Looking for your next inspiring read? Here are six new books coming out next month that will help broaden your thinking and give you--and your business--new ideas to think about.
1) Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal (November 4th)
Nir Eyal is a little bit of everything. He is an entrepreneur, a writer, a consultant and a lecturer at the Standard Graduate School of Business and Design. But, first and foremost, he is a student of human behavior with a focus on the psychology of habit formation. Why is Candy Crush so addictive? Why do we binge watch Breaking Bad? And why do we abandon games and TV shows even when we enjoy playing and watching them?
Hooked is a collection of everything Eyal has learned about habit-forming products. In the spirit of The Power of Habit and Made to Stick, Hooked explores the instincts that successful products exploit and manipulate. The book is highly recommended for product managers, designers, marketers, and startup founders.
2) Fail Better: Design Smart Mistakes and Succeed Sooner by Anjali Sastry & Kara Penn (November 4th)
The intriguing part of this book is the authors. Anjali Sastry is Senior Lecturer in System Dynamics at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Kara Penn is the cofounder of the management consulting firm Mission Spark, which focuses on organizational change. Sastry and Penn don't blindly advocate the Silicon Valley clich to encourage failure. They start with the assumption that failure is inevitable and design systems accordingly.
3) Twitter is Not a Strategy: Rediscovering the Art of Brand Marketing by Tom Doctoroff (November 11th)
A tension between the old and the new exists in every industry. In advertising, the tension exists between traditional and digital branding. Should businesses abandon traditional methods and embrace digital advertising? Doctoroff argues that the debate about which approach to take is a false question and argues that "a strategy that truly integrates the two ideas is the best way for a brand to move into the future."
Is Doctorff right? It's hard to say at this point. But Doctoroff is Asia CEO for the legendary advertising firm J. Walter Thompson, so informed readers should listen to what he has to say.
4) Well-Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love by Jon Kolko (November 11th)
In 2010, former Apple engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers founded Nest. Nest manufactures a rather humdrum product: thermostats. Yet on January 14, 2014, Google acquired Nest for $3.2 billion in cash. How?
Kolko is the Vice President of Consumer Design at Blackboard and the Founder and Director of Austin Center for Design. In Well-Designed, he argues that emotional connection--empathy--is the key to product development. Nest, for instance, didn't only update the traditional thermostat with the latest technology; they designed a product that taps into the relationship people maintain with the spaces they live in.
The book has already received praise from people like Richard Florida, John Maeda, and Don Norman.
5) Targeted: How Technology Is Revolutionizing Advertising and the Way Companies Reach Consumers by Mike Smith (November 19)
Mike Smith is Vice President of Revenue Platforms and Operations at Hearst Magazines Digital Media and General Manager of Core Audience at Hearst Corporation. He is the former President of Forbes.com and CDO of Forbes Media. His new book, Targeted, takes a close look at how social media is changing advertising, the implications of paid-search advertising, how real-time bidding works, how big data is changing advertising, and more.
6) The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace by Ron Friedman (December 2nd)
Friedman is a psychologist and founder of ignite80, a consulting firm that offers "leaders practical, evidence-based techniques for working smarter and empowering others to produce their best work." In The Best Place to Work, Friedman gathers research from the science of "motivation, creativity, behavioral economics, neuroscience, and management" to show what makes us productive at work, and why some organizations are more optimal for productivity compared to others. Readers of Dan Pink and Adam Grant--both endorsed The Best Place to Work--should enjoy the book.
Did you miss the 11 business books to read in October? Check that list here. And if you're still interested for more, here are some notable releases coming out in 2015.
- How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery (Kevin Aston)
- Dealing with China (Henry Paulson)
- A Curious Mind (Brian Grazer)
- Work Rules (Laszlo Bock-Google's SVP of People Operations)
- Team of Teams (Stanley McChrystal)
- Triggers: How Behavior Change Begins, How to Make It Meaningful, How to Make It Last (Marshall Goldsmith & Mark Reiter)
- Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World (Donald Sull & Kathleen M. Eisenhardt)
- Better Than Before (Gretchen Rubin)