Best of 111in2011
Yes, one of this content free summaries about previous read books - but I think it would be nice if you had a small reading lists with some great books. Best of Marketing Ice to the Eskimos Probably to most creative marketing ideas I’ve ever read about. Jon Spoelstra has excellent writing skills, it’s so much fun to read this book even if you’re not into basketball. He’s...
#111/111: Anything You Want
Some will already know Derek Sivers from his blog sivers.org. Sivers started CDBaby, a CD distributor for independent musicians, in 1998. He sold it 2007 when the company had $100m in revenue. He tells his story of CDBaby in detail in this book and it’s quite interesting. Sivers was a musician before starting CDBaby and he created a small online shop for his CDs and other musicians asked...
surreabral asked: Hey, not a question, just a thank you. I really appreciate you investing the time to share your project. I have enjoyed your reviews. And, congratulations on setting a stretch goal and meeting it! Best wishes for a Happy New Year!
#110/111: Real Education
And an other book on education - mostly higher education but also K12. The book consists of two parts. In the first part he talks about the status of education in the US and in the second part he presents his recommendations. A common dream of lots of American people is that everybody can be a superstar. They think that everybody should go to college and that schools are so bad that it’s...
#109/111: The Principles of Scientific Management
One would expect that this classic from 1911 is a clear contrast to the last book but actually it isn’t so much different. I love reading classics especially in business classics because they most often contain better information that most of new business books. Frederick Taylor was probably the first one who observed production steps and optimized them. One of the most famous of his...
#108/111: Punished by Rewards
This is one of the books where I just read the title and bought it. Recently, I talked with a friend about rewards and rules and we noticed that they often lead to out crawling from intrinsic motivations. He said “if I have to do something in 48 hours, I will take at least 48 hours - if I can choose my time freely, I probably will do it immediately.” You probably had similar...
#107/111: Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar
By now, you probably have guessed that I think institutionalized education isn’t that great. Most of my marketable skills are self-learned, I pretty much started this at the age of 13 reading books about computer hardware. It’s just was and is natural curiosity. I’m of course not alone. Lots of people, especially in the IT-sector, are self-learned and they are mostly better...
#106/111: Future of Education
An other book by Kieran Egan where he talks about his different methods of approaching a topic and its implementation. I talked a bit about these different methods and will now deepen it them a bit. His main idea is that knowledge should be deep and linked. The first one is Mythic Understanding. This includes stories, metaphors, binary structures, rhymes, play, jokes and pattern. Stories are a...
How does the future market of higher education looks like? Andrew Rosen, the CEO of Kaplan, presents his ideas and takes a look in the past of higher education in the USA. At the beginning there were colleges, like the Harvard College. Interestingly, there isn’t much known about John Harvard. The most important thing was that he donated his library and half of his money after his dead to...
#104/111: Why don't Students like School?
The next title that talks about schooling. Daniel Willingham, cognitive scientist, took the interesting topic of students and school and asks Why don’t Students like School? If you haven’t read the post of Dumbing Us Down this is probably a good time because Willingham talks about a lot of statements which were made by Gatto. Do we have to force kids to learn? No. People are...
#103/111: The Rational Optimist
A better title, but less appealing one, would probably be A history of markets. Matt Ridley tells us about the economic history from the beginning human kind till today. How does it come, that we build cities, have markets for food, internet services or books and can communicate easily over thousands of miles. How come that other creatures can’t do this? Ridley begins about 500,000 years...
#102/111: Dumbing Us Down
At first, I had not read the book because of its sensationalist title which would have been a pity. John Gatto, former school teacher and winner of lots of teacher of the year awards, talks about what he taught in his year as a teacher. He taught in several different schools, public, privates, some in wealthy school districts, other in Brooklyn but he always saw the same. He taught: confusion,...
#101/111: Learning in Depth
I continued to think a lot about education recently, mainly after watching a Google Talk with Salman Khan from the Khan Academy. Lots of people associate learning with grading and tests and I hear many adult persons say that they are happy that they don’t have to learn anymore. However, most of them learn everyday but they don’t have to write exams and they don’t have to sit in...
