Soundview Executive Book Summaries


Mobile Business Book Summaries

In August I blogged about Chuck Martin and his book The Third Screen, which discussed the enormous effect mobile devices and m-commerce are having on all aspects of business.

Martin states, “The third screen, the mobile device, is a game changer. It enables customers to communicate directly with each other and share information and opinions in real-time and on location. The third screen revolution is about dramatic technological and behavioral change.”

In Soundview’s ongoing pursuit to provide our content in the most effective and convenient forms possible for our subscribers, we’ve been adding additional mobile formats as demand dictates. So I thought it might be helpful to provide an overview here for those that are looking for business content for their smartphone, e-book reader or tablet.

Currently we provide our summaries in eight formats:

  • PDF – for computer’s and e-readers. This is the best format for printing summaries as well.
  • Kindle – obviously for the full series of Kindles®.
  • ePub – this is great for e-readers like Sony®, Nook® and iPad®.
  • Mobile – this is a simplified PDF for BlackBerry®, Android®, iPhone® and iPod Touch®.
  • LIT – this works on Pocket PCs and PCs that use Microsoft Reader®.
  • Palm – for those still using the Palm Pilot® devices.
  • MP3 – audio summaries and author interviews are in this format.
  • iPad – this works on iPads, PCs and Macs and includes our text and audio summaries, author interviews, and video content all in one package.

Because of the many variables in using these devices, we also provide a complete guide to viewing and downloading our content on all devices. This is organized by operating system and device. If you’re looking for business content for your mobile device then you’ll definitely want to check us out. Here’s a link to a free sample summary in all eight formats to try out for yourself.

Enjoy, and let me know how you like the sample.



Book Review: Escape Velocity

by Geoffrey A. Moore

If you read our recent post about Soundview’s publication of the summary of Stephen Wunker’s Capturing New Markets, you’ll recall that we discussed the difficulty of attempting to continue on a single path of success. In fact, this tendency to become ruler of a single domain can create a situation of diminishing returns. To combat this problem, Soundview has a new summary that makes an excellent companion to Wunker’s book. In Escape Velocity: Free Your Company’s Future from the Pull of the Past, author and tech industry expert Geoffrey A. Moore attempts to help executives stand up to the pressure of repeating their current success story.

One would assume that with Moore’s feet firmly planted in the tech world that his book would be the latest in the steady stream of books that heap praise on Apple and Google and instruct readers to “simply” do what they do. To his credit, Moore recognizes that, for example, an insurance company in Wisconsin can’t base its economic future on developing the insurance equivalent of an iPad. Readers who would hesitate to pick up Escape Velocity for fear that it won’t apply to their businesses should lay those doubts to rest. Moore does an excellent job of structuring his book to launch from its tech industry base into strategies that are applicable to a variety of fields.

At the heart of Moore’s strategy is, as he puts it, a “framework of frameworks.” He instructs readers on the mastery of five powers: Category, Company, Market, Offer and Execution. As with his earlier work Dealing with Darwin, Moore provides numerous tips to give your company both a path to progress and, perhaps of more importance, a way to stand out from the competition.

To get your copy of the Soundview Executive Book Summary of Escape Velocity, visit Soundview’s Web site: Summary.com.



Bring On the Next Boom

As we read the latest news about the financial crisis in Europe and the deficit stalemate in the United States, it’s hard to imagine that there could be a financial boom coming anytime soon. So how do we plan for the future?

Jack Plunkett, author of The Next Boom, believes that there is another boom coming, knows what to look for to predict it, and knows how companies should be planning now to prepare for it. It seems like wishful thinking until you see the hard facts and extensive research that Plunkett provides to back up his claims.

Plunkett points to three emerging trends that will lead to the next boom:

  1. A soaring global population – While some countries have seen their population growth decline, others like the U.S. are seeing continued growth. Statistics show that the U.S. could reach a population of 1 billion by 2100 to 2120. The growing worldwide population, especially among the middle class, will provide the engine for economic growth.
  2. Sweeping changes in consumers, demographics and education – There could be a tripling of trade world-wide by 2030 to $27 trillion, due to the growing needs of the populations of emerging countries like China and India.
  3. Emerging technologies, centered on health care, wireless communications, biotechnology, nanotechnology and energy – As Africa joins India and China at over 1 billion people, innovations in biotechnology will have to take place to feed this growing population. And that’s just one example of the emerging technologies that will be needed.

