Sunday, January 31, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 17

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 17 Get the full Book Rapper issue: Design Advantage

Top S
even Design Thinking Books
: Want to fill your brain with even MORE design thinking? Here's the books I've bought recently on Design Thinking.

Disclaimer: I've only fully read Roger Martin's T
he Design of Business so far…
Reviews will follow as I read the others...

(All Book Links non-affiliate links to Amazon)

1 Roger Martin: The Design of Business
Our Book Rapper issue was based on Roger's book. That's the best RAP we can give it. We only select 12 books a year so you know it's got to be good. Why do I like this one? It's based upon a powerful model: The Knowledge Funnel - as featured in our RAP.

2 Roger Martin: The Opposable Mind
Roger Martin’s previous book. It’s Design Thinking for the Individual.
Thanks to James Gillespie for putting me onto this one. Roger's terminology here is 'Integrative Thinking'. He's talking about the ability to deal with complexity rather than simple solutions. For me, as a designer this appealed because I felt it explained what I do relative to other smart people who come up with ideas and aren't designers.

3 Tim Brown: Change By Design
All that needs to be said here is: Tim Brown is the CEO and president of world renowned design business IDEO. Got it? He knows something, well, a lot about design and the business
of design. It is about Design Thinking and therefore about creative leaders having a blueprint for their organisational work.

4 Roberto Verganti: Design Driven Innovation
Four things made me buy this book. (1) Italian = Design. Excuse the stereotype and in this case it fit
s. Roberto is from the home of design in Milano. He comes from an innovation perspective rather than design. (2) The subtitle of the book: "Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating What Things Mean". For me it means the big has going to have a lot of big words in it. And, I like the idea of challenging 'what things mean'. (3) It's from Harvard Business Press. That's a reliable recommendation in my mind. (4) Also, I love the cover imagery. I would have made the planes fly left to right though!

5 Thomas Lockwood (Editor): Design Thinking
This one appeals because of
its diversity. 23 chapters from 23 different authors is going to give a widespread, far-flung and boundless view of design. It includes academics, business leaders and design thinkers. Be warned: the writing's small!

6 Marty Neumeier: The Designful Company
I love this book because of the way that it's designed! It's got big writing, plenty of pics and has some fun along the way. Marty's earlier books The Brand Gap and Zag are equally designful! It may not have the depth or rigour of the others on the list and Marty's well credentialled to write a great story. I want my next book to look like this one! So, buy it to read or as a model
for designing your own book.

7 Robert Brunner, Stewart Emery and Russ Hall
This book is simply and elegantly laid out too. Not as much fun as Marty's though. Robert Brunner is a partner at Pentagram - a world leader in design. He's worthy of your attention. This one is speaking about design, design-driven culture and design language. They just don't highlight the term 'design thinking'.

Any other books you'd add to this list? Love to hear your thoughts, experiences and suggestions.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 16

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 16
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

Companion Pieces

: Want to fill your brain with more great ideas? The obvious thing to do is buy a copy Roger Martin’s book
and read that - We only select 12 books a year so you know it’s good! And, here’s a couple of other resources to extend, enhance and enrich your learning.

The E-Myth
This small-business bible is all about turning your heuristic into an algorithm. In E-Myth speak it’s going from the technician to the business builder. Gerber outlines the systems you need to turn your small business into a money-making machine. Start here and then graduate to E-Myth Mastery.

E-Myth Book Summary from Superb Coaching - It's a great summary!

E-Myth Revisited on Amazon (non-affiliate link)

E-Myth Mastery on Amazon (non-affiliate link)

The Opposable Mind
Roger Martin’s previous book.
It’s Design Thinking for the Individual.

The Opposable Mind on Amazon (non-affiliate link)

How to Think Right
Another take on the design revolution. Pink highlights six modes of Right-Brain thinking for you to develop to stay ahead in the Conceptual Age. And, you guessed it, design is one of them!

Get the Book Rapper Issue How to Think Right
Derived from Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind on Amazon
(non-affiliate link)

Frog Power
If you’re serious about transforming your organization into a Design Thinking empire then you’ll need to clean out some cultural debris. This issue shows you how.

Get the Book Rapper Issue Frog Power

Derived from
Steve Saffron and Dave Logan's The Three Laws of Performance on Amazon (non-affiliate link)

Get the full Book Rapper issue: Design Advantage

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 15

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 15
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

Action Plan : Designing Your Future

: Superficial Design makes no difference. It’s adornment, decoration and cosmetic. It’s like reading a book and doing nothing with it. Significant Design changes the world. It’s like reading a book, looking at the world anew and taking decisive action based on your new knowledge. That’s what this whole issue is about - creating new knowledge and putting it to good use. Are you Superficial or Significant? Here’s your chance to prove it...

1 What will Design Thinking add or solve for you and your organization?

2 What could you exploit, make more efficient or Convert to a step-by-step process?

3 What could you explore or innovate? What wicked problems can you attack?

4 Which of the four opportunities types will you pursue?

5 Who do you need to get on board to adopt Design Thinking?

6 What new design projects will you create? How will you manage continuous work?

7 How will you modify your leadership style to adopt Design Thinking?

8 When will you start Design Training? And, with Whom?

Get the full Book Rapper issue: Design Advantage

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 14

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 14
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

Book Rapper Context : For Future Sake!

Our fearless leaders have proven not to be so fearless.
Their recent efforts in Copenhagen to create a compelling future for the planet came up stunningly short.

Hope was offered and then disappointingly frittered away.

As a designer, there was one thing visibly missing from the summit.
There was no Design Thinking.

Our leaders were bogged down by their reliability bias.

They were overburdened with the need to prove their decisions would work.

