The Best Books for Business Owners

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You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier

After you read MacroWikinomics, pick up Jaron Lanier's screed, You Are Not a Gadget as a palate cleanser. Lanier's no Luddite: he's a computer scientist and virtual reality pioneer. But he's also a cogent and persuasive critic of digital culture, particularly practices like crowdsourcing that thrive on anonymity and, in Lanier's view, subsume the individual into the herd. What's been lost in the evolution of Web 2.0 is the human voice and a direct connection to that which is real. Of course not all popular applications are reductionist; there's plenty of original (i.e. non-mashup) creativity available online, and anyway that ship has sailed. In the end, this passionate book evokes nostalgia for days of yore, when people created their own websites from scratch.
—Recommended by Leigh Buchanan