View Full Version : Question of the week: What's the best business book you've read recently?
07-25-2011, 09:47 AM
This week's question is going to seem like an easy one with a simple answer, but I promise I'll make it worth your while to participate.
After you answer, join the discussion during Kitchen Table Talks over on The Pulse this Tuesday at 2pm ET.
07-25-2011, 10:01 AM
The best one right now is a tie between "Tribes" by Seth Godin and "The War of Art" by Stephen Pressfield. Now, before you tell me "The War of Art" is not a business book, I will say yes it is. All of those lessons in that book pertain not just to writing, and business but also life itself.
I have been reading and re-reading poke the box by seth godin for inspiration lately (keeping my internal drum beat). I have also recently re-read parts of "The Goal" by Eliyahu M. Goldratt which happens to be my favorite business book, and keeps me focused on "the Goal" of making money when there are so many new distractions that hit me every day.
07-25-2011, 11:11 AM
I'm not done reading it but Social Media ROI by Olivier Blanchard is really making me think. It's also the right book for the moment. It's a very nuts and bolts, here is the way to utilize social media to reach your business goals. I've spent the last year creating. Now, it's time to tell the world what we've built. :)
07-25-2011, 11:46 AM
I have "War of Art" next to my monitor. Constantly referring back to it.
07-25-2011, 11:58 AM
An all time favorite of mine is a biography of Wayne Huizenga called The Making of a Blockbuster. It was released several years ago and I see they just released a Kindle version, though it's not priced like a Kindle version.
This is an old school business book that focuses on intelligently used hard work to build multiple successful businesses in different industries. It's well worth reading.
07-25-2011, 12:54 PM
I am with Jim one book I have gotten a lot of value from has been Olivier Blanchard's SM ROI Book! I also read Fascinate by Sally Hogshead and got some great advice!
07-25-2011, 12:56 PM
Really enjoyed Gary Vaynerchuk's "The Thank You Economy." Also, currently re-reading Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff's "Groundswell." And, of course, another recent favorite was “Today’s Entrepreneur and Small Business Owner” written by a guy named Joe Sorge.
07-25-2011, 02:47 PM
It's a toss up, but the one that screams out to me the most is Michael Gerber's "The E-myth revisited: why most small businesses don't work and what to do about it."
I've read it about three times now and refer to it when I have some stumbling blocks to overcome. It's a great book about how to strategically juggle all the hats you wear in your business so that you can make better decisions about where to expend your energy, money and time. Definitely a book to help you to be smarter, more resourceful, and obviously so you can be more successful.
07-25-2011, 03:25 PM
I've been reading a lot around startups and branding this month. Joe, I've sent you links to a few of these over email/Twitter. Here are 3 new-ish titles that I think are worth a read:
Do More Faster (Feld, Cohen) - Great book for tech startups. Tons of "lessons learned" directly from the founders of many popular web services and tech companies we all know that started in TechStars.
Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team by Alina Wheeler - I absolutely love this book. It super visual and lays out a step-by-step thought process for designing brand identity.
Humankind by Tom Bernardin of Leo Burnett - If you can get past the obvious marketing of Leo Burnett's services, this book makes a compelling case for why marketing should serve human needs and why human values and participation are core to any successful branding effort.
07-25-2011, 05:24 PM
I've said it elsewhere, so I'll repeat it here: I recently read and loved Rework, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson (of 37 Signals). The reason I like this book so much is that it works backwards from most business books, and that suits my temperament. Most business books try to inspire you to "greatness", to "do more", to "be all you can be" and "dream big". Those are all fine goals, of course.
What Rework encourages instead might be summarized as "Keep it Simple, Stupid." Don't waste time on epic meetings. Don't postpone ideas until they're perfect. Don't try to "innovate"; focus on being useful instead. And so on.
I think the basic advice of the book — simplify, clarify, fix the problem before you and don't overreach — is advice often ignored by people in their quest for imagined glory. Of course, living by the principles of this book is more likely to create a path to the kinds of consistent, valuable work that in fact is the foundation of being all we can be.
So: same goals, different path. And a very quick read, to boot!
07-26-2011, 08:58 AM
My top three are:
Seth Godin's Linchpin - gave me goosebumps. Which lead me to the next book:
Stephen Pressfield - War of Art (already mentioned, I also agree with Nancy that it is a biz book)
Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson - Rework (already mentioned)
These three books focus on doing the work and shipping it out. Do not over-complicate (my specialty), do not over-think, just do.
07-26-2011, 10:13 AM
I've been reading "Book yourself Solid" by Michael Port. Definitely has some valuable ideas and methods in there that I'm currently working on to implement into my daily routine.
07-26-2011, 12:28 PM
I recently read and enjoyed Rework by J. Fried and D.H. Hansson (http://37signals.com/rework/) because it was non only a quick and easy read for me, but because it was meeting me where I am, that is to say at wondering why there is always so much emphasis on the "+", "more", always higher, always bigger, in the mainstream or pervasive messages, and they actually advocate for less and more focused, which made total sense to me.
(I see that Chris had the same read, and same taste for the same reasons :-)
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