They were unable to collaborate because they were stuck in their own self-interest.

And, there was very little future vision on offer.

Are today’s politicans anti-designers?
Are they capable of leading the way?

We don’t need more science, more analysis or more rhetoric.

We need Design Thinking.
We need visions, plans, options, choices and strategies.

We need to stop talking about Climate Change.
That’s a given, the climate is always changing.
It’s time to start talking about Climate Design.
What do we want our climate to be like?
Let’s start that conversation.
Let’s set some desirable goals to achieve for everyone on the planet.

I’m not suggesting that we get an expert team of designers together to make choices for everyone else.
This is what is wrong with our political systems.
And, we don’t want to replace BIG Government with BIG Design.
The utopian visions of the Modern Movement proved this didn’t work.
Grand plans have a habit of becoming grand disasters.

What is needed is both local and global design.

Like a good corporation we need some big picture strategy.
And, we need to give the team on the ground the room to implement and innovate in their own way.
Owning their way is crucial.

This level of diversity is what makes the world so interesting.
Think Italy or France with it’s national flavours and distinct regional spiciness.

We need to infect our leaders with Design Thinking.
We need to infect everyone else with Design Thinking too.

The goal is to have conversations for the future.

The goal is to build a future that we all have a say in creating.

The goal is to have a future that is compelling, desirable and exciting for everyone on the planet.

The single best thing you can do to help is to develop your awareness and abilities as a designer.
The more of us thinking this way, the more choices we will all have.
Remember, it’s for your sake.
It’s for my sake.

And, it’s For Future Sake!

Get the full Book Rapper issue: Design Advantage

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 13

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 13
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP11 : Designing With Others

: The second way to enhance your design skills is to manage the way you work with analytical non-
designers. Your best design ideas are worthless if you can’t communicate them effectively. Here’s five suggestions for working with non-designers.

1 Empathize
The different worldviews of the Analyticals and the Designers beg the need for empathy from both parties. Taking the time to get in touch with each other will make it easier to work together.

2 Speak

Designers and t
he non-designer Analyticals speak a different language. One wants certainty, predictability and consistent outcomes. The other cherishes the new, wants to cause breakthroughs and flourishes on creating change. Both parties need to learn the others language.

3 Familiar

An Analytical will seek certainty in the past. Designers can bridge the past and future with stories and analogies to show similarities and make the unknown more familiar.

4 Size

Designers are not able to prove to the Analyticals their ideas will work. By chunking the problem do
wn, smaller predictions of what might happen will prove more acceptable to the analytical mind.

5 Balance

Remember, it’s all about balance. Neither design or analysis on it’s own is sufficient. A blend of both is best.

Get the full Book Rapper issue: Design Advantage

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 12

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 12
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP10 : Designing Yourself

: There are two specific way
s to improve your personal design impact. The first is to develop your own Design Thinking skills. Here’s some suggestions to accelerate the three key aspects of your design performance.

1 Stance
Creating a design stance is your first step.
Your stance is how you see the world and, how you see yourself in that world.
Designers and non-designers see the world differently.

Adopt these attitudes to broaden your design horizons...
  • A typical designer seeks the unknown and surprise.
  • They’re comfortable with complexity.
  • They can balance pragmatic compromise and perfection.
  • And, they can balance reliability and validity.
  • Their core drive is creating the future.
How we see the world determines what actions we consider are viable.
Observe your actions to observe your stance.

2 Tools

As the old saying goes, ‘If the only tool you have is a hammer then everything begins to look like a nail’.
The more tools in your designer toolkit, the more flexibility in your design responses.

A designer has three main tools to help them understand the world and organize their thoughts: observation, imagination and configuration.

  1. Observation includes the ability to notice patterns and their underlying causes and seeing things others don’t.
  2. Imagination involves being able to see beyond what is so to what could be.
  3. Configuration is the ability to translate your idea into a form that delivers the desired business benefit.

3 Experience
Your design experiences are the most tangible part of your design knowledge system.

As we gather our experiences we sharpen our sensitivity to what works, what doesn’t and what could be.

By creating new distinctions between things we create greater choices.

Our experience also includes our skill levels.
As we practice we enhance our skills and our ability to produce our desired results.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 11

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 11
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP9 : Leading Design
: If leading for reliability is like training a dog, then leading designers may be closer to training a cat. How they think, act and respond is completely different. You’ll need to adjust your leadership style accordingly. Here’s eight suggestions to consider...

1 Chief Designer

Are you a design friendly CEO or the actual designer? For instance, Steve Jobs is the design champion for Apple whilst Jonathon Ives is the star designer.

2 More Quickly

The key value creation challenge is to put more ideas into the top of the funnel and move them to the bottom more quickly. How can you do this? Proctor and Gamble employed crowdsourcing to accelerate their innovations.

3 Be the Example
Immerse yourself in the designer’s way of thinking. You may need to think as both designer and business leader for a while until the two merge into one. Lead by being directly involved in a major design project.

4 Stand Up

In the good old days, sales, marketing or production may have ruled over design. No longer. To reinforce Design Thinking as a business imperative will require you to stand up and defend it in the face of demands from other business domains. Be prepared.

5 Design Review

Review your personnel. Who is design friendly and who is not? Both are required. Balancing reliability and innovation is the goal. Change the way you reward and review performance to adjust this balance.

6 Resist Reliability

‘Reliability’ leaders may use systems and statistics to make their judgements. This won’t work for managing design. You’ll need to invest time and energy into managing individuals and understand the ebbs and flows of a design project.

7 Support Team
Where Design Thinking may be missing, bring it in from the outside. For instance, Target commissioned star designers to create exclusive, well-designed, reasonably priced products. Consider having designers on your board and at the management level.

