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Tag Archives: Book Review



The Third Wave - An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future by Steve Case

Surfing the Next Third Wave: If the title of AOL founder Steve Case’s book, The Third Wave, sounds eerily familiar, it is no accident. Case remembers reading futurist Alvin Toffler’s book of the same name in college and wanted to be part of Toffler’s “electronic global village.” And he was. The term AOL seems very old-school today — and Case explains what happened further in the book — but there was a time when the company he founded, based on the concept of provided services via the Internet, was a pillar of the information age — or more specifically what he calls the “First Wave” of the information age.

The First Wave of the Internet, writes Case, “was about building the infrastructure and foundation for an online world.” It was led by companies such as Cisco, Sprint, HP, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Apple, IBM and AOL, who created the hardware, software and networks that connected people to the Internet and to each other.

Once everyone was online, the Second Wave kicked in. We are still in this Second Wave, the era of the information age, when companies, Case explains, built “on top” of the Internet. Think Google, eBay, Amazon, Twitter and even the iPhone.

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The Power of Noticing - What the Best Leaders See by Max Bazerman

Take Off Those Blinders and See the Truth: In many ways, The Power of Notic­ing, the latest book from the prolific Max Bazerman, will somewhat dis­hearten his readers - if not enrage them. In sometimes horrific and often damning detail, Bazerman exposes the disastrous consequences of having leaders with blinders on who fail to notice - or pretend not to notice - what is truly happening around them.

From Cheating to Tragedies: The litany of cases described by Bazerman involves many incidents barely known by the public, such as the story of a medicine whose price grew in a few years from $50 per vial to $28,000 - yes three zeroes- per vial; the Harvard professor who was faking his data; and the egregious misdirection used by politicians and marketers (and magicians) to fool the public. There are also some well-known cases:

  • Morton Thiokol and NASA scientists failed to notice the pattern of low-temperature failures of its O-rings and, as a result, went forward with a low-temperature launch of the Shuttle Challenger. Seven astronauts lost their lives in the ensuing mid-air explosion. (more…)

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The Power of Strategic Sacrifice in a Complex World - by John Bell

Opting To Cut the Company Down To Save It: John Bell begins his book Do Less Better with the scenario of a troubled company — a regional player in 10 different categories, suffering through four consecutive years of losses, carrying higher than average payroll and inventory costs (the latter exacerbated by more than 1,000 SKUs), and starting to lose the support of impatient shareholders tired of pouring money into a losing cause.

What're the next steps for a new CEO hired to turn around this sinking ship? If you’re like most new CEOs, Bell writes, you will do exactly what your predecessors tried to do: generate more revenues and cut costs. The difference is that you will do these things better. “You are kidding yourself,” Bell writes. “Strategically, doing more of the same… better is a pathway to incremental improvement, at best. Incremental improvement is never enough to fix strategically weak companies like the one I have described.”

 The Greater Sacrifice: Instead of trying to do the same better, Bell believes a much more potent strategy is to make the tough decisions and cut the company down to a more efficient and focused size. Many companies are straining under the weight of their complexity and dispersion of resources, he writes.

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My Life in Leadership - The Journey and Lessons Learned Along the Way by Frances Hesselbein.

Frances Hesselbein has written a rare book. An intimate memoir that moves the reader with the stories of Hesselbein's life experiences, My Life in Leadership: The Journey and Lessons Learned Along the Way also conveys the core principles and beliefs that have made her one of America's most respected leaders.

Hesselbein is known as the Girl Scout troop leader and local council director who took the helm of the floundering Girl Scouts of America and created a thriving and relevant organisation. Hesselbein is a lifelong follower of Peter Drucker. On her first day as executive director of the Talus Rock Girl Scout council, she arrived with six copies of Drucker's The Effective Executive under her arm. After leaving the Girl Scouts, Hesselbein became CEO of Drucker's new Foundation for Non-Profit Management, now known as the Leader to Leader Institute. Hesselbein travels all over the world speaking on leadership, and in 1998 received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.

Long before she stood before President Bill Clinton to receive the Medal of Freedom, Frances Hesselbein was a little girl growing up in the city of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, best known for the three devastating floods that occurred in the town's history. Surrounded by her extended family, Hesselbein learned early the lessons that would guide the transformative leader she would later become. The story of her grandmother, who Hesselbein called Mama Wicks, and her fancy vases is a poignant example.

A Gift of Kindness- According to Hesselbe

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Tony Robbins is a pioneer in the personal development space, but his book on finances is like a graduate course in college.

A novice in finance could read this book and walk away an expert.

Tony takes complicated financial strategies and distills them down to the average reader’s level.

Money is not everything in life, but it is important, especially in the business. There are many entrepreneurs who are great at making income, but are clueless as to how to make their money work for them through investing.

You started your business to create freedom, Tony’s book can help you take that freedom to a level you didn’t think was possible through the right investment strategies.

Money - Master the Game


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Dixie Gillaspie is an author, coach, speaker and fire starter.

Her mission and this book are all about breaking through the barriers that typically hold entrepreneurs back from growth in their business and life.

Your mindset is one of the most important parts of your business because what you think affects the action you take.

Just Blow it Up helps you identify mindset traps and gives you a practical strategy to beat them. This is the definitive guide to climbing over those mental walls.


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The Network Imperative - How to Survive and Grow in the Age of Digital Business Models by Barry LibertJerry Wind & Megan Beck

Leveraging the Power of Connection: Not too many years ago, the idea of a hotel chain that didn’t own a single building or an international taxi service that didn’t own any cars might have seemed ludicrous. Today, of course, we know there are international companies worth billions of dollars in market value whose business model depends on customers connecting with independent suppliers of the service — not on the ownership of physical assets. InThe Network Imperative, authors Barry Libert, Megan Beck and Jerry Wind describe the scalable, networking-based business model that is revolutionizing industries. Ebay, Uber, TripAdvisor and even Visa are examples of companies built on a network business model.

One could argue that network firms are specific to certain industries. The authors disagree. “Be aware,” they write. “Investor capital, customer revenue and affinity, top talent and market buzz are shifting away from established firms toward network organizations.” According to their research, “digital networks are entering almost every industry, even some of the most mundane.”

High Performance: A quick comparison by the authors of market values between traditional and what they call “network firms” is revealing. For example, Hertz boasts a $7 billion market capitalization; Uber’s valuation is listed at more than $70 billion. (more…)


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