Book Casing

Great books recommended by great people.

Seth Godin's Bookcase

Seth Godin (born July 10, 1960) is an American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker.

Photo by: Joi Ito

Recommends

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The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands"

"When everybody zigs, zag," says Marty Neumeier in this fresh view of brand strategy. ZAG follows the ultra-clear "whiteboard overview" style of the author’s first book, THE BRAND GAP, but drills deeper into the question of how brands can harness the power of differentiation. The author argues that in an extremely cluttered marketplace, traditional differentiation is no longer enough—today companies need “radical differentiation” to create lasting value for their shareholders and customers. In an entertaining 3-hour read you’ll learn:

- why me-too brands are doomed to fail - how to "read" customer feedback on new products and messages - the 17 steps for designing “difference” into your brand - how to turn your brand’s “onliness” into a “trueline” to drive synergy - the secrets of naming products, services, and companies - the four deadly dangers faced by brand portfolios - how to “stretch” your brand without breaking it - how to succeed at all three stages of the competition cycle

From the back cover: In an age of me-too products and instant communications, keeping up with the competition is no longer a winning strategy. Today you have to out-position, out-maneuver, and out-design the competition. The new rule? When everybody zigs, zag. In his first book, THE BRAND GAP, Neumeier showed companies how to bridge the distance between business strategy and design. In ZAG, he illustrates the number-one strategy of high-performance brands—radical differentiation.

ZAG is an AIGA Design Press book, published under Peachpit's New Riders imprint in partnership with AIGA. For a quick peek inside ZAG, go to www.zagbook.com.

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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Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau shows you how to lead of life of adventure, meaning and purpose – and earn a good living.

Still in his early thirties, Chris is on the verge of completing a tour of every country on earth – he’s already visited more than 175 nations – and yet he’s never held a “real job” or earned a regular paycheck.  Rather, he has a special genius for turning ideas into income, and he uses what he earns both to support his life of adventure and to give back.

There are many others like Chris – those who’ve found ways to opt out of traditional employment and create the time and income to pursue what they find meaningful.  Sometimes, achieving that perfect blend of passion and income doesn’t depend on shelving what you currently do.  You can start small with your venture, committing little time or money, and wait to take the real plunge when you're sure it's successful.

In preparing to write this book, Chris identified 1,500 individuals who have built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less), and from that group he’s chosen to focus on the 50 most intriguing case studies.  In nearly all cases, people with no special skills discovered aspects of their personal passions that could be monetized, and were able to restructure their lives in ways that gave them greater freedom and fulfillment.

Here, finally, distilled into one easy-to-use guide, are the most valuable lessons from those who’ve learned how to turn what they do into a gateway to self-fulfillment.  It’s all about finding the intersection between your “expertise” – even if you don’t consider it such -- and what other people will pay for.  You don’t need an MBA, a business plan or even employees.  All you need is a product or service that springs from what you love to do anyway, people willing to pay, and a way to get paid.

Not content to talk in generalities, Chris tells you exactly how many dollars his group of unexpected entrepreneurs required to get their projects up and running; what these individuals did in the first weeks and months to generate significant cash; some of the key mistakes they made along the way, and the crucial insights that made the business stick.  Among Chris’s key principles: if you’re good at one thing, you’re probably good at something else; never teach a man to fish – sell him the fish instead; and in the battle between planning and action, action wins.

In ancient times, people who were dissatisfied with their lives dreamed of finding magic lamps, buried treasure, or streets paved with gold.  Today, we know that it’s up to us to change our lives.  And the best part is, if we change our own life, we can help others change theirs.  This remarkable book will start you on your way.

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Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic "right-brain" thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn't.

Drawing on research from around the world, Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others) outlines the six fundamentally human abilities that are absolute essentials for professional success and personal fulfillment--and reveals how to master them. A Whole New Mind takes readers to a daring new place, and a provocative and necessary new way of thinking about a future that's already here.

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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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Found via: Favobooks

Marketing is always the primary force -- the catalyst, the driver, the tsunami -- for propelling the growth of a business. The problem is, the art and science of marketing is often poorly designed and terribly executed to the point that it just plain sucks. It fails to achieve the only legitimate goal for marketing: to drive a company's growth. In this Tenth Anniversary edition of Your Marketing Sucks, renowned CEO Mark Stevens guides the reader through the principles of successful, business-building marketing, expanding on and updating his global Best Seller with fresh new content focused on state of the art guidance for building a wired brand designed to thrive in the viral era. In this invaluable, time-tested book, the bedrock principles of extreme marketing are fused with the power of the Internet/social media to deliver exponential results. It is, in its totality, an idea whose time has come!

Found via: Favobooks

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Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right"

An updated edition of the original and definitive book about corporate blogging, published by Penguin Portfolio. Debbie's book, first released in 2006, is a classic. Kirkus Reports called it "smart, witty and accessible." It's the how-to bible on corporate and business blogging recommended by best-selling author David Meerman Scott (The New Rules of Marketing and PR). Debbie deconstructs the myth surrounding company blogs (they are boring and pointless) and shows you how to write a compelling blog that will, ultimately, increase sales.

Despite the buzz surrounding Facebook and Twitter, a blog remains the hub of social media marketing. This updated edition explains step-by-step how to start a test blog and sell it to management, 13 ways you can use a blog as a marketing strategy, and everything non-geeks need to know about blogging tools and technology.

- A new preface explains why corporate blogging is not a passing fad: in fact, it’s the home base of an effective social media strategy

- A new section on Twitter explains how it complements, but doesn't replace, a blog

- A revised section clarifies the ROI of blogging

- Updated lists of best-practice corporate, CEO and small business blogs

- Updated bonus resources including the latest Social Media Policies and Guidelines

The Corporate Blogging Book (Updated Edition With a New Preface) is your up-to-date, indispensable guide to creating a compelling company or organizational blog. One that will attract customers and search engines alike, as well as meet business goals.

Found via: Favobooks

With the advent of the Internet and the limitless information it contains, we’re less sure about what we know, who knows what, or even what it means to know at all. And yet, human knowledge has recently grown in previously unimaginable ways and in inconceivable directions. In Too Big to Know, David Weinberger explains that, rather than a systemic collapse, the Internet era represents a fundamental change in the methods we have for understanding the world around us. With examples from history, politics, business, philosophy, and science, Too Big to Know describes how the very foundations of knowledge have been overturned, and what this revolution means for our future.

Found via: Favobooks

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