8 Commitment

Find ways to demonstrate your commitment to design rather than just talking about it. For instance, Steelcase bought IDEO to show they were serious. Merely redesigning logos is not going to be enough. Resourcing design effectively is crucial.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 10

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 10
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP8 :
Design Training
: The best way to get your team to include Design Thinking in their work is to get them to do it in training. The goal is not to turn them into complete designers - that’s a 3-5 year course - it’s to give them a taste, a feel and the experience of doing it. It’ll change the
way they work and bring your customers’ world closer.

1 Make ‘it’ Real
Grab a real design issue that’s relevant, important and significant.

2 Understand ‘It’

Develop a deep and holistic understanding of the users’ problem. Forget market research. Get down and dirty. Talk to users. Use it yourself. Break it. Get first hand experience of it.

3 Model ‘It’
Create simple explanations of your design issue. Highlight the components, the influences and the dilemmas. Draw diagrams, flow charts and words to describe the individual relationships and the whole.

4 Prototype ‘It’

Get hands-on. Build real solutions. These might be to scale or scaled-down. By making actual things you’ll get in touch with the problem at whole new level.

5 Refine ‘IT’

Test your solution. Tinker with it. Play with it. Redesign it. Destroy it. Then design ways to implement your final solution.

6 Refine ‘IT’

Test your solution. Tinker with it. Play with it. Redesign it. Destroy it. Then design ways to implement your final solution.

Wicked Problems
Wicked Problems are messy, confusing and ill-defined.

The causes are ambiguous, they don’t fit any neat categories and attempts to solve the problem merely shift it.
And, even when you’ve solved them, it won’t be clear that’s what you’ve done.

Non-designers hate them. Designers thrive on them.

The wicked challenge is to get a valid understanding of what is really going on.
Once you do this, then you’re a chance to resolve it.
But jumping ahead without getting a real understanding will simply cause further problems to arise.

It’s like grabbing sand in your hand. The tighter you hold it, the more it falls through your fingers.
Solving the right wicked problem your competitors cannot, may give you a big lead in revolutionizing your industry.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 9

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 9
Derived from:
Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP7 : Project Power

: Design work is different work. And it needs
to be structured accordingly. Whilst exploitation and administration work suits permanent positions in set roles, exploration and innovation work is favoured by project teams. Here’s eight tips for designing your projects...

Continuous Work

1 Specific Objectives
Projects need to be organized arou
nd specific goals with an end-date. If defined well this will sharpen focus and raise energy levels - particularly as the deadline approaches.

2 New Workflows

Continuous and specialized work is typically similar throughout. Project work has a completely different workflow. It can vary widely. It may include planning, customer interviews, physical testing, creative exploration and regular reviews.

3 Renewed Resumés
Designers are not that interested in job titles. They’d rather have a list of impressive projects they’ve worked on. Get ready to
rewrite your CV.

4 Room to Invent

Without the traditional job specific and professional positioning there’s room to play in new ways. By taking away the usual boundaries, you promote the likelihood of exploration and discovery.

Project Work

5 Cross fertilize
Project teams allow for fertilizing your teams with fresh seeds. It’s a chance to mix people who normally wouldn’t work together. It’s also a chance to add external designers to spice things up.

6 Funnel Movement

Projects are ideal for moving knowledge down the funnel - either Mystery to Heuristic or Heuristic to Algorithm. Continuous work and fixed job roles are better suited to administering existing Heuristics or Algorithms. Choose the work styles that best suits the work.

7 Collaborate Afresh

Projects are a great opportunity to promote collaboration in your organization. By freeing people from their traditional roles you’ll release their willingness to take a risk and explore working in fresh ways.

8 Variable Results

Creative work does not run in straight lines. It runs in fits and starts. Progress will vary. At times it might look like nothing is happening. Results may not be as you expect. Be warned: The project may even fail.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 8

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 8
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP6 : Building Within
Adding Design Thinking to your organization is not like adding a coat of paint. It’s more like rebuilding a new house from the inside. It’s a cultural change that requires a re-think, re-work and dare I say it, a re-design. Here’s ten clues to get you started...

1 Words
Analyticals and Intuitives speak a different language. One speaks ‘business’: reliability, proof, statistics. The other speaks ‘design’: possible outcomes, futures and alternatives. Start some language training! Go bi-lingual!

2 Clarity

Establish some clear expectations about what’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen and what it’s going to look like when you become a Design Thinking organization. Also check timeframes. It may take 5 years to make the transition.

3 Traction

Start Design Thinking where you can get the most traction - ideally, where it already exists in your organization. Marketing may not be the obvious choice - they may be creative and they don’t necessarily operate like designers.

4 Help!

Recruit the best design talent you can. And, look for partnerships with other organizations that value design and do it well. Work experience in a design office might be a useful program to implement for your team.

5 Culture

A shift to Design Thinking is a cultural shift. You’ll need to review work incentives, team structures and workplace training. You’ll also need to stop rewarding the drive for reliability. Project planning will need to be evaluated in fresh ways.

6 Embed

Seed your teams with at least one designer. This may be a permanent arrangement or as a guest to get your people to think about their work differently. This includes your leadership teams and your board.

7 Build

Designers work differently! You may need to build new systems, new work environments, provide new tools, new computers...

8 Do It!
Talking about design will barely scratch the cultural surface. You need to do it and demonstrate it and demand it as part of your way of operating. Design ways for your entire organization to experience good design at work everyday.

9 Outsource
Consider outsourcing the areas of your business that already run as algorithms. This can be a way to reduce costs and release design fever.

