While the world rushes to get back to “normal” (or as close as possible to normal), it’s important to take some time to sit back, relax and read up. Here at Boston Digital, we are constantly looking for new ways to grow and improve our knowledge of business, marketing, technology. To share some of the sources that have inspired us this summer, we’ve compiled a list of books from a wide variety of categories. We hope that this booklist provides you with a little bit of information, encouragement and entertainment during the hot weeks ahead.
If you’re looking to step into the role of entrepreneur or even CEO, check out Press Go: Lessons Earned By a Serial Entrepreneur by Bill Seibel. In the digital age, it can seem like starting a new business is only a click away. However, in this book, Bill Seibel shares personal anecdotes and life-lessons that prove building a start-up from the ground up isn’t always as easy as we think it is. With informative advice and a step-by-step guide, this book can help anyone begin their journey of building their own incredible company.
If you’re newly promoted or just looking to cement your managerial skills, check out The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You by Julie Zhuo. As a self-described “modern-field guide,” Zhao’s book on how to be a meaningful manager is equal parts comprehensive and insightful. Simplifying the role of a manager and touching upon her own experience as a top Silicon Valley exec, Julie Zhuo has created a how-to managerial book for even the most unlikely leader.
If you’re attempting to increase your productivity and get more organized, check out The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. Referencing his experience in the medical field, Gawande makes a strong argument for the power of common-sense organization in any business or activity. While making a checklist may seem like a futile solution for big problems, this book proves that sometimes the easiest tools can be the most effective.
If you’re interested in understanding how companies such as Google and Facebook gained powerful influence in the technology industry, check out The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google by Scott Galloway. With common-sense questions and an irreverent writing style, Galloway helps readers unpack the origin stories of these four major companies as they each battle to become the first trillion-dollar business.
If you’re a music fan who’s curious about the future of the industry, check out Playing to the Crowd: Musicians, Audiences, and the Intimate Work of Connection by Nancy Baym. As a researcher at Microsoft and avid music fan herself, Baym describes how the rise of digital platforms such as blogs, Twitter, and Instagram have impacted artist-fan relationships. Through interviews with artists and fans alike, Baym’s book suggests that the future of music will require artists to hone their performances on stage and online.
If you’re looking to uncover information about consumer behavior, check out Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior by Geoffrey Miller. Combining evolutionary psychology with market research, Miller unpacks the way people use their purchasing power to define their personalities. Humorous and informative, this book is perfect for anyone interested in becoming both a better marketer and a better consumer.
If you’re interested in adopting a new framework for your marketing initiative, check out Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice by Anthony W. Ulwick. As a 25-year-old theory that helped over 400 companies, Ulwick’s “Jobs to be Done” methodology teaches businesses how to focus on impactful innovation instead of failure. Quoted by experts as “turning innovation into a science,” this book is a great fit for anyone who’s looking to take an exciting (but effective) risk in their marketing strategy.
If you’re in search of a niche read as an advertising enthusiast, check out Think Small: The Story of Those Volkswagen Ads by Frank Rowsome. Cataloguing one of the most iconic ads in history, Think Small sheds light on the unconventional campaign that changed the face of American marketing in the 50s and 60s.
Personal Stories & Identity
If you’re interested in deepening your understanding of intersectionality and race, check out So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. Accessible to readers of all backgrounds, Oluo unpacks modern racial issues to foster honest conversations. Navigating the balance between empathy and effectiveness, Oluo’s book is necessary for anyone who wants to engage in anti-racist learning.
If you’re in the mood to learn about the iconic origins of Southern soul music, check out Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom by Peter Guralnick. Through interviews and research, Guralnick captures the iconic voices of this time period, such as Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin, in their fight to redefine their sound and change the face of American music. A pop music book that focuses on history as much as sound, Guralnick’s insightful writing helps us remember the icons of early R&B and Soul Music.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the underwater world, check out Tanked Up: A Diver’s Story by Ben Thompson. Following the life of expert diver Ben Thompson, this book discusses the adventures, experiences, and lessons learned that Thomspon earned while wearing his diving mask. Perfect for anyone who’s missed the exciting travel of a pre-COVID world, Thompson’s book takes you all around the world and into exciting new depths.
Tell Us Your Book Picks!
These are only a few of the many books we’ve read recently at Boston Digital. We’re always looking to stay on the cutting edge of marketing, business, and technology research. Let us know what books have helped keep you informed and entertained recently!