We’re not knocking Oprah’s Book Club for a little light summer reading, but why not take advantage of your time on the beach by cutting through the jibber-jabber for once? Here our three must-reads for getting through board meetings, life, and tanning:
Freakonomics: The question is simple: why do people do what they do? The answer is equally simple: to get what they want or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In this often referenced book, economist Steven D. Levitt studies the “human” stuff through a business lens — from crime to relationships to sports — teaching us that no matter what it is, it all comes down to the struggle between need and incentive. A good read for seeing the business side of everything — like we do here at Recessionista every day!
The Innovator’s Dilemma: How many times have you been in a meeting and heard the term “disruptive innovation” tossed out there? Do you know where it comes from? Chances are, not only do you not know — but the person who tossed it out probably doesn’t know either. Here’s your cheat sheet: the backbone for many a business class, economist Clayton Christensen’s book The Innovator’s Dilemma. This book explores what happens when an innovation hits the scene and, not only does it displace earlier technologies, but it blows them right out of the water, creating an entirely new market all together. Think: cars, digital media, and smartphones — all disruptive innovations.
Outliers: Is there a formula behind ridiculous amounts of success, or are ridiculously successful people just freaks of nature? In Outliers, journalist Malcolm Gladwell argues that success comes down to repeating a task thousands of times, or what he calls the “10,000-hour Rule”: the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours. That’s a long time — better read up and get started!