August 24th 2015

WordPress. Pushing the Limits

WordPress dashboard interface

WordPress. Pushing the Limits.  Rachel McCollin  2013. ISBN  978 1118 597194.  For the experienced WordPress developer a guide to becoming better.  Not for the faint at heart or the rank beginner, this book is very useful in helping you develop your WordPress chops.

August 17th 2015

Searching For Bobby Fisher. The world of chess observed by the father of a child prodigy

Cover of "Searching for Bobby Fischer"

Searching For Bobby Fisher. The world of chess observed by the father of a child prodigy. Fred Waitzkin. 1988. ISBN 9780786754847    I recently  listened to a podcast with Josh Waitzkin , the subject of this book.  He has gone on to master many other activities since winning the world youth chess championship.  Quite an accomplished man.  This book is useful in getting into the mindset of the parents of any child with a gift.  You will recognize these parents anywhere.  I enjoyed the moments where the father ( Fred)  struggled with the angst of knowing that his child needed balance but how to find it in a single minded pursuit.  Parents wish the best for their children and will often do whatever it takes to help the child  gain an edge.   Well written and an easy read.

August 10th 2015

The Sales Acceleration Formula. Using data, technology and inbound selling to go from $0 to $100 m

English: A screenshot showing use of the sales...

The Sales Acceleration Formula. Using data, technology and inbound selling to go from $0 to  $100 m

Mark Roberge. 2015. ISBN 9781119047070.  The author was the first VP sales for Hubspot and this book details his methods and approaches in the stellar growth of that company. As a quant he is numbers driven and thus gives us a well-researched sales and marketing book that lays out exactly what to do, how to d o and why you do it. Then he presents a comprehensive metric approach to measure everything. This book has been missing from today’s inbound sales writing and fills an essential need. Plus his rigor in analysis goes a long way to giving sales a theory into practice foundation for even more analytical studies. I see this as helping sales gain academic respect for rigor and hypothesis testing.  A must buy for all sales management and stars who wish to go further.  Combines with Hacking Sales this would be the one two punch most companies need .  Perhaps the best all round sales book this year.

August 4th 2015

10 Rules of Writing. Elmore Leonard

English: Elmore Leonard, Miami Book Fair Inter...

10 Rules of Writing. Elmore Leonard.  2007.  A very short book by a prolific US writer of American cowboys, crime fighters and numerous others  He is as  terse as Hemingway and yet his points are useful for whatever fiction you write, long or short story

July 27th 2015

Outposts. Journeys to the surviving relics of the British Empire. Simon Winchester

Cover of "Outposts: Journeys to the Survi...

Outposts.  Journeys to the surviving relics of the British Empire. Simon Winchester.  1985, 2003. ISBN 9780061978326.

Older but still a useful look at the remnants of the British Empire.  Some hilarious exploits and some that just seemed damned foolish.  Fairly kind to the inhabitants. I learned lots about  ports like Gibraltar, St Helena, Diego Garcia,  And more , Some I had been to (Falklands)  but most I won’t.   Thanks Ean Jackson for tipping me off to this!

 

 

July 19th 2015

How Asia Works. Success and failure in the world’s most dynamic region. Joe Studwell.

English: Member nations of the Asia-Pacific Ec...

How Asia Works. Success and failure in the world’s most dynamic region. Joe Studwell.2013. ISBN 9780802193476.  An all encompassing, insightful book.  The structure is simple . Compare the NE Asian successes ( Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China ),  to the SE Asian disasters ( Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India) ignore unique nation states like Hong Kong, Singapore,  then extract behaviors that seem to lead to economic powerhouse countries.   Then discuss each country a little more deeply to unpack their individual  successes, failures and on-going weaknesses.  Along the way  blow holes in the prevailing World Bank and IDB ” economic wisdom” .  The  author has little regard for most economists and after reading the book I am inclined to agree.  He does indicate that economic history is a useful pursuit in this analysis.   I saw many of his observations “operating” in our recent Asia /Africa trip.  Even though this is well before the Chinese stock market meltdown, much of his analysis indicated the inevitability of it.  The text is easy to read, well organized and will consume you.  No wonder Bill gates endorsed it.

July 13th 2015

Selling Above and Below the Line. Convince the C-Suite.Win over management. Secure the sale. William Miller.

English: Selling tractors, Cambridge Machinery...

Selling Above and Below the Line. Convince the C-Suite.Win over management. Secure the sale. William Miller. 2015. ISBN 97808144348533. This is a missing book in your sales library. The author has simplified the value sale by splitting it in two parts.  Below The Line buyers are still concerned with features and benefits (and you need to address this) .  The Above the Line buyers are concerned with why they want to buy ( the value/impact) and many sales people do not address this.  This view makes your selling that much more effective.  ATL buyers can add more speed , budget and focus to your deal.  But its likely you may not have known how to get there. Now you have a guide book to help you make this happen .  Miller has a clear concise written style with enough illustrations and stories to make his points.  Buy this, read it , and keep it handy.

July 10th 2015

Sales Management. Brian Tracy.

English: Clare Darwish with Brian Tracy, Decla...

Sales Management. Brian Tracy. 2015. ISBN 9780814436295. A  recent addition to Amacom‘s Brian Tracy Success Library. These are little books that fit nicely in your briefcase for easy reference. I am sure the active salesmanager will turn to this book over and over. Tracy has the ability to really boil down the content to what is the true kernel of actionable information.  I make notes on the books I read and despite this books concise nature, I made voluminous notes.   An essential for the sales managers library and it will be very well used as you grow the sales teams performance

July 6th 2015

Stuffocation. Why we’ve had enough of stuff and need experience more than ever. James Wallman

An electronics store in a shopping mall in Jak...

Stuffocation. Why we’ve had enough of stuff and need experience more than ever. James Wallman.  2015. ISBN 978081299760.  Quite a thoughtful and thought provoking book. It is as appropriate to boomers as well as millennials.  The thesis is that consumerism for its own sake is no longer what we should strive for.  Having too much stuff is emotionally and psychologically bad for us. The author proposes that we move to meaningful experiences vs getting more stuff. He does a good job of explaining how we got this way and what it does for us as a country and personally.  Consumerism was created to meet the needs of a problem, of over production.  We were trained into this.  Enjoy this book . It is clearly written with a well thought out thesis and adequately furnished with relevant case studies.  I enjoyed the book.

June 29th 2015

Wind In Your Sails. Vital strategies that accelerate your entrepreneurial growth. David Greer

English: Box 9.1 What are the Seven Strategies...

Wind In Your Sails. Vital strategies that accelerate your entrepreneurial growth. David Greer. 2015. ISBN 9780994036407.  I read early drafts of David’s book and saw that he had set himself an aggressive target. Nothing new if you know David.  This was to be a short concise book where he distills down all the key elements of starting and running your business. He has succeeded in doing this on many levels.  The book needed to be short as most potential readers either read little or have little time to read.  Each chapter is well organized and clearly stated.  The sailing metaphor is well taken since in business as in sailing, you are pushed in the directions the elements decide you will go. Its always a case in adapting.  Which is always the case in a good business person.  A good book for those who wish to start or restart their business. The lessons learned are absolutely apt.