Very often, I receive requests for recommended reading. This page will be a static page, always available from the sidebar, with recommended reading and direct links to Amazon.com to purchase. Warning: every book listed here has a lot of truth to it, but much of it is dependent on the circumstances. Understanding how and when they apply can greatly affect the success of application. Learn from them, use them… but don’t be afraid to ask for expert help when you need it.
- Crossing the Chasm, by Geoffrey Moore, is the all-time classic of marketing new and revolutionary products, especially in the technology sector. A must-read.
- The Innovator’s Solution, by Clayton Christensen, is a fascinating study in how to break into markets where dominant or large players already exist using their inherent weaknesses. He has several other books, before and after, but this one is perhaps the best balance between describing the issue and leveraging it for success.
- Take No Prisoners, by Marv Davis, is a great short summary and handbook for dealing with almost any turnaround situation. Be forewarned that this is a great short book, just under 200 pages, and is a primer. If you do not know how to fix companies, this book will not teach you. But it will give you tools to deal with many situations, and a good basis to better evaluate your hired turnaround specialist.
- The Wisdom of Crowds, by James Surowiecki, is a fascinating read on how crowds think and can often come up with better solutions than even multiple experts.
Malcolm Gladwell has several books that are worth reading. For business, I prefer The Tipping Point, while others have preferred Blink.
- Predictably Irrational is a fascinating study into how human beings think they behave, and how they really behave. Dan Ariely, a professor at my graduate alma mater of Duke Business School, is an expert in Behavioural Economics. This is a very worthwhile read.
- Fooled By Randomness, by Nassim Taleb, is a study, written much more as a life-story/stream-of-consciousness, of: how randomness plays into our lives; how even the smartest people mistake randomness for genius; and how one can use it to better understand the world around us. My statistics professor at business school, Bob Winkler, always said he didn’t want us to be statisticians, but intelligent consumers of statistics. The same holds true for Taleb. If you understand randomness, you can be a better consumer of what is out there. Taleb’s other book, Black Swan, is an excellent follow-up on how and why to take into account highly improbable but massive impact events.
- The Knack is a great and more down-to-earth book on starting and growing a business by Norm Brodsky, a highly successful (and very colourful) multiple entrepreneur, and author of the “Street Smarts” column in Inc magazine. It is especially well-suited to entrepreneurs and owners who are bootstrapping or growing their business slowly. It is less well-suited to the “get big fast” (GBF) VC-backed companies.
- Anything by Peter Drucker. Period.
Many more books to follow….