Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
March 2, 2011 7:02 PM

5 New Business Books That You Should Read (But Probably Never Heard Of)

There is a lot of great business book reading happening right now.

Three of the bigger (and more well-known) business book authors within my tool shed of interest have (or are about to release) brand new books. Seth Godin releases his latest, Poke The Box, today, Guy Kawasaki releases his next book, Enchantment, on March 8th and Gary Vaynerchuk is about to unleash his sophomore effort, The Thank You Economy on March 8th as well. I've had the pleasure of reading all three of these books already, and they do live up to the hype (I'll give my top pick to Godin's Poke The Box). It's probably going to take most Marketing professionals the rest of the year to get through these three popular business book titles, but the truth is that there are five other fascinating books sitting right here that are next up in the cue and deserve some attention. Because I have yet to read these books, I've grabbed their descriptions from their respective websites (so, please mind some of the Marketing blather)...

5 New Business Books That You Should Read (but probably never heard of):

  1. Alone Together - Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other by Sherry Turkle. "Alone Together is the result of MIT technology and society specialist Sherry Turkle's nearly fifteen-year exploration of our lives on the digital terrain. Based on interviews with hundreds of children and adults, it describes new, unsettling relationships between friends, lovers, parents, and children, and new instabilities in how we understand privacy and community, intimacy and solitude. It is a story of emotional dislocation, of risks taken unknowingly. But it is also a story of hope, for even in the places where digital saturation is greatest,there are people -- especially the young -- who are asking the hard questions about costs, about checks and balances, about returning to what is most sustaining about direct human connection."
  2. The Art of Immersion - How The Digital Generation is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and The Way We All Tell Stories by Frank Rose. "After centuries of linear storytelling, we are witnessing the emergence of a new form of narrative that's native to the Internet. Told through many media at once in a nonlinear fashion, these new narratives encourage us not merely to watch but to participate, often engaging us in the same way that games do. This is 'deep media': stories that are not just entertaining but immersive, that take you deeper than an hour-long TV drama or a two-hour movie or a 30-second spot will permit."
  3. Curation Nation - How To Win In A World Where Consumers Are Creators by Steven Rosenbaum. "Being a human aggregator is the key to growing an existing business or starting a new one. In fact... curation is the only way to remain competitive in the future. Overwhelmed by too much content, increasing numbers of people are seeking a 'boutique' online experience. Whether you're a brand, a publisher, or a content entrepreneur, you can provide it. You can create a manageable, inviting online experience. You can extract value from an otherwise useless chaos of digital noise."
  4. Measure What Matters - Online Tools for Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships by Katie Delahaye Paine. "In an online and social media world, measurement is the key to success, If you can measure your key business relationships, you can improve them. Even though relationships are 'fuzzy and intangible,' they can be measured and managed-with powerful results. Measure What Matters explains simple, step-by-step procedures for measuring customers, social media reputation, influence and authority, the media, and other key constituencies."
  5. Unthinking - The Surprising Forces Behind What We Buy by Harry Beckwith. "A rumination on the psychology behind our responses to advertisements from marketing expert Beckwith. With our susceptibility determined by our childhoods and culture, much of our response is unconscious. We consistently respond positively to any product that reminds us of play - the iPhone with its bright colors and fun features is a perfect example. We respond to music, to rhyming ads - 'it takes a licking and keeps on ticking!'- and gravitate toward the comfort of the familiar; we like Krispy Kreme and Starbucks precisely because they are popular. Despite our continual penchant for optimism and the quest for beauty and convenience, however, we are a fickle, difficult-to-please bunch."

I know what you're thinking: "I have a lot of reading to do!" The feeling is mutual. Anything new and/or exciting on your business book shelf?

By Mitch Joel