Reading everyday, and reading a variety helps me keep learning, keeps me questioning things and being connected to the ever-changing world. In an attempt to pass my passion for the written word onto the rest of the office, I started my very own library initiative in the SESOME office for everyone to share good reads that are relevant to our dynamic and fast-paced industry. Here are my all-time favourites!
The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries
Quite simply put, this book is about how to think differently. When I did my degree back in the 90’s, there was a lot of emphasis on planning, research, more planning and then some thinking, and then maybe, just maybe, some doing. The Lean Start-Up talks about having an idea, testing and validating it, learning and adjusting. This is so much more applicable in 2016!
Purple Cow by Seth Godin
One of my all time favourites. I just love the idea of being ‘remarkable’, as Seth discusses. This book is especially applicable if you are thinking about founding a start-up, being disruptive, growth-hacking or innovating an existing company. If you are remarkable, word-of-mouth will happen and other marketing is relatively easy.
From Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
A relatively new book on my shelf, the idea is simple – if you make something fresh and new you are going from 0 to 1. Nothing to something. You can have a plan and but you need to learn, adapt, and (a favourite word of mine), pivot. An essential read for any early stage business, its more of a lifestyle than a phrase.
Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
A classic from back in the ‘dotcom’ days, I was given my first copy of this by a then mentor. The title just sums up a whole ethos on usability. If you deal with any front-end web, app or comms materials on or offline, just read it – say no more.
The 10 Day MBA by Steven Silbiger
Throughout your career, (if you are like me) you will do your degree, a few post-grads, and many corp training courses. I thought I knew a few things – about a few things, but, when I started SESOME in late 2013, I had to learn how to run a small business. This book explained many of the things that bamboozled me, like accountancy requirements for instance.
Blink by Malcom Gladwell
Once you read this, you will have an “I kind of knew that” moment. People make decisions in a blink of an eye, and you only have a moment to get someone’s attention and hopefully keep it – fight or flight, safe to eat or poison. We have emotions that protect us from bad choices before we even know we are thinking. If you understand that, you can work it into your content to great effect!
The Sceptical Environmentalist by Bjorn Lomborg
Probably not an obvious choice for this business book list, as there are other books like ‘Freakonomics’ and ‘The Tipping Point’ that are well worth a mention. However, Lomborg made my list as he challenges widely held beliefs and regurgitated soundbites, which is very apt with the recent referendum campaigns. Books like this challenge how people manipulate stats for their own gain. Try it, you might be surprised.
A daily broadsheet newspaper
OK, so not a business book exactly. But I still try, and regularly succeed, in reading a national broadsheet everyday. The tablet version makes it easier, but, I genuinely believe that being informed means you think globally. And, in the marketing agency world, you need to be sensitive to trends, tragedies and world events, both good and bad.