My Top 5 Business Books of 2016
Before we begin with the list you want to read here are 5 quick truths about my reading habits:
- The volume of books I’m reading on average is decreasing due to both the limited spare time I have as well as the increased online articles I’m consuming.
- I have become a little bored with academic business books and am enjoying more psychological and human behavioural science genres.
- I have read only one physical book this year and I kinda miss them.
- I now have a longer list of books to read than TV series to watch.
- I’m using GoodReads as my resource list and tracking ratings of books more than ever.
Now for the meaty stuff. In no particular order, these are MY favourite books that I have read to date in 2016 with a little info on each one:
The Marketing Agency Blueprint by Paul Roetzer
This book was first released in 2014 and it’s amazing to see how some of the “predictions” are seeing the light of day 2 years later. If you are involved in marketing then this book will show you how to create and run a hybrid PR, Social media, SEO, webdev and content agency that distinctly models itself on the opposite of heavy traditional agencies of yesteryear. Its super practical and removes the hourly billing model entirely from agency business.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
A 2,5 hour read so no real excuses here not to finish this one. Mr Pressfield considers and advises on how to use creative practise for business profits and how to deal with the internal struggle that “artists” have in monetizing their work. The content helps you understand what the ‘resistance’ is you face in your craft and inner self and how to overcome these and accomplish your goals. Writing a book is not hard – sitting down to write the book is.
David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
He always makes the list. D&G is a 2013 release and Gladwell’s last book to date. The books makes you think and is a well-researched piece that never left me bored or feeling like it was repetitive. Gladwell suggests and “proves” why underdogs [always] win. I found it very counterintuitive and highly entertaining. Do you feel like you have been disadvantaged and need to know how to turn this into your biggest advantage? Read the book!
The Third Wave, an entrepreneur’s vision of the future by Steve Case
For credibility, Steve Case was one of the founders of AOL [one of the largest internet companies of its time.] Steve shares many lessons from building AOL and is blunt in his learning’s and mistakes made. The Third Wave is what Steve believes he next wave of tech looks like and how you can jump on the bandwagons early in order to benefit from them in your business, both as products and as internal systems. The book covers IoE [Internet of everything] and it’s way more than just a connected fridge.
Q: Where should you be investing your innovation and R&D money?
A: The Third Wave.
The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly
The subtitle is “Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future” and similarly, but in greater breadth to The Third Wave, Kelly is predicting the future and is not betting on particular products or services but which category they lie with examples like “Sharing, Tracking and access.” Kevin warns that some of todays trends won’t continue and you will lose your job to robots! Kevin founded Wired Magazine and can speak with authority on tech trends which I never even knew existed today.
If you take pride in knowing tech trends and believe in futurists this one is for you. Its easy reading and is based on today’s tech rather than wildly futuristic predictions.
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
This one was a gift last March for my Birthday. It took me FOREVER to read, as I was Googling words and references and couldn’t stomach long periods of reading as its intense. It quite possibly the smartest book I’ve read in year [2 years] and gave me plenty food for thought. Kahneman won the 2002 Nobel Prize for economics. Daniel offers insight into human thoughts and decision-making process and pushes back on rational thinking. I won’t lie, I felt very stupid and uneducated at intervals but pushing through was the right choice in hindsight. This is “behavioural” economics that one can grasp and has taught me the most about people of all the books read in the past few years. Checking yourself with slow and rational decision making rather than aggressively jumping to conclusions with emotionally charged intuition has been my take away.
This is not easy reading for the beach and contains more thinking that most people do in a lifetime. Smart sh*t.
I hope you get to these if you have not already. I would love to hear your thoughts on them once done too and remember, “No two persons ever read the same book.”