Plunkett’s point as he expands on these trends, is that all of these developments will create another world-wide economic boom. If his predictions pan out, then companies need to be preparing now for what’s coming.

We’ve invited Jack Plunkett to join us for our next Soundview Live webinar, Bring On the Next Boom, to hear more about these trends and what we need to do now to prepare for the future. Please join us on December 1st to hear more, and to ask your questions of the author.



Using Your Brain to Work Smarter

The brain is an amazing organ, and in a recent edition of our Executive Edge newsletter, we looked at how you can take advantage of the unique characteristics of the brain to work smarter. While it might seem obvious that we must use our brain to work smarter, what this article talks about are the techniques that can help us take advantage of the processes of the brain in new ways.

Right Brain vs Left Brain – In A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink states that in the Information Age, the left brain has ruled with its sequential, logical, analytical way of thinking. But as we enter the Conceptual Age, there is a need for more right brain thinking, which is nonlinear, intuitive and holistic in nature. So to succeed in this new age people must develop their creative side.

Nurturing Your Brain – In Brain Rules, John Medina discusses what we need to do to nurture and protect our brain so that it can work at full potential. Sleep is especially important for proper brain function, as the brain needs to process the events of the day and complete learning tasks while the body rests. Stress is a great danger to the brain, as the chemicals released during stressful times can do damage to brain functions. So for best performance we need plenty of sleep and to learn ways of reducing the effects of stress.

Managing Your Emotions – When put in difficult situations, we tend to intuitively react with our emotions, such as fear or anger. So executives must learn how to control their emotions in order to manage effectively. As the authors of The Brain Advantage explain, this may include practices like stepping back from a situation to calm emotions before responding.

Thinking LessThe Brain Advantage also discusses the findings of brain researchers which show that people with higher intellect and/or more experience actually show lower brain activity. They found that this is because smarter, more experienced people can shift to auto-pilot, allowing their subconscious to take over. Experience allows routine work to take less thinking.

These are just a few examples of how our understanding of the brain can help us work smarter, taking advantage of the strengths of our mind and avoiding the weaknesses. You can read the complete Executive Edge report by subscribing to it directly, or receive all Executive Edge reports free as part of our Soundview Premium Subscription.



Book Review: Capturing New Markets

by Stephen Wunker

The fight to stay alive in today’s marketplace can be all-consuming for many companies. Achieving quarterly growth, keeping shareholders happy and delighting one’s customer base are activities that leave little time for exploration and development. However, without concerted efforts to discover and capitalize on the growth opportunities presented by new ventures, businesses will inevitably succumb to the law of diminishing returns. The method to find and master the opportunities of the future is the subject of the latest book to be summarized by Soundview Executive Book Summaries: Capturing New Markets: How Smart Companies Create Opportunities Others Don’t by Stephen Wunker.

Wunker has extensive expertise in the area of developing markets. He is the managing director of consulting firm New Markets Advisors. He also worked closely with Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen on the creation of his innovation consulting practice. Capturing New Markets gives readers the equivalent of a personal consultation with Wunker. He progresses through the material in a manner that brings order and clarity to the hazy prospect of understanding new markets.

One can’t-miss section of the book is Wunker’s excellent answer to a common question: “How can we discover a market that doesn’t yet exist?” Wunker guides readers through the process of gauging a market’s value. He also provides a set of eight signs that an industry has the potential to quickly grow. This combination of succinct explanation with strategic takeaways gives Wunker’s book a level of strength that puts it ahead of more theoretical books on the subject of future markets.

To download your copy of Capturing New Markets in any of Soundview’s multiple digital formats, visit Soundview’s Web Site at Summary.com.



Apple vs Google vs Amazon vs Facebook

This month Fast Company published an issue with an extensive article on the competition between Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook, and they did it in an innovative way. They actually published four separate covers, each one declaring why one of the companies will win. I got the one declaring Google the winner, perhaps because I’m on the east coast (if the cover distribution was geographical). The latest Fortune magazine issue also depicts Larry Page of Google and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fighting it out martial-arts-style on the cover.

The competition between these four companies is definitely heating up as each reaches more and more into the others’ traditional territories. The lines are now blurred as all four companies fight for a larger share of the dollars and time of the world’s population.

In celebration of this epic battle, I thought it would be enlightening to look at the business books being written about each company and its founders.

