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Guy Kawasaki's Bookcase

Guy Kawasaki (born August 30, 1954) is an American marketing specialist, author, and Silicon Valley venture capitalist. He was one of the Apple employees originally responsible for marketing their Macintosh computer line in 1984. He popularized the word evangelist in marketing the Macintosh and the concepts of evangelism marketing and technology evangelism.

Photo by: VGrigas (WMF)

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How Mistakes of Reason Rule Our Minds

"Fascinating and insightful. . . . I cannot recall a book that has made me think more about the nature of thinking." -- Richard C. Lewontin

Harvard University

Everyone knows that optical illusions trick us because of the way we see. Now scientists have discovered that cognitive illusions, a set of biases deeply embedded in the human mind, can actually distort the way we think.

In Inevitable Illusions, distinguished cognitive researcher Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini takes us on a provocative, challenging, and thoroughly entertaining exploration of the games our minds play. He opens the doors onto the newly charted realm of the cognitive unconscious to reveal the full range of illusions, showing how they inhibit our ability to reason--no matter what our educational background or IQ. Inevitable Illusions is stimulating, eye-opening food for thought.

Found via: Favobooks

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A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field

 Each year Americans start one million new businesses, nearly 80 percent of which fail within the first five years. Under such pressure to stay alive—let alone grow—it’s easy for entrepreneurs to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of “sell it—do it, sell it—do it” that leaves them exhausted, frustrated, and unable to get ahead no matter how hard they try.

This is the exact situation Mike Michalowicz found himself in when he was trying to grow his first company. Although it was making steady money, there was never very much left over and he was chasing customers left and right, putting in twenty-eight-hour days, eight days a week. The punishing grind never let up. His company was alive but stunted, and he was barely breathing. That’s when he discovered an unlikely source of inspiration—pumpkin farmers.

After reading an article about a local farmer who had dedicated his life to growing giant pump­kins, Michalowicz realized the same process could apply to growing a business. He tested the Pumpkin Plan on his own company and transformed it into a remarkable, multimillion-dollar industry leader. First he did it for himself. Then for others. And now you. So what is the Pumpkin Plan?

  • Plant the right seeds: Don’t waste time doing a bunch of different things just to please your customers. Instead, identify the thing you do better than anyone else and focus all of your attention, money, and time on figuring out how to grow your company doing it.
  • Weed out the losers: In a pumpkin patch small, rotten pumpkins stunt the growth of the robust, healthy ones. The same is true of customers. Figure out which customers add the most value and provide the best opportunities for sustained growth. Then ditch the worst of the worst.
  • Nurture the winners: Once you figure out who your best customers are, blow their minds with care. Discover their unfulfilled needs, innovate to make their wishes come true, and overdeliver on every single promise.

Full of stories of other successful entrepreneurs, The Pumpkin Plan guides you through unconven­tional strategies to help you build a truly profitable blue-ribbon company that is the best in its field.

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Science and Practice

Influence: Science and Practice is an examination of the psychology of compliance (i.e. uncovering which factors cause a person to say “yes” to another's request).

Written in a narrative style combined with scholarly research, Cialdini combines evidence from experimental work with the techniques and strategies he gathered while working as a salesperson, fundraiser, advertiser, and in other positions inside organizations that commonly use compliance tactics to get us to say “yes.” Widely used in classes, as well as sold to people operating successfully in the business world, the eagerly awaited revision of Influence reminds the reader of the power of persuasion.

Cialdini organizes compliance techniques into six categories based on psychological principles that direct human behavior: reciprocation, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.

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The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

What makes an effective executive?

The measure of the executive, Peter F. Drucker reminds us, is the ability to "get the right things done." This usually involves doing what other people have overlooked as well as avoiding what is unproductive. Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge may all be wasted in an executive job without the acquired habits of mind that mold them into results.

Drucker identifies five practices essential to business effectiveness that can, and must, be learned:

  • Managing time
  • Choosing what to contribute to the organization
  • Knowing where and how to mobilize strength for best effect
  • Setting the right priorities
  • Knitting all of them together with effective decision-making
Ranging widely through the annals of business and government, Peter F. Drucker demonstrates the distinctive skill of the executive and offers fresh insights into old and seemingly obvious business situations.

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How Great Ideas are Born

Drawing on interviews with 40 winners of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship—the so-called "genius awards"—the insightful study throws fresh light on the creative process.

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“Absolutely brilliant. Clayton Christensen provides an insightful analysis of changing technology and its importance to a company’s future success.” —Michael R. Bloomberg

“This book ought to chill any executive who feels bulletproof —and inspire entrepreneurs aiming their guns.” —Forbes

The Innovator’s Dilemma is the revolutionary business book that has forever changed corporate America. Based on a truly radical idea—that great companies can fail precisely because they do everything right—this Wall Street Journal, Business Week and New York Times Business bestseller is one of the most provocative and important business books ever written. Entrepreneurs, managers, and CEOs ignore its wisdom and its warnings at their great peril.

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Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers

The bible for bringing cutting-edge products to larger markets—now revised and updated with new insights into the realities of high-tech marketing

In Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey A. Moore shows that in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle—which begins with innovators and moves to early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards—there is a vast chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. While early adopters are willing to sacrifice for the advantage of being first, the early majority waits until they know that the technology actually offers improvements in productivity. The challenge for innovators and marketers is to narrow this chasm and ultimately accelerate adoption across every segment.

This third edition brings Moore's classic work up to date with dozens of new examples of successes and failures, new strategies for marketing in the digital world, and Moore's most current insights and findings. He also includes two new appendices, the first connecting the ideas in Crossing the Chasm to work subsequently published in his Inside the Tornado, and the second presenting his recent groundbreaking work for technology adoption models for high-tech consumer markets.

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The author presents a compelling look at how innovation transforms industries, raising the fortunes of some firms while destroying others. The book draws on the rich history of innovation by inventors and entrepreneurs--ranging from the birth of typewriters to the emergence of personal computers, gas lamps to fluorescent lighting, George Eastman's amateur photography to electronic imaging--to develop a practical model for how innovation enters an industry, how mainstream firms typically respond, and how--over time--new and old players wrestle for dominance. Utterback asserts that existing organizations must consistently abandon past success and embrace innovation--even when it undermines their traditional strengths. He sets forth a strategy to do so, and identifies the responsibilities of managers to lead and focus that effort. Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation offers a pioneering model for how innovation unsettles industries and firms, and features fascinating histories of new product developments and strategies for nurturing innovation. "The most valuable book I've read in years. . . . The analysis is brilliant."--Tom Peters. Available August 1996.

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