at 6:07 pm by admin · Permalink · Comments Closed
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Permission Marketing, Seth Godin

If you write any kind of newsletter online then you need to read this book.

The key take -away from this book is:

turn strangers into friends and friends into customers

Posted on December 18, 2007 at 10:16 am by admin · Permalink · Comments Closed
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