Apple – we should begin with Apple because Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is projected to be the best-selling book on Amazon for 2011 even though it was just released in October. Jobs has had many books written about him – in fact my count shows as many books about Steve Jobs as have been written about Google, or about Amazon and Facebook combined. We just published the summary of The Steve Jobs Way by Jay Elliot, a Senior VP under Jobs at Apple. And Inside Steve’s Brain by Leander Kahney has received a lot of attention as well. Really, Apple can’t be separated from Steve Jobs when it comes to covering their success over the years and probably well into the future.

Google In the Plex is the latest book about Google, and was written by Wired’s technical journalist Steven Levy. This book is on Amazon’s top 10 list of best sellers for 2011 as well. Among the other top books is The Search by John Battelle, and of course the obligatory The Google Way by Bernard Girard. You haven’t really made it until you have a “The ____Way” book written about you or your company.

Facebook – We get a little thin here with only a handful of books about Facebook or its founder Mark Zuckerberg. There is The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick and The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich. But Zuckerberg makes up for this poor showing by being the only one of the four company founders to have a movie made about him called The Social Network. Note: there is no The Facebook Way book yet, which may or may not be a prediction of their future success.

Amazon – For a company that started out selling books, they haven’t had much written about them or their founder Jeff Bezos. One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon by Richard Brandt describes the basic and simple premise of the company – make it easy for people to buy. Other titles about Amazon include Amazon.com by Robert Spector and Inside the Giant Machine by Kalpanik S., a pen-name for a former employee of Amazon.

So if you’re watching this tech battle and would like to read up on the companies, I hope this will get you started. I’m sure there will be many more books to come in the future as the fight continues.



Are You Using Your Talents?

Do you know what your natural talents and abilities are? Are you currently using them to the fullest in your job?

If your answer to either of these questions is no, then the chances are that you are also not finding fulfillment in your work. At least that is the contention of Derrick Miles, co-founder of Milestone Motivation and co-author of the upcoming book Superhuman Performance.

“There is no greater Milestone in a person’s life than finding your true natural Gifts and putting them to work. Reaching this critical Milestone allows you to reach your greatest potential. Those who use their Gifts daily find fulfillment, influence and prosperity—though not necessarily riches by the world’s standards.” Milestone Motivation

Derrick and his brother Darrayl contend that if a person has not identified their gifts or is not using them fully, then they become bored, burned out, and burdened by the futility of their work. On the other hand, if someone is fully using their gifts, then they have joy in their work, and are much more successful.

The key is finding out what a person’s gifts and abilities are, and the Miles’ brothers have designed an assessment to identify these gifts and to help companies place their employees in the positions that match their gifts.

Derrick Miles will be joining us on November 22nd to talk more about this assessment and his experience with the dramatic change seen in people who are working in their area of giftedness. Join us for Utilizing Your Gifts for Superhuman Performance and learn how you can assess your abilities, or how you can use the assessment to better match your employees and their positions. Wouldn’t it be great to eliminate burnout, frustration and ineffectiveness?



Give Thanks for Three Great New Summaries!

As readers in the United States race toward the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, the annual long weekend presents an excellent opportunity to catch up on some essential business reading. Fortunately, Soundview Executive Book Summaries is there to provide a buffet of business content that, thanks to the multiple digital formats, makes it easy to digest.

Don’t miss these must-read titles:

Find the future of your business.

 

Capturing New Markets by Stephen Wunker. New markets have powered the greatest business successes in history, from Standard Oil to Facebook. How can you discover and pursue new markets to make your business thrive? In Capturing New Markets, renowned business strategist Stephen Wunker argues that the first step is to stop applying traditional formulas of success and understand the unique dynamics in fast-changing new markets. He guides you through the process of creating counterintuitive strategies, such as treating competitors as collaborators, timing market entry, and targeting narrow niches before big customer segments.

Free your business from the pull of the past.

Escape Velocity by Geoffrey A. Moore. Geoffrey Moore’s now-classic Crossing the Chasm became a must-read book by presenting an innovative framework to address the make-or-break obstacle facing all high-tech companies: how to gain market share from early adopters and from mainstream consumers. Now, Moore’s Escape Velocity offers a pragmatic plan to engage the most critical challenge that established enterprises face in the twenty-first-century economy: how to move beyond past success and drive next-generation growth from new lines of business.

 

 

 

Learn faster than your competition.