10 Convert
Review existing heuristics and convert these to algorithms. The wealth of knowledge in the minds of your team could be worth more as a set of systems and procedures run by others. It’s a way to drive efficiency, reduce costs and free up Design Thinking.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 7

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 7
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP5 : The Reliability Bias

PROFIT : Reliability, predictability and consistency are crucial for business. They enable us to make promises to our customers and deliver. They enable us to earn income to pay staff wages, overheads and get ahead. They also
slow movement down the Knowledge Funnel thwarting innovation. Here’s some thoughts on how you can reduce your Reliability Bias.

Reliability is based upon taking action within a single truth - 'This is how we do things around here!'
In contrast, Validity says there are multiple truths. ie. There are many valid or suitable ways of doing things.

Reducing Reliability

Past Persistence

When the future resembles the past, it’s likely you have a reliability bias. Check how strong the demand for proof is when you’re allocating resources.

Eliminating Bias

‘The numbers will tell us the answer.’ Sometimes that’s correct and sometimes not. Relying on numerical data is one way to work. It’s important to be aware of it’s limitations.

Time Pressures

Reliable systems speed up analysis and judgement. Yet automated systems are not always accurate. Just ask stockmarket traders when the market plunges for no apparent reason. Being strong and valuing your management acumen is important too.

Valuing Validity

Redefine Proof

When we rely on the past to prove the future we finish up living in a world called ‘We’ve always done it that way.’ Sometimes we have to question our assumptions and basic proofs.

Embrace Subjectivity

Attempts to remove subjective judgements ramp up the pursuit of reliability. Turn off the stats and make an informed decision that includes your intuitive thoughts of what might happen.

Take Your Time

When do we need to know? Sometimes we simply get in an unnecessary hurry. Instead of merely ticking the boxes, take the time to question what is going on. Ask the question, ‘Is this valid?’ Is this accurate, authentic or credible?

One of the aims of employing Design Thinking is to offset the bias toward Reliability and make room for Validity.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 6

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 6 Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP4 : Design Thinking
PROFIT : Our usual logic frameworks follow the scientific traditions to determine what is true and what is false. Design Thinking takes a different course. It’s based upon what’s possible in the future and not what is true or false right now.

Deductive Logic
Deductive logic rationalizes from the general to the specific.
If ‘a’, then ‘b’.

It reflects analytical thinking.
It aims to create proof based upon the past.
  • Rigorous
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Decision Support Software

Inductive Logic
Inductive logic rationalizes from the specific to the general.
It’s about making generalizations from particular cases.
It reflects intuitive thinking.
  • Gut feelings
  • Subjective judgements
  • Bias and variation
Abductive Logic
Abductive logic parallels Design Thinking and asks ‘what could be?’
It’s based upon the belief that it’s not possible to prove any new thought, concept or idea in advance.
In other words, all new ideas can only be validated through the unfolding of future events.

Design Thinking

Roger Martin defines Design Thinking as
“the balance of analytical mastery and intuitive originality in dynamic interplay.” (P6)
Tim Brown of IDEO defines it as:
“A discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.” (P62)
Design Thinking is a blend of creativity and business that relies on Abductive Logic.
It’s necessary for optimal business performance.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 5

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 5
Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP3 : Opportunities

PROFIT : The Knowledge Funne
l highlights four distinct opportunities to design, re-invent, innovate and exploit your business. The opportunities we create will depend upon where we start, where we finish and where we re-visit.

A New Business
To start a new business... and I
mean a business that does something new... you need to start at the top of the funnel.
Your challenge is to take an idea, an issue or a concern and translate it into a new way of doing things.

Then, you need to convert this into a business system that can produce the same result consistently over time.

Think McDonald’s
and how they’ve changed restaurants on a global scale.

Big Innovation
Going from Mystery to
Algorithm can also be applied to an existing organization.
For instance, a traditional industry transforming into a digital one requires this progression down the full knowledge funnel.
The big challenge here is the willingness to take on the task of questioning everything you do.
It’s not just an innovation challenge, it also requires a cultural change.

In his bestselling boo
k, The E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber suggests that most small businesses fail because they don’t build systems.
For instance, a typical technician like a plumber, architect or coach starts with the heuristics of their profession, craft or trade.

The key to their business success lives in their ability to translate these into effective step-by-step, easy-to-follow procedures.

Without this, they’ll never be able to effectively outsource, add employees and build a business beyond themselves.

Little Innovation
Going from Heuristic to Algorithm is the chance to revisit a blind spot and reinvent your processes and your offers.

This is a potent opportunity for all businesses.

For instance, a law firm could systematize their knowledge so a lesser qualified, lower paid employee could perform the same work.

Alternatively, a trainer could restructure their work to produce the same result in less time, to more people at the same time or to franchise it for other people to run.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 4

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 4 Derived from: Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP2 : The Kno
wledge Funnel
PROFIT : The key to Value Creation lies in our use of what we know and don’t know. If we don’t know how something works, we can’t exploit it. Roger M
artin’s Knowledge Funnel provides a high-level model for translating knowledge into business value.

Mysteries are not understood. There’s something going on and we can’t quite explain it. Exploration starts with curiosity and a question. What do you want to know? Artists, Scientists, Researchers and Designers typically work in this domain.

Heuristics are rules of thumbs. They’re simple and incomplete understandings of more complex things. They increase the probability of getting a specific result and don’t guarantee it. Knowledge workers and Professionals work in this domain.


Algorithms are fixed formu
las. They’re step-by-step procedures that guarantee a specific result. Think software - it works the same every time and almost anyone can do it. This domain includes the franchise, production lines and software code.

