January 19th 2015

In the Beginning…Was the Command Line. , Neal Stephenson.

Cover of "In the Beginning...was the Comm...

Cover of In the Beginning…was the Command Line

In the Beginning…Was the Command Line. , Neal Stephenson. 1999. ISBN 9780061832901.  A short pithy and often hilarious essay by one of our eras better science fiction writers, coders and journalists.  I discovered that Neal had released quite a lot of his material into the public domain and in my searches found this essay.   Written about the time Apple was in a decline, Microsoft in the midst of antitrust suits and Linux was in a heyday, it is a great history lesson and guide for future programmers.   As an old UNIX programmer I know exactly what he is saying about its robustness and have at times decried that IOS is just a version of Linux, completely locked away from the bulk of the users.  This not a Cathedral vs Bazaar argument, but a simple story about how to get utility and usage out of what is available these days, if you want to.

A great comment, ” Apple has always been a hardware company first, using its software to protect the walled system system.  While Microsoft has chosen to be a software company,  using the cheap hardware out there, and forcing hardware manufacturers to write the code/drivers to work with Windows. , which extends Windows at no cost. ”

It will be interesting to see if his predictions play out – that OS  prices may inevitably  drive to zero.   Well written and useful if you like this kind of material.

A montage showing author Neal Stephenson and f...

January 11th 2015

Screw the Valley. A Coast-to-Coast Tour of Americas New Tech Startup Culture: New York, Boulder, Austin, Raleigh, Detroit, Las Vegas, Kansas City. Timothy Sprinkle.

Geographic center of the contiguous United Sta...

Screw the Valley.  A Coast-to-Coast Tour of Americas New Tech Startup Culture: New York, Boulder, Austin, Raleigh, Detroit, Las Vegas, Kansas City. Timothy Sprinkle. 2015. ISBN 9781940363301.  A very ambitious book.  Look at seven locations that are building up a tech economy, that are not in Silicon Valley. The author visited Detroit, New York City, Las Vegas, Austin , Kansas City , Raleigh-Durham and Boulder.  He met as many people, companies, accelerator/incubators, angels/VCs that he could and documented what he heard.  These locations are all going about this in their own way with or without government assistance.  The grass roots energy is considerable as is the commitment of local entrepreneurs who are paying their success back into the community. If your location/group/community is thinking about this path the book is a fresh view and there are some insights to be gained. The sheer size of this task allows you to forgive the very very odd mistake on why certain folks did very well.   Good read and it proves once again that cities can and will do it their way .

January 5th 2015

Aligning strategy and Sales, The choices, systems and behaviors that drive effective sales. Frank V. Cespedes

 

Aligning strategy and Sales, The choices, systems and behaviors that drive effective sales. Frank V. Cespedes2014. ISBN 9781422196052.   Forbes called this perhaps the best sales book ever. I found that this is true in many ways.  First it is hard to find a more thorough book that looks at the interaction of strategy with sales. As well this book details the inherent complexity and variability in sales roles and people. We know that this reproach works as we over the years have adapted our practice in sales /revenue improvement through much of what the author details.   Through iteration and adapting, many skilled sales leaders would find much to agree with in this book , and much that sheds a fresh view on things.  I would easily think this is the best sales book of the year.   I only add that our practice helps companies strengthen a sales framework  like in this book with a structured marketing framework that also aligns strategy with marketing.   This  is a good five hour read, the first time , but do not stop there.

More great  articles by the author

  •  http://hbswk.hbs.edu/faculty/fcespedes.html
  • http://www.gmpua.com/Marketing/worldmarket/cim/5479950.pdf
  • http://chiefexecutive.net/focusing-sales-leaders-right-effectiveness-metrics-4-easy-steps
  • http://blog.hubspot.com/sales/author/frank-v-cespedes
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbp-Rytdtr0
  • http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/how-to-identify-the-best-customers-for-your-business/
  • http://www.mbadepot.com/external_link.php?ID=18683
  • http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/08/you-cant-do-strategy-without-input-from-sales/
  • http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/industrial-marketing-managing-new-requirements/
  • http://blog.hubspot.com/blog-search?q=frank%20Cespedes
  • http://jakehuber.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/opportunity-reading-7.pdf

 

December 29th 2014

Scrum.. The art of doing twice the work in half the time. Jeff Sutherland

English: Jeff Sutherland, co-inventor of SCRUM...