The Fifth Discipline by Peter M. Senge. This classic title is now available in all eight digital formats! In the long run, the only sustainable competitive advantage is your organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition. In The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge describes how companies can rid themselves of the learning “disabilities” that threaten their productivity and success by adopting the strategies of learning organizations — ones in which new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, collective aspiration is set free, and people are continually learning how to create results they truly desire.

 

 

 

Soundview subscribers are reading these titles right now! To download these summaries (and hundreds of other great business book summaries), visit Soundview’s Web site Summary.com.



The Best Business Books of 2011

It’s the time of year for best book lists, with Amazon releasing their list of lists on Wednesday, and Publisher’s Weekly following with their list on Thursday.

At Soundview, we compile our list throughout the year as we publish summaries of the best books, so I thought I’d collect the titles here so that we can all look at the books that made the cut. I’ve linked each title to our summary so that you can learn more about each one. 

  1. Capturing New Markets – Stephen Wunker
  2. Escape Velocity – Geoffrey A. Moore
  3. TouchPoints – Douglas Conant & Mette Norgaard
  4. The Third Screen – Chuck Martin
  5. Credibility – Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner
  6. Beyond Performance – Colin Price & Scott Keller
  7. Rainmaking Conversations – John Doerr & Mike Schultz
  8. Full Engagement – Brian Tracy
  9. The Steve Jobs Way – Jay Elliot with William Simon
  10. Win – Dr. Frank Luntz
  11. Stop Workplace Drama – Marlene Chism
  12. Enchantment – Guy Kawasaki
  13. Eat People – Andy Kessler
  14. What’s Holding You Back – Robert Herbold
  15. Disciplined Dreaming – Josh Linker
  16. The Power of Professionalism – Bill Wiersma
  17. Flash Foresight – Daniel Burrus with John David Mann
  18. Bury My Heart at Conference Room B – Stan Slap
  19. Tough Calls from the Corner Office – Harlan Steinbaum
  20. Change the Culture, Change the Game – Roger Connors & Tom Smith
  21. Real-Time Marketing & PR – David Meerman Scott
  22. You Already Know How to Be Great – Alan Fine with Rebecca Merrill
  23. How Companies Win – David Calhoun & Rick Kash
  24. Power – Jeffrey Pfeffer
  25. Resonate – Nancy Duarte
  26. The Upside of Irrationality – Dan Ariely
  27. Now, Build Your Business – Brian Tracy & Mark Thompson
  28. Macrowikinomics – Don Tapscott & Anthony Williams
  29. Multipliers – Liz Wiseman & Greg McKeown
  30. Clutch – Paul Sullivan

Of all these titles, the one that topped the list for me was Disciplined Dreaming, and I see that it’s also on Amazon’s top 10 list. Josh Linkner makes creativity fun and profitable. If there is a theme this year, it would most likely be “do everything you can to survive and thrive in the midst of this economic crisis.” Many of the books provide ways to innovate to compete, get the most out of your employees, and foresee and take advantage of tough times.

We’d love to hear which of these titles is your favorite, or if there are other titles from 2011 that you think deserve to be on the list.



The Business Crystal Ball

Wouldn’t it be great if you could predict the future – and be right?

Imagine how different your business would look, as you adjust for future customer needs in advance, instead of waiting for the latest survey results or watching what your competitors come up with next.

Daniel Burrus says that you can predict the future, “All you have to do is leave out the parts you could be wrong about! And the amazing thing is, when you know where to look, there’s more than enough you can be right about to make all the difference.”

Burrus isn’t hiring fortune tellers or selling crystal balls. Instead, in his book Flash Foresight, he provides insight into seven flash foresight triggers that can help business people see what the future holds for their business and the potential that is available to transform for that future.

Here are the seven triggers:

  1. Start with certainty – use hard trends to see what’s coming.
  2. Anticipate – base your strategies on what you know about the future.
  3. Transform – use technology-driven change to your advantage.
  4. Take your biggest problem and skip it – it’s not the real problem anyway.
  5. Go opposite – look where no one else is looking to see what no one else is seeing and do what no one else is doing.
  6. Redefine and reinvent – identify and leverage your uniqueness in new and powerful ways.
  7. Direct your future – or someone else will direct it for you.

We’ve invited Daniel Burrus to join us for our next Soundview Live webinar, anticipating your need to look ahead in your area of business. Please register today and bring questions about how these triggers can apply in your marketplace. Perhaps Burrus can help you look into your future.