What is it about?
Bo Burlingham presents eleven different companies which chose not to grow extraordinarily although they had the possibility to. He tries to show what makes them special.
Build a culture: Burlingham names this mojo, but it’s basically corporate culture. He observed that companies which grow fast often lose their culture. A great example is Zappos which wasn’t covered in the book but is famous for its culture.
You don’t have to grow: Your company don’t have to become a conglomerate. If you can target a niche, which is profitable enough, go for it. Even on a higher scale this is true, if you look at the merger of AOL and Warner Bros.
Build strong relationships with your customers and suppliers: This is an other differentiation point of these small giants. Their relationship with customers and suppliers is below average. This allows them to be suit their customer’s needs.
I think the biggest problem is the format. It’s a mix of long interviews with lots of quoted speech and short descriptive texts about their methods. It’s hard to read and often the interviews are too lengthy and aren’t really focused. If he had chosen the form of an interview, like in Founders at Work, that is Q&A-based, the book would be more pleasurable to read.
What is it about?
Do you want to boost your customer base? Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shan show you how. Inbound Marketing focuses on building relationships and delivering remarkable content to your customers instead of interrupting them with TV or radio ads. Furthermore there are several steps for each chapter which shows you how to execute these ideas.
Track your progress: Whether you test a new layout or a new form of online activity, track your progress. Test what works and what doesn’t and act on this!
Remarkable content: It is important that you create content which is valuable to others. It should be so valuable that your readers decide to share your content with their peers.
What I really like about this book is that it gives you actionable advice. This point was missed by The new Rules of Marketing & PR. Additionally, there is one really cool list with about 20 points on how to promote your startup on social media or tips on how to name your blog/company.
In conclusion, Inbound Marketing gives you a great view about a lot of important topics in social media (marketing) and provides a solid base to work on.
What is it about?
Prof Wiseman writes about a lot of psychological misconceptions in various topics like creativity, relationships or happiness. For each of these topics he cities scientific studies, busts old myths and gives valuable tips.
There is many great material in this book, so here is an example. You want to come up with a creative solution to a problem: You can brainstorm with a group, brainstorm alone or solve a hard word puzzle. Which one will you take? If you believe in scientific studies, the last one. Researchers have shown that brainstorming in groups decreases the quality and quantity of ideas. The best way is ask your subconsciousness. But how?
Think about your problem for some seconds. Now you have to distract your consciousness mind. E.g. try to solve a hard word puzzle. If you have finished think another some seconds about your problem and write down your solutions.
This book is just tremendous. There is so much actionable advice in this book about a bunch of different topics. The best thing: This advice got a scientific background, it is not just happy world advice. Furthermore, Richard Wiseman cities studies which shows that a lot of this self-help literature is not helping at all or is actually worsening the situation.