Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best Books of the Decade

Best Books of the Decade
What better way to round out the decade than declare the best
books I've read during this time.
So, how do you choose the best books you’ve read?
I felt I had to go with the ones that have changed how I see the world and how I act in it. Here’s my ten best books of the decade. Plus, how they’ve changed the way I live. Note: Non-Affiliate links to Amazon.

Chris Anderson: The Long Tail
This book changed how I saw business.
I’d been aware the digital world was changing business and this book pinpointed exactly how. Digital economics enables you to make a profit from things you previously couldn’t. It favours the niche. Plus, the tools of production are now in the hands of everyone. And, the internet is your pathway to worldwide distribution.
See Book Rapper issue: Make Money From Niches

James Surowiecki: The Wisdom of Crowds
This book changed how I saw my expertis
e. I’d always presumed that one smart person was better than a mob. Not so. With the help of digital technology and the internet, it's much easier to tap into the power of crowds. We can be right more often! This book also highlights the importance of community. And, the power of crowdsourcing.

Geoff Colvin: Talent is Overrated
This book changed how I work.
Previously, to work on something I would just do it. Now, the concept of Deliberate Practice says ‘no’. Instead, I design specific challenges to work on. I no longer work, I'm now constantly practising. For instance, I’m training myself to write shorter, sharper sentences. They’re now precise and concise. And, I’m on the lookout for zingy, zany and zippy words. Let me know if it works for you!
See Book Rapper issue: Anti-Self-Help

Brafman and Beckstrom: The Spider and the Starfish
This book changed how I see the internet.
It highlights how it’s reshaping how we organize people and ideas. The starfish model (decentralisation) is the new model of business. Think Ebay, Skype and Obama. And this has changed our entire model of leadership. Great metaphor and filled with enjoyable stories to illustrate their point.
See Book Ra
pper issue: Leaderful.

Stefan Klein: The Science of Happiness
This book changed how I think.
I used to think that happiness was lame. It was about becoming a pollyanna. Now I get the value of being happy. And, how I train my brain to respond over my lifetime. Personally, it’s great for my mind and body. Socially, it’s better for everyone. And, now I take different action. I exercise more. I socialize more. And, I think about how I want to feel. I’m happier as a result!

Mark and Pearson: The Hero and the Outlaw
This book changed how I saw branding.
I used to think it was all about sticking labels on products. Now, I see it as a way of living and being. This book gives a right-brained lens for branding through 12 major archetypes. You’ll find yourself in these pages. And, you’ll have a framework for creating your future.

Timothy Ferriss: The Four Hour Work Week
This book changed how I live and work.
The 40 hour work never appealed to me. I've had a full-time job less than 2 years of my life. I wanted to work on my stuff in my time in my way. Ferriss makes it okay to do this. And, he shows you how to make money at the same time. A life-changer!
See Book Rapper issue: The Four Hour JOLT!

Boye Lafayette De Mente: The Japanese Samurai Code
This book reminds me of Groundhog Day.
We think we’re living a brand new day with fresh new challenges and perhaps we’re not… The Samurai present a timeless tradition of being the best you can be. Every day! And, no matter what you're doing. This books highlights their values. And, why they’re still as important as ever. Read it to sharpen your compass.

Tom Peters: The Brand You
This book changed the way I relate to myself.
Previously, I was content to do the things I do. Now, I’m more aware of what I’m building and who I’m becoming. I love the style of this book. It’s filled with Tom’s personality. It’s a rant, a boisterous chant and actions aplenty that’ll make you pant… My favourite: To build your network, don’t eat lunch alone!

Robin, Dominguez and Tilford: Your Money or Your Life
This book changed my attitude to money.
I used to be a typical consumer buying stuff I often didn’t need. Now, I don’t. I don’t see the point. This has allowed me to live a comfortable lifestyle working on the things I love. Perhaps, you can too…

Which books of the past decade changed the way you see the world?
Add a comments and share your thoughts.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

One is good, many is better...

Now that you can get all the Book Rapper issues for free, I thought it would be appropriate to publish the big picture context and update each author and the issue at hand. Here's the third in the series...

The Book:
Barry Libert and Jon Spector and thousands of Contributors; We Are Smarter Than Me: How to Unleash the Power of Crowds in Your Business

The Bees Wees: One is good, many is better...

To learn about the power of community-at-work look to the natural world.

An individual bee, with its modest brain, is incapable of producing a hive by itself. And yet, a colony of bees can build a hive-community in the most amazing way.

The mighty midget termite-mound builders of Northern Australia, show what is po
ssible when the ants work toward a mutual goal.

