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Business-y books

04:00 PM ET (US)
Another good one is The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

It's written in the form of a novel and was hard to put down, I lost several hours of sleep reading past my bedtime.
Anneke Floor
03:31 PM ET (US)
You may have heard this one recommended elsewhere (I think I found out about it from chi-web or sigia-l), but I really liked the book Built to Last. It challenges some basic myths about successful businesses (You must have a product idea to begin with, you must have a charismatic leader, etc.), and instead tries to figure out what the connection is between the extremely successful, lasting companies they studied is. Turns out it has more to do with values/ideology and culture/identity.
Edited 05-24-2001 03:32 PM
Jonathan Peterson
10:53 AM ET (US)
I second the HBR recommendation. There is enough meat in this:
Fast, Global, and Entrepreneurial: Supply Chain Management, Hong Kong Style: An Interview with Victor Fung
20 minute read to keep you thinking for a while. Ignore the supply chain theme, toss off revolutions include how to run a distributed business, how to make employees entrepenureal, how to compensate and motivate, how to maximize value to both your suppliers and buyers.

All the biz books in my Amazon wish list are highly recommended:
Edited 05-23-2001 10:54 AM
10:13 AM ET (US)
If you want real business knowledge, forget that cluetrain manifesto crap. Read the Harvard Business Review or any of the publications from the major consulting firms. You'll find more value there than anywhere else, IMO.
Cory Doctorow
06:33 PM ET (US)
Have a look at Dee Hock's "Birth of a Chaordic Age." Hock founded Visa, and his memoir is the story of how he convinced BankAmerica to give up on command-and-control management in favor of "chaordics" -- telling everyone what needs to get done and giving them the authority to do it on an ad-hoc basis. The writing is a little overwrought, and the book is a giant one, but it's well worth it, especially for the bits on the design and construction of Visa's approval system.
08:07 PM ET (US)
anything by Tom Peters is great great great
Todd L.
06:31 PM ET (US)
If you like Clutrain Manifesto at all (or even if you didn't) there is a good chance you will like Christopher Locke's [1] forthcoming book entitled "Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices." [2]
Amazon calls it "an astonishing and outrageous array of ideas that will tear down the barriers between companies and their customers."

Best of all, there are two free chapters posted online.
Chapter 1 - Introduction [3]
Chapter 2 - Eight Miles High: The View from 40,000 Feet [4]
Here's a little sampling...

    If something really juicy is afoot -- say a football
    advertising personality offs his wife, or some minor
    British royalty buys it in a car crash -- you can
    watch the news for months at a time without hearing
    about much else. God help you if some cute little
    Cuban kid accidentally washes up in Florida.

Or this gem...

   If the business notion of best practices had
   been applied from the dawn of human civilization,
   the Statue of Liberty would be brandishing a
   tube of Preparation H.


[1] http://tdcrc.com/bios.htm
[2] http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/073...80/dontsaythatoutlo
[3] http://www.gonzomarkets.com/intro.html
[4] http://www.gonzomarkets.com/8mileshigh.html
Edited 05-16-2001 06:35 PM
Connie O
08:30 AM ET (US)
I'm enjoying Patricia Seybold's new book, The Customer Revolution.
11:47 PM ET (US)
Tom Peters, "The Project 50" is a good overview of the client services and includes selling is an essential part of any project. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/037...103-0928498-6218261

Guy Kawasaki, "Rules of Revolutionaries" is a good primer for keeping lean and moving forward. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/088...103-0928498-6218261

On a knowlegde management front, Davenport and Prusak, "Working Knowledge".

And also on the KM and internal knowledge transfer (which amazingly applies to external information sharing) O'Dell and Grayson, "If Only We Knew What We Know".
Socrates M.
08:30 PM ET (US)
"Cluetrain Mainfesto." All you consultant types need to memorize it. (By the way, try not to suggest that your clients organize themselves as ant colonies. Your business is likely to get squashed.)
Edited 05-15-2001 08:31 PM
Jess McMullin
11:10 PM ET (US)
The Art of Innovation
- anecdotes & philosophy by IDEO GM Tom Kelley (brother to ideo founder Dave)

Take away: IDEO does user centered design. Significant number of anecdotes *not* from IDEO. Nothing groundbreaking, but some nice stories. Very little process detailed, despite hyperbole of IDEO giving away secrets.

Value: Presents user-centered design in business context. Good for building bridges with suits. Lots of anecdotes to fit into conversations.

Website: http://www.theartofinnovation.com/

Bay Area folks may know a few of the IDEO ppl mentioned...



just bought "The tipping point" today...
05:25 PM ET (US)
Read these:

_The E-Myth Revisisted: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It_ - a discussion of why most small businesses started by practitioners in a field don't grow and eventually fail. Focuses on the failures of entrepreneurs and what you can do to make your business a success (rather than just another employer that you happen to own).


_Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing_ - probably the most accessible and useful book I've seen on the general concepts of modern marketing. Talks theory, not specifics.

Victor Lombardi
01:53 PM ET (US)
THE primer on organizational change:
Organizational Development: A Process of Learning and Changing
by W. Warner Burke
Bill Seitz
12:22 PM ET (US)
Given your interest in being a change agent, I'd recommend taking a look at some of Jerry Weinberg's stuff. "Secrets of COnsulting" is a good place to start, but his Quality Software Management series is also excellent.
02:25 AM ET (US)
What are some great business-y books to read? Don't say, "Crossing the Chasm." Not that it's not good, but just that EVERYONE recommends that book.

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