PhD Student
Multi-Level Marketing
Factory Production
Software Code

Up and Down
When you move down the funnel you decrease costs and increase your efficiency and scale.
When you move up the funnel you create the opportunity to re-invent what you’re doing.
It’s risky and the potential rewards are high.


To move from Mystery to Heuristic develop a hunch that explains what’s going on.
To move from Heuristic to Algorithm simplify what you’re doing. Delete the extraneous, generalize circumstances and create a specific how-to model.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value - 3

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value - 3
Derived from Roger Martin's The Design of Business

RAP1 : The Business Paradox

What’s the best way to create value for your organization?
Surely, it’s to make the most of the opportunities right in front of us.
That may work for a while.
And at some point, you need to question everything you do to create new knowle
dge, new opportunities and create new value.
It’s relatively easy to do both in isolation
And, how do you do both simultaneously?
To 'exploirt' is the Business Paradox.

How to Paint a Masterpiece
A painter literally starts wit
h a blank canvas.
They’re usually not sure what the finished product will long like or how lon
g it will take to complete.
Sometimes even when a painting is done it’s hard to know that it is.
To earn money they must sell the work they have created - a once-only opportunity.
Unfortunately, this means they don’t
get to see their previous work again.
Imagine an author who writes a book and doesn’t get to read it once it’s sold.

Whilst the work may be highly satisfying, the income is usually not.
ome artists make it big. Most don’t.
Typically, artists fail to find the right blend of explore and exploit.

How to Create a Global Empire
McDonald’s has turned making hamburger
s into a science and a global mega-business.
Ray Kroc created a precise money-making machine.
Every procedure is described and executed as a set of step-by-step ‘do it this way’ instructions.
Including: hiring, cooking, location selection, cleaning, managing and franchising.
This enables their restaurants to be run primarily by minimum wage teenagers and students.
This level of efficiency is perfect for building size
and scale.
McDonald’s success enables travellers to walk into any store in the world and know exactly what they’re buying.

The trade-off is the lack of work satisfaction and variety.
The tight system strips away uncertainty, ambiguity, judgement and any opportunity for innovation.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 2

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value 2

BR Review : The Design of Business
Roger Martin, The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage; Harvard Business Press, Boston, 2009.

If you want short term results stick to your numbers that prove the past. If you want long term sustainable results operate as a design firm. It’s the key to innovati
on and growth - and staying competitive!

  • Prominent model: the Knowledge Funnel which is the backbone of Martin’s Design Thinking framework.
  • Chapters on leading an organization and developing yourself as a design thinker.
  • Case studies of McDonalds, Proctor & Gamble, Cirque du Soleil, Herman Miller and Research In Motion (RIM) - creators of the Blackberry.


Martin’s book is a big picture strategy book.
He explains why Design Thinking is important and provides a key model for making it happen.
Plus there’s enough clues and examples to get you started.

Who’s It’s For
  • It’s for anyone interested in creating a world that works.
  • For leaders who want to step out of short-termism and create long-term value for their organization.
  • For intrapreneurs wanting to improve their lot.
  • For individuals wanting control over their lives.

Roger Martin?
  • Roger’s a Canadian with both academic and business experience.
  • He’s a Harvard Grad in Economics and an MBA. And, the Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He’s been dean since 1998... that’s a big rap!
  • Roger’s had extensive consulting experience, is a former director at Monitor Company and he sits on a number of company boards.
  • He writes columns for Business Week, the Washington Post and the Financial Times.
  • Roger’s a leading advocate of Design Thinking and this is his fourth book. His previous tome, The Opposable Mind is worth a read too!
  • And, he’s got his own Wikipedia Page

Book Rapper Thinks...

Deee - Zine! Deee - Zine! Deee - Zine!

As a designer, this books sings sweet sonnets to my ears.
It’s the story I wanted to tell and didn’t have the words to say it.
Roger’s my new design hero!
He’s put design back in the centre of business conversations!

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value

A new Book Rapper issue...
Design Advantage : The Secret to Creating Long-Term Value

The Book

Roger Martin, The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage; Harvard Business Press, Boston, 2009.

Speed RAP

The key to value creation in any organization lies in the development of knowledge. Unlocking problems, issues and mysteries with new rules of thumb has the potential to overtake existing industries. Translating this thinking into business systems, software and step-by-step procedures can drive efficiency and slash costs.

The Big Idea

Design Thinking is the new competitive advantage. It’s the balance between the drive for short-term efficiency through analysis and the exploration of new opportunities through creative and intuition based innovations. To fail to employ both modes of thinking and doing puts the organization at long-term risk.

Your Challenge
Immerse yourself in design. Explore it, experience it and exercise with it. Enhance your skills, influence others and add Design Thinking to your life and the culture of your organization.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What does it mean to be 'Live'? Part 4

What does it mean to be 'Live'? Part 4
Following from ou
r previous posts on the 'The Virtual Presenter', “What does it mean to present in the ‘live’ world?”
In this series of blog posts, we’ll take a tour of some of the industries that have already grappled with this question.

4 Comedy
The role of an audience for a comedian is typically the opposite of most presentation styles.

For starters, comedians need a live audience to practice and test their material.

They might begin with a local audience or sma
ll group.
And, as they comede they take note of which lines provoked a chortle, which ones got a smirk and which ones brought the house down.
Over time, they’d accumulate, repackage and compile a single show with all their
best jokes lined up like ducks.
Then, in the right setting and on the big occasion, they’d launch their material into the crowd almost certain they’d get a big laugh.

Whilst we often like music the more it’s played, the opposite can be the case for the comedian.
A comedian’s jokes are like watching sport. It’s just not the same when you know the final score.
Likewise, how many times have you laughed at your Dad’s tired and familar lines? I’m sure they’re just a snigger of their old selves.

