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Required Reading

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon By Brad Stone

Amazon.com started off delivering books through the mail. But its visionary founder, Jeff Bezos, wasn't content with being a bookseller. He wanted Amazon to become the everything store, offering limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices. To do so, he developed a corporate culture of relentless ambition and secrecy that's never been cracked. Until now.

Brad Stone enjoyed unprecedented access to current and former Amazon employees and Bezos family members, giving readers the first in-depth, fly-on-the-wall account of life at Amazon. Compared to tech's other elite innovators--Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg--Bezos is a private man. But he stands out for his restless pursuit of new markets, leading Amazon into risky new ventures like the Kindle and cloud computing, and transforming retail in the same way Henry Ford revolutionized manufacturing.
[More About This Book]   Oct-27-2013

 

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams

Scott Adams has likely failed at more things than anyone you’ve ever met or anyone you’ve even heard of. So how did he go from hapless office worker and serial failure to the creator of Dilbert, one of the world’s most famous syndicated comic strips, in just a few years?

Adams reveals that he's failed at just about everything he's tried, including his corporate career, his inventions, his investments, and his two restaurants. But there's a lot to learn from his personal story, and a lot of humor along the way. Adams discovered some unlikely truths that helped to propel him forward. For instance:

  • Goals are for losers. Systems are for winners.

  • "Passion" is bull. What you need is personal energy.

  • A combination of mediocre skills can make you surprisingly valuable.

  • You can manage your odds in a way that makes you look lucky to others.


  • Adams hopes you can laugh at his failures while discovering some unique and helpful ideas on your own path to personal victory.
    [More About This Book]   Oct-20-2013

     

    The Human Brand: How We Relate to People, Products, and Companies By Chris Malone, Susan T. Fiske

    People everywhere describe their relationships with brands in a deeply personal way—we hate our banks, love our smartphones, and think the cable company is out to get us. What's actually going on in our brains when we make these judgments? Through original research, customer loyalty expert Chris Malone and top social psychologist Susan Fiske discovered that our perceptions arise from spontaneous judgments on warmth and competence, the same two factors that also determine our impressions of people.

    We see companies and brands the same way we automatically perceive, judge, and behave toward one another. As a result, to achieve sustained success, companies must forge genuine relationships with customers. And as customers, we have a right to expect relational accountability from the companies and brands we support.
    [More About This Book]   Oct-13-2013

     

    The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty By Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, Rick DeLisi

    The Effortless Experience takes readers on a fascinating journey deep inside the customer experience to reveal what really makes customers loyal -- and disloyal. The authors lay out the four key pillars of a low-effort customer experience, along the way delivering robust data, shocking insights and profiles of companies that are already using the principles revealed by CEB’s research, with great results. And they include many tools and templates you can start applying right away to improve service, reduce costs, decrease customer churn, and ultimately generate the elusive loyalty that the “dazzle factor” fails to deliver.
    [More About This Book]   Oct-06-2013

     

    Highly Recommended: Harnessing the Power of Word of Mouth and Social Media to Build Your Brand and Your Business By Paul M. Rand

    The founder of one of today's most successful digital and social marketing firms, Paul M. Rand has been at the forefront of WOM marketing since social media and smartphones began revolutionizing the way we do business. In Highly Recommended, Rand reveals how customer recommendations in the digital space have radically transformed the way people buy--which means you need to come up with new methods to reach customers and improve your products.

    Highly Recommended provides everything you need to seize the competitive edge and grow your company.

  • Find out where and how your customers are talking about your brand


  • Articulate your "Shareable Story" and get people talking


  • Connect directly with your most influential customers


  • Create compelling content to engage new customers


  • Identify and neutralize negative commentary about your brand


  • Build a true social business based on being the most highly recommended brand

  • [More About This Book]   Sep-29-2013

     

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