Scrum. The art of doing twice the work in half the time. Jeff Sutherland. 2014. ISBN 978038534645.  The author was the co creator of SCRUM.  He has had a fascinating career and a major impact on how software projects are managed today.  This book is one pat about SCRUM and another part about how it can be applied (and is applied) to any team based endeavor. It is clear, concise and fascinating.  I read it in one sitting, so it is a good four plane ride book.  A very good book for leaders who want to make productive changes in their organization.

December 17th 2014

Bucket list trip . Marmaris, Fethiye and Rhodes

The trip of a life time, October in  Western Turkey ( Aegean yachting) and Rhodes ( the easy life)

Three posts by my wife. with all the pictures you need

at Anordman@blogspot.com, or click the links

Yachting the Aegean

All roads lead to Rhodes

Circle Island tour of Rhodes

 

 

 

December 8th 2014

Zero to One. Notes on startups, or now to build the future. Peter Thiel.

English: Logo of PayPal. Español: Logotipo de ...

Zero to One. Notes on startups, or now to build the future. Peter Thiel.2014. ISBN 9780804139298.  When a founder of Paypal and a core member of the Paypal mafia writes a book like this, you take note.   It was been touted in the much of the press, and it deserves to be.  I found myself agreeing with the author time after time.  His approaches to education,  investing, technology, and a myriad of other  interrelated topics  showed to be a very insightful mind and someone to learn from. This book is compiled from a series of lectures given on start ups  at Stanford, thus each chapter has been well thought through and distilled to an easy to assimilate essence. I especially enjoyed his power laws

A great book for every CEO to take note of

December 1st 2014

Creativity, Inc. Overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration. Ed Catmull.

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Creativity, Inc. Overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration. Ed Catmull.2014. ISBN 9780307361172.  This book sat on my reading shelf  for quite sometime, and now I regret not reading it sooner.  It is a very good book on innovation and how to nurture it. I especially admire the lessons on candor and looking for the hidden forces that cause great companies to lose their way.   I read it in about three sittings as it was so compelling and clearly put.  A book not to be ignored and it deserves to be on every CEOs shelf, well thumbed, and re read often.

November 24th 2014

City 2.0. The Habitat of the Future and How to Get There. TED Books 2013

TED (conference)

City 2.0.  The Habitat of the Future and How to Get There.  TED Books 2013. An excellent resource . It is pragmatic and full of real world achievable examples. The bonus is the linkage to individual  writers and their individual TED talks. If you are in planning and urban design – a must read.  Clearly written and a fairly quick read.

November 17th 2014

Baseline Selling. Dave Kurlan

Baseball game

Baseline Selling. Dave Kurlan. 2006. ISBN 1420895672.  I discovered the author in notes in another sales book. The idea of comparing selling to a baseball game was intriguing as at Rocketbuilders we had kicked the game idea around several times in our explanations in sessions.  As Kurlan points out getting to every base and then hoem is very much like the stages in a selling process.  I appreciated his care in pointing out the need to identify the buyers process ( long before it became fashion able to do so.)  He also gives credit to several other authors ( including Sharon Drew Morgan)  in shaping his point of view.  A very reasoned and readable book,  I highly recommend it to those new to sales or if you want to sharpen up your teams execution. His Blog is well done . http://www.omghub.com/

November 10th 2014

Smart Cities. Big Data, Civic backers, and the quest for a new utopia. Antony M. Townsend.

Smart Cities. Big Data, Civic backers, and the quest for a new utopia. Antony M. Townsend. 2013.   A serious review/analysis of civic planning and how we got to the topic of smart cities.   This is quite a neutral work that looks at most of the large and small projects and approaches that have been and are being tried.  What the reader will appreciate is the chance to form his/her own opinions on the topic. The field is fast changing and the execution quite complex since cities are multi facets and subject to many inputs.  Fiscal restraints can work to a benefit as large projects seem most prone to go off the rails.  Again setting up a municipally owned fibre network seems to the starting point for today’s initiatives.   Lengthy but a well written book heavily noted in the appendix.