The goal of a comedian is to be original, startling and surprising.
And, what is currently happening is destroying their business model.

One audience member recording a comedian’s act and distributing it on the internet can destroy months of work.

A great one-liner may be distributed, attributed or not, as a tweet.
A joke may be retold in someone else’s YouTube video.
And a complete manuscript may be rewritten as someone else’s blog post.

Gone are the days of repeating the same old lines.
If their audience has heard it all before, the laughs will be as muffled as a motorcyclist in a helmet.

It may be that live comedy suffers and more and more of it goes online. Perhaps their future is better suited to a YouTube Channel, Comedy Radio Station on iTunes or a book of Tweets.

  • What is the repeat value of your work? Does it get better the more time we hear it? Or does it go stale very quickly?
  • Should you guard your content or give it away?
  • How prolific are you? Are you mostly good and occasionally brilliant?

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

What does it mean to be 'Live'? Part 3

What does it mean to be live? Part 3
Following from our previous posts on the 'The Virtual Presenter', “What does it mean to present in the ‘live’ world?”

In this series o
f blog posts, we’ll take a tour of some of the industries that have already grappled with this question.
1 Theatre
2 Music

3 Movies

When movies were released as videos and DVDs, it was commonly thought that cinemas would close too.
They haven’t.

Movies continue to be attractive because it’s worth seeing something on the big screen with big sound.

Currency is also vital. Seeing a movie before your
friends do is worth bragging rights.
It als
o becomes a place to hang out for various reasons…
I love a movie on a hot summers day with an ice-cream. The air-con is worth the price alone!

Note: The snack-bar can be the most profitable part of the movie for the cinema owner.

Also, think back to the back row. What have you done during a movie that you won’t tell you grandchildren about? Does a darkened room help your story?

  • What can you provide in a movie, recorded YouTube format that you can’t provide live?
  • Think of your play reel. You can edit out the bad bits, stack in the good bits, time it perfectly, add sound, add special effects and…
  • Also, what’s the timeframe for your story? Do you have a latest release? And, who gets to see it?
  • Are clients paying for a re-run or new release?
  • What's your snack-bar? Are you leaving profits behinds?

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Friday, January 8, 2010

What does it mean to be 'Live'? Part 2

What does it mean to be live? Part 2

Following from our previous posts on the 'The Virtual Presenter', “What does it mean to present in the ‘live’ world?”
In this series of blog posts, we’ll take a tour of some of the industries that have already grappled with this question.

2 Music
Talk about comebacks!

The rock concert has seen a Creedence Clearwater Revival of spectacular
Many of the golden oldies have returned… The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, even Simon and Garfunkel.

What happened?
Were they not content in retirement, living off their record royalties?
May be, may be not.
Whilst recorded music sales have dropped, there has been a rise in the demand for live music.

What happened?

Let’s take a step back in history and find out…
The music industry began with live performances. You just had to be there.
Later, they were complemented by the sales of sheet music.
This was the closest you could get to hearing a maestro at work – learn it and play it yourself.

Then along came the phonograph and the birth of the recording industry.

Through records, cassettes and CDs the music industry literally went in-house.

  1. Studio recordings dominated live performances.
  2. You could listen to the results in your own home.
  3. And, the industry was controlled by the big players. If you're weren't in their chorus, then you weren't going to be seen or heard. As a result, the recording artist - like authors - received only a fraction of the total sales. And, if you didn’t sing to the songsheet that was demanded of you, then the volume was turned down on your music future.

Then along came Napster and iTunes. One cracked the digital code illegally, the other didn’t.
They both helped to break the stranglehold on music held by the big four recording companies.

Performers soon realized the big money was in performing live and selling merchandise.

Kiss are reputed to be earning $50 million from their upcoming world tour.

The sound of music has changed.
It’s now swung back to live performances.
The performers are back in charge! And, back in the money!

  • What sort of experience are you providing for your live audience?
  • What's the difference between your recordings and your live performances?
  • Are you performing in front of, reciting to or interacting with your audience?

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

What does it mean to present 'live'?

What does it mean to present 'live'?
Following from our previous posts on the 'The Virtual Presenter', “What does it mean to present in the ‘live’ world?”

In other words, as a presenter, what’s your physical pre
sence worth?
And, what's in it for your live or virtual audience?

If you’re going to take a day off from your family to fly to a conference event what’s it worth to you?

If the conference organizer is going to pay you big dollars to be there, what’s in it for them?

And, your audience?
Why not just show your video to the audience.
Better yet, why get an audience together in the first place? Why don’t we all just stay home and watch it on YouTube?

In this series of blog posts, we’ll take a tour of some of the industries that have already grappled with this question.

1 Thea
Early movies were literally recordings of stage plays.
It was first thought that theatre would wither away as a result.

They haven’t.
Live theatre continues today.
Different audience, different ticket premium.
It’s all about being there… experiencing the breath, sweat and tears.

Interestingly, stages shows have sometimes become movies, like Phantom of the Opera.
In other cases, movies like Mama Mia have become stage plays.

Either way, it seems that musicals do best of all.
Selling the soundtrack can be the best selling part of the package.

Theatre shows are expensive.
It costs a lot to assemble a top cast, build a stunning set and hire a worthy theatre.
In contrast the cost of putting together a CD makes it way more profitable as an add-on.


What’s can we smell, hear, see, feel and taste because we’re in the room with you?

What’s the premium you’re offering your audience for being in the room with you?

What’s your soundtrack worth?

