10 Jul The DEMO Summer Reading List
If there was every any doubt, let me assure you that DEMOletter blog readers are readers. Before the July 4th break, I offered up this space to any reader who had a perspective, opinion, or wild-eyed idea. Exactly one reader – former DEMO associate producer Jim Forbes – responded. And it seems even Jim prefers the safety of his own blog to the risk of again being edited by me.
Most of you, I suppose, were clever enough to figure out that the secondary goal of Reader Posts (the first being to showcase new ideas) was for me to get a break from the weekly writing grind. I guess I should be flattered that you like what you read here enough to ensure that it continues, even in the lazy days of summer.
Ah, but not so fast. I am nothing if not clever, and if you aren’t going to give me a breather, then let me offer up three perfect summer reading books that will at least fill this column and most certainly give you something interesting, insightful, and entertaining to take to the beach.
1) If you’re a fan of brand marketing, I commend to you the new book by Darrel Rhea, Steve Diller, and Nathan Shedroff, called Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences (New Riders). In it, the authors argue that brand marketing is not enough to capture the heart of consumers. Instead, companies must connect with customers’ values in order to create a long-lasting and meaningful relationship. This isn’t just a marketing or messaging challenge, however. Meaning starts in the very earliest aspects of the product innovation process. The book is a quick read with lasting impact.
2) Fans of the business magazine Fast Company will enjoy the “best of” compilation of features from the magazine’s first 10 years. Fast Company’s Greatest Hits: Ten Years of the Most Innovative Ideas in Business (edited by Mark Vamos and David Linsky, Portfolio) is a greatest hits collection that includes features by Michael Malone, Mort Meyerson, Jim Collins, Seth Godin, and a dozen others writing on leadership, creativity, culture, competition, and company-building, among other topics. Certainly you’ve missed one or two issues of Fast Company since 1995, so grab this volume and read up on ideas that remain big even after all these years.
3) Looking for some lighter fare? Software entrepreneur turned mystery writer Keith Raffel. In Dot Dead (Midnight Ink), Raffel (the founder of Upshot Corporation) spins the story of Ian Michaels, a high-flying Silicon Valley exec who stands accused of murder. I’ve known Keith for years as a smart technology guy, and now I’ve discovered him as a convincing, talented writer. Pick up Dot Dead if you’re looking for a delightful vacation from the rigors of your Silicon Valley life.
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