Book Review: Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People

Many forms of media can become dated quite quickly. Even some of the best books, movies and music suddenly lose their luster after a few years whether due to cultural shifts or technological advances.  Despite being written in 1937, How To Win Friends and Influence Peopleis not one of those cases.  

Written in the middle of the Great Depression and before any of the advances in technology we all take for granted today, Dale Carnegie's book has stood the test of time.  I've reviewed quite a few books on this blog and each one I strongly recommend, but if you only read one book I ever review, make it this one. 

Book Review: Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

As humans, we all generally like to think we're rational, logical individuals. We also have a tendancy to assume other people also have logical behavior.  Unfortunately, that is far from the case. 

Lucky for us there are researchers like Dan Ariely. Thanks to his in depth studies of human nature and the choices we make, he's discovered some amazing trends and patterns that, as the title says, makes us all "Predictably Irrational."

Book Review: Getting to Plan B

Have an idea for a startup? Good. Are you ready to accept that it's wrong? What do you do when your initial idea fails? How can you turn a failed first attempt into a successful business? These question and more are answered in Getting to Plan B by John Mullins and Randy Komisar

Whether your startup is one year or one day old, this book will help you better evaluate your idea and determine your business model that will build a sustainable business. If you're a student of Lean Startups, this fits perfectly with the customer development methodology.  

There are quite a few great concepts that Randy and John cover in Getting to Plan B, but I'd like to highlight a few that stood out to me:

Book Review: How We Decide


Ever wish you could climb in the brain of your customer to really understand what they're thinking? Want to know how to get the most out of your employees? Is there a secret underlying process that make use all alike in how we think?  While How We Decide is not a magic solution to all of those questions, it does provide fantastic and fascinating insight into all of them.  I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to better understand the underlying thought processes that make up the complex human mind. Read on to find a few of the key things I discovered in reading this book. 


Book Review: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

"Everything rises and falls on leadership."  That's the philosophy of John Maxwell, author of the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and I'm inclined to agree.  

I had the opportunity to read this book over the Thanksgiving break and was blown away by how insightful this book was in highlighting what really matters in leadership.  From getting started and how people align themselves with leaders to how to ensure the long term success of your company even after you have personally succeeded in leading, this book is an absolute essential for anyone who wants to lead a company.

While all 21 rules are well worth the read, I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites to give you an idea of what the book is all about and share some of the strong ties to entrepreneurship that exist. 

Book Review: Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath

As the leader of a company you have many responsibilities, but there is nothing more important than conveying your vision effectively (especially at an early stage startup). No matter how good you are at conveying your vision to your team, your customers or the media,Made to Stick can teach you how to do so even better and understand why you may have failed in the past.

I'd like to highlight two of the core concepts from Made to Stick that are key for any startup leaders out there.

Book Review: Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

Is it possible to get your MBA in a book? Maybe not, but Guy Kawasaki's book, "The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything" is definitely a must read for anyone starting a company.  This book has advice for you at just about any point in your startup from idea phase, to pitching, to executing.  


It's hard to believe how much value is packed into this book. Having just read it for the first time, I found I appreciated it a lot more than I might have in the past, because some of the lessons I've already learned and so I can really understand how good the advice is from my own experiences.  


There's waaay too much great stuff to cover in a quick review, so I'd like to just highlight 3 lessons that I pulled out of the text that stand out.

Book Review: Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

 Ever wonder why some ad campaigns are huge successes and others flop? Ever find yourself thinking that someone made a great argument only to find yourself still doing the opposite? As humans, there are many triggers that affect us and influence our decision making on a subconscious level.  Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive reveals 50 of these lessons and backs them up with real world examples and studies that may surprise you.


I'd like to highlight a few of the cases that were particularly interesting to me:

Book Review: The Dip by Seth Godin

 Every once in a while a book comes along that despite a seemingly simple subject ends up being a very impactful and thought provoking book.  Seth Godin's "the dip" proves to be exactly that type of book.


"the dip" is all about understanding opportunities and yourself; there are many things we can all spend our time doing, but how many of them can you be the absolute best?  And how do you tell the difference between the struggle before success and the slow, painful death-march to failure?


As the book cover suggest, there's really two parts, which I'll highlight now: When to Quit and When to Stick.


Book Review: Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

We are in the midst of a renaissance. Not only is entrepreneurship gaining momentum on a regional and national scale, but we are blessed with brilliant entrepreneurs who are more than happy to share their greatest knowledge and experiences.  While there is great value in the many blog posts circulating RSS readers, Twitter and other sources every day, the right book can capture much more than even the best posts by Paul Graham. In the last 6 months, all of the following books have come out and been game-changers in the content their share:


Inbound Marketing by Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan– Changing the way you market your business.

Mastering the VC Game by Jeff Bussgang – Changing the way you think about raising money.

ReWork by Jason Fried– Changing the way you think about building your business.


And today we add one more…

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh– Changing the way you think about customer service, corporate culture and the meaning of happiness.

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