#100/111: Talent Is Overrated
What is it about? How did Mozart become to great at composing music? Why does Tiger Woods rock the GPA world tour? Are they more talented that you and me? Geoff Colvin explores if talent matters and how you can achieve extraordinary achievements. What can I learn? Talent is overrated: Colvin cited some studies which showed that learning is the critical factor in achieving great performance....
#99/111: The Algorithm Design Manual
An other one of the technical books. After reading the introduction to comp sci, I wanted to deepen my knowledge a bit and I had stand this book in my shelve. I started working through it and highly enjoyed it. The Algorithm Design Manual got 9 chapters with about 30 exercises per chapter. Furthermore, its got a reference with different problems and applications for algorithms. There are...
#98/111: The Passionate Programmer
What is it about? Most people are mediocre at their job. Some are not like Chad Fowler how talks about being remarkable. This doesn’t only apply to programmers, it applies to every kind of occupation. What can I learn? Don’t be a jerk: This one is actually a pretty important thing to learn for programmers. I know a lot of them and many think that people who don’t understand...
#97/111: The Last Lecture
What is it about? If you haven’t heard about Randy Pausch, he was a computer science professor at the CMU and had pancreatic cancer. He hold his famous lecture about achieving one’s childhood dreams and told about his. What can I learn? You choose to be happy or sad: Although he was diagnosed with pancreas cancer he was still optimistic. He could just cried all day long and...
#96/111: Conversion Optimization
What is it about? Increase your profit by 40% just be changing your slogan. Sounds suspicious but it is possible. You’ll just need tons of good ideas, some time and testing. Saleh & Shukairy talk about conversion optimization and how you can increase your profit over time. What can I learn? Personas: I talked about personas some time ago but this book used them really in detail,...
#95/111: Do More Faster
What is it about? The techstars program is famous and so are Brad Feld and David Cohen. They talked to lots of members and mentors of the techstars program and let them write small articles on different subjects. How did it work out? What can I learn? Concentrate on doing one thing good: So you work on your product and want to compete with some big company. What will you do? Provide more...
#94/111: Don't Just Roll the Dice
What is it about? Pricing is highly critical and an in-depth topic. Can such a short book fulfill your needs? We will see. Neil Davidson is also famous for hosting Business of Software. What can I learn? Know your market segment: People work with relatives. If your competitor’s products cost between $10 and $20, you have a hard time sell yours for $2000. The first thing is to learn...
#93/111: Concrete Abstractions
Following the other basic books I wanted to strengthen my basic knowledge about computer science and this book is excellent for this task. It uses Scheme as the introductory language (like SICP) and does a great job in explaining basic data structures and algorithms. If you want to seriously learn about basic computer science, this is a nice book which is also a bit easy than SICP. You can...
#92/111: Always Be Testing
What is it about? It should be clear that this book is about testing. But why test? Because it helps you to optimize your website/shop which helps you to increase your profit. Eisenberg & von Tivadar show you how to test and what to test. What can I learn? Competitive, Spontaneous, Methodical, Humanistic: Everybody makes decisions different. The authors differentiates between these four...
#91/111: Expert C Programming
If you worked through K&R’s book, this should probably be your next read. Peter van der Linden covers the naughty stuff. Why are arrays not always equal pointers? How does dynamic and static linking work? Why can you write unreadable code in C that actually makes sense? I think the name of one chapter sums this book up: It’s not a bug, it’s a language feature. If you want...
#90/111: The C Programming Language
Basics, basics, basics. You could call K&R’s book one basic book which every programmer should read. Nowadays lots of new programmers think that Ruby on Rails is all you need. If you just build basic CRUD web apps this is probably true. However, if you want to understand what’s really going on in your web server, operation system or music player, you should know C. K&R...
#89/111: Bebop to the Boolean Boogie
I thought that I need to refresh some of my basic digital design skills and chose this book. It is genuinely excellent. Clive Maxfield really tries to teach you about digital design. He starts with basic logical gates, goes to transistors and physical attributes of them and finally builds higher function gates like counter. In the last chapters, he introduces you to future technology. All in...