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

iPresent: How to enthrall your audience like Steve Jobs - Part 9

iPresent: How to enthrall your audience like Steve Jobs - Part 9 Derived from : Carmine Gallo; The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

Book Rapper Context : The Virtual Presenter - Part 3

In our previous post we offered
some new presentation modes as per the image below.

Now, let’s add one more presentation style…

The TWITTER Presenter

This one is a game changer!
Remarkably, all six presentation modes could be involved.
It plays out as a Typical Presenter with an added interactive twist.

The Typical Presenter stands in front of a live audience in real time.
In that live audience, listeners may be tweeting in real-time to an online audience that is face-to-place.

The presenter may be doing all the audible talking in the room.
And, another conversation via the Tweets may be happening simultaneously in the same room and outside it.

The presenter has a choice.
They can try to stop the tweeting and this would be reputational suicide. That’s not a real option.
The real choice is whether they interact with the Tweeps or not.

The reflex action may be to resist - why get involved with something that you don’t quite understand...

Be warned!
There have already been cases reported where presenters have been ‘Twit-attacked’ and been oblivious to it.

Could you imagine having the roomful of people you’re addressing laughing at you without you knowing? Disaster!

And, the tweets stay on the public timeline for anyone else to see at a much later date. Total disaster!

The better question to ask is:
What could happen if we interacted with the Tweeps?
Think of it as a chance for real-time feedback.
That sounds simple enough and it’s not so easy.

It’s the same challenge organizations are facing from digital media.
Gone are the days of one-way communication.
Advertising and PR professionals are struggling as a result.

And, now our Professional Speakers accustomed to their one-way messages are next in the firing line.
It’s time to adopt a two-way presentation mode.
Alternatively, you risk being attacked in the very room in which you’re presenting.

And, you may not even notice!

Speaker beware!

Get the complete iPresent issue from

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Monday, January 4, 2010

iPresent: How to enthrall your audience like Steve Jobs - Part 8

iPresent: How to enthrall your audience like Steve Jobs - Part 8 Derived from : Carmine Gallo; The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

Book Rapper Context : The Virtual Presenter - Part 2

In our previous post we offered some new presentation modes as per the image below.

Now, let’s have a look at how they might play out…

The Typical Presenter
The typical stage presentation occurs in front of a live audience. It’s face-to-face, in real-time, but one-way. The voice on stage commands the audience. And, the audience’s role is to be respectfully passive. In other words, sit down, shut-up and listen. There may be time for questions and this is usually just a bit at the end.

The YouTube Presenter

The YouTube Presenter places a pre-recorded presentation on a website, DVD or an iPod. Whilst the initial recording may be in front of an audience, the viewer of the digital recording watches face-to-place, in time-reel and one-way. This new avenue is an essential part of the speakers promotional armoury. Most speakers have one on their website. They ideally would have a YouTube channel. And, they may include video footage on a DVD dollar-earning product.

The Webinar Presenter
The Webinar Presenter has the opportunity of the Typical Presenter from a distance. They can present a one-way talking, slide-driven, multi-media presentation. However, built-in to the typical webinar technology are tools for two-way conversations. You can run polls, ask questions and have multiple speakers in multiple locations. You can also record the event for listeners to view it later. Typically the Webinar Presenter is not in front of a live audience, although the technology makes this easy to do.

Get the complete iPresent issue from

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

iPresent: How to enthrall your audience like Steve Jobs - Part 8

iPresent: How to enthrall your audience like Steve Jobs - Part 8
Derived from : Carmine Gallo; The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

Book Rapper Context : The Virtual Presenter - Part 1

True Connections
Do you know where the word ‘phoney’ comes from?
If you guessed it had something to do with the ‘telephone’, then you’re on the right track.

The first phone conversations were not considered to be real conversations. They were ‘phoney’.
Today this word is synonym
ous with ‘fake and false’.
Most of us now accept phone calls as being a valid way to catch up, chat up and make up with our friends, family and colleagues.
Other communication modes have taken a similar path.
  • Email was considered not a ‘true’ communication mode. It didn’t let you express your tone of voice. :)
  • Txting wasn’t either – particularly because it did a hatchet job on our traditional ways of spelling.
  • Now, social media is under the same spell. They’re not ‘real friends’, they’re merely ‘friendlies’.

New Communications
Digital media is changing the way we communicate.
Many of our communication industries and professions are morphing too – or at least they need to be!
  • Newspapers are no longer viable in their current form.
  • Independent Bloggers have become a compelling new media channel.
  • Mass media advertising has been Googled.
  • Traditional PR has a feather-like impact on public opinion.
  • The movie industry has been outplayed by the gaming revolution.
  • Speakers Bureaus and other brokers are losing their voice. Google lets you tap the source directly.
Presentation Modes

This Book Rapper issue is centred on keynote presenting.
And like everyone else, professional speakers will need to heed the seeds of digital media. Their path sounds like the introduction of the telephone: a move from the natural to the virtual. A natural conversation is face-to-face, in real-time and two-way. A virtual conversation may be the opposite:
  • Face to Place: Like a phone call, the speaker and the audience are in different places
  • Time-Reel: Like an audio recording, the listener tunes in when it suits them
  • One-Way: Like TV, the audience is not able to interact with the speaker
Or, it may be a hybrid, some combination of these three styles.
Get the complete iPresent issue from

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hot Books For 2010

Hot Books for 2010
Let’s start the new year with some hot books to look out for.
I’ve got my crystal ball out to look for books that will have an impact in 2010.

