Made to Stick explains why some ideas become popular, while others wither and die.
The book lays out the most important characteristics of “stickiness”; that is, what makes ideas “stick” in the mind, and how to make them work for you.
The self-help classic from 1936 presents some basic rules for how to make a good first impression on people and win them over. Carnegie’s advice is backed up by anecdotes of famous people, such as former US presidents.
Rework throws out the traditional notions of what it takes to run a business and offers a collection of unorthodox advice, ranging from productivity to communication and product development.
These lessons are based on the authors’ own experiences in building, running and growing their company to a point where it generates millions of dollars in profits annually.
The central theme of the book is the business of literally delivering happiness while living a life of passion and purpose. Delivering Happiness tells the story of Tony Hsieh and his company Zappos, demonstrating how thinking long-term and following your passions can not only lead to profits but also a happy life for your employees, your customers, and yourself. The book describes an alternative approach to corporate culture that focuses on the simple concept of making people around you happy, and by doing so increasing your own happiness.
Good to Great (2001) presents the findings of a five-year study by the author and his research team. The team identified public companies that had achieved enduring success after years of mediocre performance and isolated the factors which differentiated those companies from their lackluster competitors.
These factors have been distilled into key concepts regarding leadership, culture and strategic management.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (1984) explains in detail the fundamental principles of persuasion that get us to say yes, including how they are used against us by compliance professionals like salespeople, advertisers and con artists. Knowing these principles will allow you both to become a skilled persuader yourself and to defend yourself against manipulation attempts.
This is a Blinkist staff pick
“I love all the quirks and oddities of human behavior showcased in these blinks, they make for great conversation!”
– Ben H, Head of Editorial at Blinkist
The Power of Habit explains how important a role habits play in our lives, from brushing our teeth to smoking to exercising, and how exactly those habits are formed. The research and anecdotes in The Power of Habit provide easy tips for changing habits both individually as well as in organizations. The book spent over 60 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.
This is a Blinkist staff pick
“Having tried and failed several times to pick up good habits like morning meditation, I found these blinks really helped me understand the root of the problem.”
– Ben H, Head of Editorial at Blinkist
Predictably Irrational explains the fundamentally irrational ways we behave every day. Why do we decide to diet and then give it up as soon as we see a tasty dessert? Why would your mother be offended if you tried to pay her for a Sunday meal she lovingly prepared? Why is pain medication more effective when the patient thinks it is more expensive? The reasons and remedies for these and other irrationalities are explored and explained with studies and anecdotes.
The world is an uncertain place, constantly changing and often chaotic. While many companies are unable to survive in this chaos, some companies are not only able to survive in these shifting conditions but even thrive in them. Great by Choice analyses why these companies succeed while most others fail.
Great By Choice is the result of exhaustive, in-depth research into the business environment. It argues that success is not the result of a company being more innovative, bold or open to taking risks, nor is it a result of mere luck or chance. Success in fact comes from a mixture of discipline, evidence-based innovation and a fear of failure that borders on paranoia. It is this recipe, rather than luck, which enables certain companies to become great.
The Lean Startup (2011) helps start-ups and tech companies develop sustainable business models. It advocates continuous rapid prototyping and focusing on customer-feedback data.
The method is based on the concepts of lean manufacturing and agile development, and its efficacy is backed up by case studies from the last few decades.
Permission Marketing confronts the conflicts and challenges that modern marketers face in the digital age and offers a viable alternative. It explains how the advertising landscape is filling up and how this makes traditional advertising ineffective. The author suggests that smart marketers no longer simply interrupt consumers but invite them to volunteer their time and become active participants in the marketing process.
In Drive (2009), Daniel Pink describes the characteristics of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. He reveals that many companies rely on extrinsic motivation, even though this is often counterproductive. The book explains clearly how we can best motivate ourselves and others by understanding intrinsic motivation.
Getting to Yes is considered the reference for successful negotiations. It presents proven tools and techniques that can help you to resolve any conflict and find win-win solutions.
Winning (2005) is a collection of no-nonsense advice and original thinking on successfully running a company, managing people and building a career. It answers the toughest questions people face both in and outside their professional lives.
Drawing from his experience as a general surgeon, Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto reveals startling evidence on how using a simple checklist can significantly reduce human error in complex professions such as aviation, engineering and medicine.
In Getting Things Done (2001), David Allen introduces his famous productivity system, aimed at helping people work on multiple projects at once – and to do so with confidence, clear objectives and a sense of control.
Why We Buy draws on observations of real shoppers' behavior to understand the way people make purchases. It presents advice on how to design and tweak stores to optimize the shopping experience for customers, and thereby increase sales.
In Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi, a successful businessman and marketing expert, takes us through the secrets to successful networking. He focuses on building lasting relationships rather than merely exchanging business cards, which seems to be many people’s idea of networking today. He summarizes his findings in a system of tried and tested methods.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team presents the notion that teams are inherently dysfunctional, so deliberate steps must be taken to facilitate great teamwork. A knowledgeable team leader can do a great deal to make his or her team effective, and the book outlines practical tools for achieving this.
The Innovator’s Dilemma explains why so many well-managed and well-established companies fail dismally when faced with disruptive technologies and the emerging markets they create. Through historical examples, Christensen explains why it is precisely these “good” management companies that leave big players so vulnerable.
Flow (1990) explores how we can experience enjoyment in our lives by controlling our attention and strengthening our resolve. This is achieved by being immersed in an activity or subject that makes us neither anxious (if it’s too hard), nor bored (if it’s too easy). In this “flow state” we lose our self-consciousness, selfishness and sense of time. Using goal-setting and immediate feedback, we can achieve a state of flow that improves our relationship with work, increases our self-worth and gives our lives meaning.
These blinks explain why traditional marketing no longer works, and why to be successful you need to build Purple Cows, remarkable products and services that stand out of the crowd. They also explain how you can reach your target market once you’ve found your own Purple Cow.
These blinks explain how generating positive word of mouth has become such a powerful marketing tool that it’s even more effective than traditional advertising placements like television. Through examples and clear guidelines, the following blinks describe exactly how you can facilitate positive word of mouth for your products.
CRUSH IT! is a motivational text, a blueprint and guide for those who want to translate their passion into a business. Using the author’s life as an example, this book details how everyone can “crush it,” i.e., realize the possibility of living their passion, determining their livelihood and making a living off of what they love to do.
Talent is Overrated explores the top performers in a number of fields to get at the bottom of just what makes them great. Contrary to what most of us intuitively think about skill, this book offers enticing evidence that top performance in any field are not determined by their inborn talent, but by deliberate efforts over many years.
This book explores the cognitive psychology of good design and what makes a product that responds to users’ needs. The author develops the common barriers to good design, how to reduce and fix errors, and how to bring users and technology closer together.
The Ultimate Sales Machine offers twelve key strategies for improving how we do business, as well as other methods and tools to help you work smarter and more effectively in all aspects of your business, from management to marketing and sales.
The Power of Full Engagement investigates the formula for peak performance by examining the causes and qualities of our many energy sources of energy. The authors offer tricks and methods on how to nurture those sources of energy in a way that helps us live fulfilling lives that adhere to our deepest values.
The Art of the Start offers a brief overview of some of the key aspects of starting and running a business. It covers topics such as pitching for funding, recruiting the right people, and building a successful brand.
Originally published in 1984, Guerrilla Marketing is a classic must-read for marketers. It explains how small firms with limited marketing budgets can still compete with bigger competitors by getting creative.
Hey Whipple, Squeeze This! has become a seminal guide to the world of advertising for those who have been in the business for decades, for newcomers, and for anybody intrigued by what happens when creativity meets commerce. The title is an irreverent nod to an unconventional 1970s campaign for Charmin toilet paper that featured an annoying shop clerk called Mr Whipple, who couldn’t stop squeezing the product. It sets the tone for Sullivan’s honest and practical insights into the sometimes crazy creative process of advertising.
In The Effective Executive, author Peter Drucker offers a step-by-step guide to becoming a more productive and effective executive. By mastering a few procedures and principles, you can develop your own capacities as a leader and also support your employees’ strengths, with the goal of improving results across your organization.
Making Ideas Happen deals with the obstacles that lie between your ideas and their implementation. It offers insight into the ways in which successful individuals and creative departments overcome these obstacles, by offering real-life examples from some of the world’s leading brands and creative minds.
Competitive Strategy presents a thorough examination of the nature of industry competition as well as the common strategies that successful businesses employ to get ahead. It not only offers valuable insights into how to compete in the market, but also reveals how companies can use their competitors’ information to best them at their own game.
Outliers is an examination of individuals who achieve a level of success – in math, sports, law, or any pursuit, really – so extraordinary that it lies outside the realm of normal experience.
We often think these outliers possess some mysterious innate ability that helps them rise to the top of their fields, but other factors, like family, culture or even birthdates, can have a huge effect on success, too.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989) introduces the habits which single out people who deal particularly effectively with the world around them. Covey believes that people who lead successful and fulfilling lives do not pursue the state of individual independence as their ultimate goal, but instead align themselves internally with universal principles such as honesty and integrity.