#88/111: Skunk Works
What is it about? If you never heard of Skunk Works, it is a innovation branch of Lockheed which specialized in building air crafts. Kelly Johnson managed since the creation to 1971 and was succeed by the author Ben Rich. Ben Rich tells about their projects, their philosophy and why Skunk Works was one of the most special projects in the USA. What can I learn? Prototype and improve: The...
#87/111: Make: Electronics
(Picture by Rain Rabbit) The book Firstly, I forgot to take a photograph, therefore I use this picture by Rain Rabbit from flickr. I wanted to refresh my electronics knowledge and decided to work through this book. Charles Platt introduces you gently into electronics, beginning with measuring current up to building your own robot car. About the first half of this book is pretty good, however...
#86/111: How to Measure Anything
What is it about? It’s easy to measure the length of your desk or your sales figures but how can you measure security or happiness? Douglas Hubbard helps to measure these intangibles. He shows different problems and how to solve them. What can I learn? You don’t need so much information: A general mistake it to think that you need the more information the more uncertain a...
#85/111: Machine Learning
The book This is probably one of the standard intro texts into machine learning. Tom Mitchell covers most of the basic techniques in machine learning (ToC) but doesn’t cover all of them, e.g. SVMs. I got a bit of background in statistics so it was rather easy to dive into machine learning although their terminology is a mostly different from statistics. If you don’t have a...
#84/111: R in a Nutshell
Intro So, I read a few more technical books and asked myself how I should present them. I came to the conclusion that writing a summary and stuff isn’t really practical. Therefore I will only post a small entry with some words about the book. However, if you want to know more about a specific book and don’t find enough stuff about it online, you can ask me about it. The book I...
#83/111: Strategic Database Marketing
What is it about? You collected data from your customer and then? Arthur M. Hughes explains how to analyze customer data and use it in the decision making process. What can I learn? Recency, Frequency, Monetary: The easiest metric is RFM. You divide each customer in one of many groups and test your offering/ad/etc. on a small subset. Let’s say you got 10000 customers. Now you are going...
#82/111: Confessions Of An Advertising Man
What is it about? If you are interested in advertising you probably heard of David Ogilvy. He’s the master mind behind one of the greatest advertisements of the last century. In this book he talks about his work ethics, marketing research and how he ran his company. What can I learn? You can’t bore someone into buying: Although Ogilvy was one of the more conservative advertisers...
#81/111: Web Analytics 2.0
What is it about? Visitors, Page views, Time on site. Everything familiar? Time to move to the next level. Avinash Kaushik talks about using Web Analytics in decision processes. He tries to reduce the information to help you create KPIs for better management decisions. What can I learn? Critical Few: You should try to reduce the data into insights. Create meaningful KPIs (Key Performance...
#80/111: Built To Sell
What is it about? It took me fifteen years to build this service company, now I want to retire and spend more time with my kids. But how? Even if you aren’t going to sell your company immediately, John Warrillow will show you how to make your company sellable and your job as a CEO more comfortable. I will focus a bit more on service companies because for most products companies these...
#79/111: Get Content, Get Customers
What is it about? A whole book about content marketing, yeah! Joe Pullizzi and New Barrett write about creating your content strategy, choosing your platform and providing information. What can I learn? Integrate your content marketing: This is an important first step. Often there is lot of information in a company: white papers, public reports or speeches. But you can’t just put...
#78/111: Smarter, Faster, Cheaper
What is it about? Smarter, Faster, Cheaper marketing? David Siteman Garland thinks that he found the solution to a lot of problems in marketing for small business/startup founders. What can I learn? Relationships can’t be outsourced: There’s a nice analogy in the book. Would you send your intern to a lunch with your customers instead of going for yourself? No? Then don’t...
#77/111: Hitting The Sweet Spot
What is it about? Why can you convince your parents so easily? Because you know them. You know what they want, who they are and what they value. If you could know your customers as good as your parents, you could create astonishing advertising. What can I learn? Hard data first: The first step is to learn about the market in general. Read statistics about the person’s sociodemographic,...
#76/111: Four Steps to the Epiphany
What is it about? Do I really need to introduce this book? You probably know Steve Blank, you probably know Customer Development by now. In this book he talks about the whole process of finding your market product fit. What can I learn? Understand your market type: There are different market types and each one needs different strategies. There are new markets, niche markets and existing...