Firstly, a word of warning: I’ve only read the first book. I have purchased the second one. And, the rest… I’m going out on a limb here, I haven’t read any of them. And, this list
is so hot a number of them haven’t even been released yet.
Note: All links are non-affiliate to Amazon
Ready? Here goes…

1 Roger Martin, The Design of Business
The Design of
Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage.
Design Thinki
ng is an idea that’s time has come. Simple creativity is no longer enough. Martin has the business credential to put a strong case for the importance of adding design thinking to your company culture. As a designer, this is music to my ears! We’re deriving our first Book Rapper issue for 2010 on this book.
Available Now!

2 Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, Trust Agents
Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust

As the world chang
es, new roles are created. We’ve had advertisers, marketers and salespeople. The authors are veteran social media analysts and they have identified a new web role: the trust agent. They’re digitally savvy, transparent and honest. They build relationships, yield influence and can build your brand profits. This book shows you why they’re important, what they do and how you can become one of the trusted ones. Our Second Book Rapper issue for 2010 will be derived from this book.
Available Now!

3 Seth Godin, Linchpin
Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
This is hot becaus
e it’s Seth’s latest. Whatever Seth writes will be read by a lot of people so that makes it important. I’m a fan. I read all his books because I always walk away with some insight, confirmation and illumination.
Available January 26, 2010.

4 Bob Gilbreath: The Next Evolution of Marketing
Connect with Your Customers by Marketing with Meaning

Not the first to talk about the rise of meaning… there seemed to be a few books on this a few year ago… And, now it’s applied to the world of marketing. We’ve had enough being interupted. Marketing has changed. It needs to mean something to me or I’m just not interested. Your brand/product/message needs to add value to my life or I’m not listening. Gilbreath presents a strategy for ‘meaningful marketing’. No, that’s not an oxymoron, that might just be the new reality.
Available Now!

5 Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner: SuperFreakonomics
SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

What do you when you write a book that sells over 4,000,000 copies that’s been translated into a bu
cketful of languages? For me, you either retire happy or write a Fre-quel… Levitt and Dubner have come back for more! More stories, more insights and more challenges to the way we think about the world. Could it be even better than the original?
Available Now!

6 Daniel J Siegel: Mindsight
Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

There’s been a flo
od of books on recent neuroscience discoveries. It’s a hot new, mind-boggling area of study that’. And, now we’re starting to see books that aren’t simply science stories. They’re translations of the latest science merged with practical applications as used in real life. Siegel’s background includes brain science, clinical psychology and mindfulness. And, this book looks like an interesting blend of them all.
Available: 11 January 2010

7 J Bradford De Long and Stephen S. Cohen: The End of Influence
The End of Influence: What Happens When Other Countries Have the Money

Economists De Long and Cohen take a look at how the world has changed. In particular, given they’re now cash strapped, America’s changing role. How will it change foreign policy, cultural influence and the pursuit of innovation.

Available: January 5, 2010

8 William Poundstone: Priceless
Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value and How to Take Advantage of It

Another book that looks at pyschology in action. In this one, Poundstone looks at the hidden thinking behind ‘value’. For the business person, this translates this to ‘Pricing’. How much is something worth
? It’s fundamental to every business and consumer who buys, sells and negotiates. Includes case studies on Prada, iTunes and Wal-Mart.
Available: 5 January 2010

9 Jason Fried and David Heinemeir: Rework
This one is important because of who’s writing it. Fried and Heinemeir are key players at 37signals, highly successful builders of web-based tools, including that Twitter is built upon. They know how the web works. And, their short, simple and savvy tome will have you rethink how you work. With raving fans Seth Godin, Chris Anderson and Tom Peters in their corner, this one looks like it’ll be worth waiting for.

Available: March 9, 2010.

Steve Garfield: Get Seen
Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business

Print is in demise and you can only read so much online. Video is the hot new thing. And, Steve Garfield’s the guru in this field. With a track record in Video Blogging over many years, Garfield shares success stories, presents plans and tools to use and gives step by step directions to go video viral.

Available: Now!

What do you think? Are their any others that you'd like to add?

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Thanks, Welcome AND our Plans for 20-10

Thanks, Welcome AND our Plans for 20-10
Welcome to 010110 or XX-X!

Firstly, a big thank you for your support over the past 12 months. It's been a big year - particularly with our announcement to go free!

And, I thought our first blog post for the year might be a good time to declare some of my intentions for 20-10.
Here goes…
  1. Blog more often. Last year was a bit all over the place with about 60 posts. This year we're planning on 200! This'll include the release of each RAP as it's written.
  2. Audio. Yep, you've been asking for it and now we're going to deliver. All the new issues and all the previous issues will be recorded for you to listen to in your own time.
  3. What's better than audio? Video. Yep, it's time to up the game significantly. Again, all new issues and previous issues will be recorded for you to see and hear the big ideas.
  4. A redesign. Currently we're redesigning the website to use Wordpress. And, as we wait for the Apple iSlate or iTablet, we'll be revamping the look and feel of each issue as well.
  5. RAP Club. Face-to-face seminars and webinars discussing each issue. Our big plan is to turn our RAPs into innovation and leadership programs that you can run yourself. It's time to make some money from our hard work!
  6. Our BHAG… Last year we shared almost 13,000 Book Rapper issues. And, over 2200 in December alone. We thought that was pretty impressive! So, this year we're aiming even higher: 100,000 issues! We might need your help with that one!
  7. Want to know how we produce a RAP? We'll start sharing our secrets and if enough people are interested, we'll run some events around this too.
  8. Topics and Books, Mmm… Any thoughts? We'll stick to one a month and would love to hear your views on what we should cover. Feel free to add a comment to this post.
Is there anything else? Did we miss anything you were hoping for? What else can we provide to add value to you? Let us know.

Thanks for following Book Rapper and may the new year and decade be your best year yet!
If you've got any suggestions, comments or feedback, feel free to email me: geoff @

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