Books to read in 2015

Our top ten recommendations

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

It all started one evening over a glass of Greek Merlot. I was in an extremely thoughtful mood as to what my first blog article for 2015 should be about. Would I write about the many benefits of the new iPhone? Of Its wonderful larger than life retina screen? Or should I go out on a limb and write a few words about Microsoft’s latest Windows mutation? No! -Me thinks not.

A new year should be filled with new ideas, new aspirations and creative inebriation! So I thought it would be a great idea to create a booklist of my top ten literary recommendations. My sole intent is to  jump start your Cerebral Cortex thus reanimating your creative juices. (Mine are still in a stupor from the previous month’s festivities. Only a third reading of Steve Jobs autobiography can revive me now. )

You’ll find the booklist full of a diverse range of books, each one guaranteed in it’s own right to tantalise, inspire, amuse and  provoke. We’ve also made things easier for you and have linked all the books to Amazon. Just click on the title or image thumbnail to go to a particular book.

If you have any recommendations for me, please, please, please do not hesitate to drop me a line. I’m always on the look out for new material. abaran@core-dynamix.com

Enjoy!

The Thank You Economy is about something big, something greater than any single revolutionary platform. It isn’t some abstract concept or wacky business strategy—it’s real, and every one of us is doing business in it every day, whether we choose to recognise it or not. It’s the way we communicate, the way we buy and sell, the way businesses and consumers interact online and offline. The Internet, where The Thank You Economy was born, has given consumers back their voice, and the tremendous power of their opinions via social media means that companies and brands have to compete on a whole different level than they used to.

When managers and marketers outline their social media strategies, they plan for the “right hook”—their next sale or campaign that’s going to knock out the competition. Even companies committed to jabbing—patiently engaging with customers to build the relationships crucial to successful social media campaigns—want to land the punch that will take down their opponent or their customer’s resistance in one blow. Right hooks convert traffic to sales and easily show results. Except when they don’t.

Since the dawn of humanity, a privileged few have lived in stark contrast to the hardscrabble majority. Conventional wisdom says this gap cannot be closed. But it is closing—fast.

In Abundance, space entrepreneur turned innovation pioneer Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler document how progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, digital manufacturing synthetic biology, and other exponentially growing technologies will enable us to make greater gains in the next two decades than we have in the previous 200 years.

The Curve: Turning Followers into Super fans.  The Curve is a new way of doing business and of seeing the world.

For most of the last century, companies strived to sell more and more products at uniform prices. But the future of business is about variation: tailoring products for customers of all stripes, and letting your biggest fans spend as much as they like on things they value.

The Curve shows us not to be afraid of giving some things away for free. The internet helps you forge direct relationships with a vast global audience, and take them on a journey from freeloaders into superfans. Value lies in how you make people feel, by building communities, bespoke products and experiences. Small numbers of high spenders are enough to fuel a profitable business.

 

Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things

Did you ever wonder why cheap wine tastes better in fancy glasses? Why sales of Macintosh computers soared when Apple introduced the colorful iMac? New research on emotion and cognition has shown that attractive things really do work better, as Donald Norman amply demonstrates in this fascinating book, which has garnered acclaim everywhere from Scientific American to The New Yorker.Emotional Design articulates the profound influence of the feelings that objects evoke, from our willingness to spend thousands of dollars on Gucci bags and Rolex watches, to the impact of emotion on the everyday objects of tomorrow.Norman draws on a wealth of examples and the latest scientific insights to present a bold exploration of the objects in our everyday world. Emotional Design will appeal not only to designers and manufacturers but also to managers, psychologists, and general readers who love to think about their stuff.

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

Still in his early thirties, Chris is on the verge of completing a tour of every country on earth – he’s already visited more than 175 nations – and yet he’s never held a “real job” or earned a regular paycheck.  Rather, he has a special genius for turning ideas into income, and he uses what he earns both to support his life of adventure and to give back.

Millions of readers have acquired the secrets of success through The Magic of Thinking Big. Achieve everything you always wanted: financial security, power and influence, the ideal job, satisfying relationships, and a rewarding, happy life. -Set your goals high…then exceed them!

Millions of people throughout the world have improved their lives using The Magic of Thinking Big. Dr. David J. Schwartz, long regarded as one of the foremost experts on motivation, will help you sell better, manage better, earn more money, and—most important of all—find greater happiness and peace of mind.

A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave–“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, comes an incisive book about creativity in business—sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath. Forbes raves that Creativity, Inc. “just might be the business book ever written.”

Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. 

The Element is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. When people arrive at the Element, they feel most themselves and most inspired and achieve at their highest levels. With a wry sense of humour, Ken Robinson looks at the conditions that enable us to find ourselves in the Element and those that stifle that possibility. Drawing on the stories of a wide range of people, including Paul McCartney, Matt Groening, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, and Bart Conner, he shows that age and occupation are no barrier and that this is the essential strategy for transforming education, business, and communities in the twenty-first century.

Essential reading

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