Wow! When it comes to working together for the common good, Book Rapper defers to the master - Nature herself.

Community Building releases control, unfurls ideas, shares information, connects like-minded individuals and promotes cooperation within vast communities.

By giving away our raw imagination and naked ideas we allow others to polish up these diamonds-in-the-rough. Just put ‘em out there!

How often have you secretly hung onto your best ideas only to see them flower in someone else’s garden!

Ongoing interaction and dialogue is what makes information useful; feedback from others refines it for even greater benefit.

The business models of crowd-sourcing and community building extend the Aussie community spirit - CWA, CFA, SES - and traditional Amer
ican barn-raising; they raise the roof on business possibilities.

Housed under the vibrant white roofs of a Greek island village beats the slow, steady, throbbing heart of community cooperation.

It’s the same heart that the smart organization now has throbbing through its workplace chambers.

Gone are the days of the few controlling the many where corporations decided what, when and how things were produced.

Henry Ford’s ‘any colour as long as its black’ (because black paint was the cheapest) was the poster child of corporate control in those days of old.

In less than 20 years, the World Wide Web has spawned new business models and reversed the concentration of economic power.

Wikinomics, crowd-sourcing and open-source has democratized production and created an ‘economy of the people, by the people and for the people’.

The ‘new community’ taps into the power of the masses to fulfil tasks previously safely guarded by the exclusive eyes of in-house experts within the walls of the corporate office and the factory.

The Web has enabled this change in collaboration. Initially, the ‘1-way Web’ mirrored Industrial Age thinking whereby business focussed on control of information.

The modus operandi was to generate profit through strategies to corner the data market and up the price.

Web 2.0, the ‘2-way Web’ has flipped this on its pink
ear. Web 2.0 recognizes that information becomes more valuable as more people use it.

Social networking, crowd sourcing and building communities is your future.

Think and work together.

When we communitize we can reduce costs, wind up with a better road-tested product; a product that is already supported by a waiting market of customers.

We Are Smarter Than Me also shows how the principles of crowd sourcing can be used in the recruitment and retention of good people. This has to be a welcome bonus.

So, what can social networking, building a community and crowdsourcing do for you, your product and your brand?

Wrong question! Rewind; reframe.

Instead, ask, What can I do for my customer, my
people and my product?

The answer: Build communities!

Social Networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Second Life are second nature to Gen Y. Finally, smart heads of corporations and businesses are catching on.

The future of business points to Community Building, Social Networking and Crowd Sourcing.

One is good; many is better; We is best!


I’m often asked about the patterns and connections I see between the Book Rapper issues that I’ve been writing and researching.

One of the loudest trends that’s showing up is: Community.

At the time The Bees Wees issue was written, 'community' appeared to be an emerging trend.

A mere twelve months later, it’s no longer emerging. It’s shifted from the outside edges to centre stage. It's now front of mind, central to conversation and a natural part of our social lives.

The obvious flood has come from social networking. Facebook is flourishing and Twitter has become a tsunami. It seems we’re clammering over each other to get connected.

In our Book Rapper issues, ‘community’ is showing up across most of our recent issues.

'Brand Worship’ is all about connecting and belonging to a community through a brand.

Talk With Me’ is all about conversations within organizations and between customers and organizations. Conversations lead to relationships which build communities.

We Blog’, ‘The Great Business Gestalt’ and ‘Twittergy’ are the tools of social media. They tell us how to connect online and how to build virtual communities.

In the past few weeks, Book Rapper has been released to the world for free. This was a direct response to this trend of community. Our goal is to attract more people to Book Rapper and build a community around this to discuss the ideas we've been rapping.

My conclusion: if you’re building anything of value today, ensure you have ‘community’ embedded within your idea. If it’s not included, go back to the drawing board and redesign your offer.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, November 21, 2008

Crowdsourcing Sources for the Crowd

Here's a follow-up to our earlier RAP on crowd-sourcing "The Bees Wees"...Crowdsourcing is the "act of taking a job traditionally performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call."

This is the term and definition created by journalist Jeff Howe in an article published in Wired in June 2006.

Howe has a new book out that looks like a useful addition to the arsenal of the crowd-warrior.

It's called "Crowdsourcing: How the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business" and it's published by Random House Books.

An Excerpt from Crowdsourcing

Jeff Howe's Crowdsourcing Blog

Here's some other resources for the crowdsourcer in you...

Howe's original Wired Article

The Wikipedia version of Crowdsourcing

"The Wisdom of the Crowds" by James Surowiecki

"We Are Smarter Than Me" - the website of the book we rapped

Book Rapper's "The Bees' Wees"

Labels: , , ,