#75/111: Crossing The Chasm
What is it about? After finding your product market fit, you want to conquer the world! However, often companies fail to, why? Geoffrey A. Moore explains why it’s hard to make the transition from early adopters to the early majority and how to fix it. What can I learn? What is the Chasm? On the cover you can see the Technology Adaption Life Cycle. There are innovators and early...
#74.5/111: Scientific Advertising
What is it about? Scientific Advertising was written some years before My Life in Advertising and is a bit like a shorter and concise version of it. Claude Hopkins writes about writing ad copy and using statistics to eliminate guess work. What can I learn? Salesmanship-in-Print: A simple rule for writing ad copy is asking yourself: Does this help your salesman in person? You can derive lots...
#74.0/111: My Life in Advertising
What is it about? This book is actually two. My Life in Advertising, the autobiography of Claude C. Hopkins and his famous publication Scientific Advertising. In this post I will review My Life in Advertising. What can I learn? Fun is subjective: Claude C. Hopkins was raised in a highly religious household. His mother forbid him seeing plays or playing cards, because she believed that these...
#73/111: The Checklist Manifesto
What is it about? There’s a instrument to decrease deaths rates and infection rates in hospitals significantly. It costs near to nothing. It’s a checklist. Atul Gawande, who is a cancer surgeon, talks about introducing checklists in the medical sector. What can I learn? Simple and critical: There’s a lot of research on checklists predominately for aircrafts. These...
#72/111: Stumbling on Happiness
What is it about? If you want to know how we think, feel and experience happiness, Daniel Gilbert is your person. He explores how happiness is influenced and how we make decisions. What can I learn? Uncertainty makes you happy: You probably wouldn’t think so. I’m happier if I know that I will have my job tomorrow than being uncertain about. Actually, no. People are happier if...
#71/111: The Ultimate Sales Letter
What is it about? Why should you bother learning about sales letters if you have an online business? Because there’s still text to write. Dan S. Kennedy shows the fundamentals about writing a good sales letter. What can I learn? Learn about your customer: The first and foremost thing is learning about your customer. You can only address your prospects if you know what they want and...
#70/111: Commonsense Direct & Digital Marketing
What is it about? What is direct marketing? A adequate description is salesmanship-in-print. Drayton Bird is one of the best salesman-in-print and he shows you how to find appropriate prospects, how to write your copy and how to test your results. What can I learn? Sell your product, not your designing skills: One of the biggest mistakes in direct marketing is trying to show off your design...
#69/111: Marketing High Technology
What is it about? We are in 1986. Windows 1.0 will be released in a year and high technology is mostly the semiconductor industry. William H. Davidow worked for Intel and fought several wars. He explains what is important and why marketing is civilized war. What can I learn? Go for defensible market segments: Unbelievable important principle which executives/entrepreneurs often don’t...
#68/111: Universal Principles of Design
What is it about? If you want to immerse yourself in design, this is the ideal starting point. William Lidwell, Kritina Holden and Jill Butler show you over 100 different principles of design, including the Golden Ratio, prototyping, the mental model and framing. What can I learn? Gestalt theory of perception: The theory includes some interesting observations. One is the...
#67/111: Designing the Obvious
What is it about? What makes a product more usable? Robert Hoekman, jr. shows you how to increase the usability of your web & mobile application and why hover divs aren’t better than pop ups. What can I learn? Less is more: I just want to show you this post of milof: Be forgiving: You often got a pop up asking if you want really delete this message. However, a better way is to...
#66/111: Advanced Google AdWords
What is it about? This year online advertising expenses overtook traditional marketing expenses. A lot of this money is invested into Search Engine Marketing. Brad Geddes explains how to market your product/service with Google AdWords. What can I learn? Be user-friendly: This mantra applies to SEO as well to Google AdWords. Write relevant ads and landing pages. If someone searches for buy...
#65/111: Writing White Papers
What is it about? How to write a white paper? Michael A. Stelzner, who has written over 130 white papers, explains his procedure of writing a white paper from interviewing experts to offering the solution. What can I learn? Interview experts: If you aren’t an expert on a topic you could become one or you could interview some. Firstly, you should identify the experts. Write them an...