Recommended Not To Read Business Books; At Least the Sun Was Shining

I saw a video of Jason Silva talking about lots of things but what struck me about his talk was how he talks about “awe”. Awe makes you happy, awe is necessary; in fact awe resets the brain.

Which probably explains why really good business books make me happy and bad books make me grumpy. It is awe. Awe of the new ideas, the new insights, the awe of realising how little we know, the awe of the inspiration, the story, the guts and the awe of the learning. And how we should share that learning, so we do not have to reinvent the wheel.

Recommended Business Books


loyalty leapOur customers are struggling with customer engagement, loyalty and customer intimacy, so I was all ready to be awed by “The loyalty leap” by Bryan Pearson. About, you guessed it, loyalty, customer intimacy, media fragmentation, friction, resonance and the waves of change.

The points of learning:

  • the principle strategies are efficiency, innovation or customer intimacy
  • the human brain can only manage 150 relationships
  • customer surveys creates expectations
  • you are public by default and private by effort
  • there is a difference between emotional loyalty and behavioural loyalty
  • loyalty is good
You can understand I was underwhelmed (and grumpy). I can mention at least two books that address these issues and are awesome. Read “filter bubble” and “What is the future of business”.


the devils advocateAnother problem our customers are facing it trying to make sense of “the old way we used to do business” versus the “supposed new way to do business”. Which is why I picked up “The Devil’s advocate” by Caspian Woods. A version of “How to be a fierce competitor”, which book is awesome by its going back to basics and simple truths. Here are the truths from “The devils advocate”

  • Don’t dance where elephants play
  • Quality is not an absence of errors. It is about magic, joy and beauty
  • There is only one way to approach social media, or indeed any new way of doing things. You should only do it if it’s a more efficient way of delivering something you already do
  • Use research like a drunk uses a lamppost
Nothing to reset the mind, but not bad. Can be read in half an hour, which raises the question of price quality (and magic, joy and beauty)


radical openness

Still searching, and for a client that is looking at “big data” as an issue, I started “Radical openness", I am a believer, but this has been covered in so many books, from “Makers” to “Digital disruption” to “The connected company”. No ‘awe’ there so. However if you are unfamiliar with the concepts from an innovation, organisational, problem solving, democracy and social media perspective this could be the book for you.

The best quote: “When you’re increasingly naked, fitness is no longer optional”


contagiousMood had not improved, so I started Contagious by Jonah Berger. Which deals with our clients problem understanding social media campaigns.

Every day, the average American engages in more than sixteen word-of-mouth episodes, separate conversations where they say something positive or negative about an organization, brand, product, or service. Only 7 percent of word of mouth happens online.

A book about the psychology of sharing and the science of social transmission. What makes something stick or go viral?

Social currency, triggers, emotion, public, practical value and stories.

What we talk about, influences how others see us. Triggers are stimuli that prompt people to think about related things. When we care, we share. Making things more observable makes them easier to imitate, which makes them more likely to become popular. Practical is good. People don’t just share information, they tell stories.

Build a Social Currency–laden, Triggered, Emotional, Public, Practically Valuable Trojan Horse, but don’t forget to hide your message inside. Make sure your desired information is so embedded into the plot that people can’t tell the story without it. And that is the book in a nutshell.

A version of “influence”, “emotionomics”, “tipping point”, “resonate” and “made to stick”.  All awesome books.

The only “awe” about this book is that it talks about “awe” as a trigger to go viral. This book won’t go viral as far as I am concerned. Did not reset my brain and made me even more grumpy.

At least the sun was shining……..



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