Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
October 14, 2008 5:10 PM

6 Brilliant Business Books That Are Highly Underrated

Not all of the best business books make it to the best-seller's list. There are gems that have sold a little (and some that have sold a lot more) that never make it to any list... until now.

Last week, the Six Pixels of Separation Blog post, Books You Need To Read To Succeed In Business, garnered a bunch of great comments and suggestions for business books you must read to be successful. Plowing through the comments, there were also many people who agreed with the list of books provided or the amazing ones that were mentioned in the comments. It gave pause and inspired me to take another look at my bookshelf for some additional books - some not so obvious ones that have helped shaped business and marketing as we know it.

Here are 6 Brilliant Business Books That Are Highly Underrated (in alphabetical order):

1. The Art of Possibility - Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander.
A beautiful book about what shall be in your life if you work at it. Zander was one of the best speakers at the TED conference this past year (you can see his astounding presentation here: TED Talks -Benjamin Zander - Classical music with shining eyes). He is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, an amazing speaker, and The Art of Possibility (which he co-wrote with his wife) is more life lessons than business book, but a more powerful weapon when applied to business.

2. Funky Business - Talent Makes Capital Dance by Jonas Ridderstrale and Kjell Nordstrom.
The world is changing (don't believe me, take a look at the economy). These two crazy Swedes really spark with new ideas about how business is adapting and how we can all do our best to stay ahead of change or at least embrace it. The books is very well written, quirky and very fast-paced.

3. Never Eat Alone - And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz.
Never Eat Alone is all about the soft skills in business: how to make connections and how to keep connections. Networking seems so 1990s, and Ferrazzi really amps up how we can use technology to be much better at making lasting relationships in business. This is a great book and you should grab it if you have ever felt like you could do more to meet more people.

4. Small Pieces Loosely Joined - A Unified Theory of the Web by David Weinberger.
Weinberger should have been given a lot more praise and attention for Small Pieces Loosely Joined (instead the focus was on another book he co-authored titled, The Cluetrain Manifesto). Small Pieces Loosely Joined is all about how the Web connects us and is changing us. The book is one part Internet culture, one part philosophy and one part what business needs to know (and embrace) in this ever-changing world.

5. Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? - Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing by Bryan Eisenberg, Jeffrey Eisenberg, and Lisa T. Davis.
Waiting For Your Cat to Bark is geared more towards the online marketer (or the general Marketer). The Eisenberg brothers (along with Lisa) have created an amazing system for all us to get better at understanding what consumers are looking for online, and how we can help them find it. Waiting For Your Cat To Bark is fun and a highly important read if you work in the Marketing, Advertising or Communications space.

6. Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins by Richard Farson and Ralph Keyes.
Whoever Makes The Most Mistakes Wins is a small but important read. Trying things, being different or looking for new opportunities, this book on innovation is awesome. There are tons of quote-worthy content to boot and it doesn't get trapped in the minutia that so many innovation books tend to fall into to.

What are your more obscure business books that have changed or shaped the way you operate?

By Mitch Joel