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.

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Jobs Told to Face the Music

It should come as no surprise to anyone that there is a mention of Apple CEO Steve Jobs in nearly every book Soundview Executive Book Summaries receives about leadership. Jobs is one of the handful of American business icons of the past 50 years and dozens of business authors use examples from his and Apple’s success to illustrate a variety of strategies and principles. In a time period when all eyes are already on Jobs due to his recent medical leave of absence, the famed CEO will come under increased scrutiny as a result of a U.S. Magistrate Judge ruling that lawyers in an anti-trust case have a right to question Jobs. The case deals with accusations that Apple created a monopoly by blocking music purchased from RealNetworks from being played on Apple’s iPod. Here’s an interesting article dealing with the case.

As I looked at the photo included in this story, it made me reflect on our Soundview Live event with Nancy Duarte last week. The photo in the news story is from one of Apple’s product launches (and from the looks of it, it was taken awhile ago). In Duarte’s book Resonate: Presenting Visual Stories that Transform Audiences, she points to Jobs’ presentations during these launches, particularly the Macbook Air and the iPhone, as being some of the best examples of using the power of story in a presentation.

Did you miss our Soundview Live Webinar with Nancy Duarte? Don’t worry! You can listen to the archive of the event right here! In fact, our archive of Soundview Live Webinars is rapidly becoming one of the most popular features at Soundview’s Web site, Summary.com. Take a look and see for yourself!



Three Great NEW Soundview Summaries

Subscribers to Soundview Executive Book Summaries already received some great news this week, so I thought I’d share it with everyone else. There are three brand new summaries now available for download in any of Soundview’s eight digital formats. If you’re an iPad user (or iPad2 for that matter), make this the month that you check out Soundview’s new Smart Summary format. It’s the first business book summary format designed specifically for the iPad and other tablet devices.

Here are the new releases:

Real-Time Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott: In this eye-opening follow-up to The New Rules of Marketing and PR, David Meerman Scott reveals the proven, practical steps to take your business into the real-time era. Find out how to act and react flexibly as events occur, position your brand in the always-on world of the Web, and avoid embarrassing mistakes and missteps in this executive book summary of Real-Time Marketing and PR.

You Already Know How to Be Great by Alan Fine: This executive book summary of You Already Know How to Be Great offers a bold new approach to performance by one of the top coaches in the country. Alan Fine, an accomplished tennis, golf, and executive coach and a renowned authority on peak performance, has found the biggest obstacle to improved performance isn’t not knowing what to do; it’s not doing what you already know. Fine reveals his simple and proven approach to achieving breakthrough performance through an amazing process called G.R.O.W. (Goal, Reality, Options, Way Forward).

The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan by George B. Bradt, Jorge E. Pedraza, Jayme A. Check: Moving into a new leadership position is one of the toughest challenges an executive can face. Whether you’re a veteran leader taking over a new organization or a novice moving into your first leadership role, this practical guide will help you manage your leadership transition so you can take charge, build your team, and deliver results. This executive book summary of the second edition of The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan presents proven solutions and cutting-edge techniques for getting started successfully in your new role.

For more information on these great new summaries, visit Soundview online at Summary.com.



New Summary and Apple’s Big Announcement

Whoever originally said “Christmas comes but once a year” obviously wasn’t an owner of Apple products. For the company’s legions of fans there are guaranteed to be at least two or three times each year when all eyes focus on the next product launch from the technology giant. Today’s expected announcement of a new version of the blockbuster iPad tablet device will no doubt send shockwaves through every facet of business. The moments that follow any Apple announcement are always interesting to watch. In many respects, they are a snapshot of the state of the business environment at that moment.

In fact, a book recently summarized by Soundview Executive Book Summaries devotes a considerable amount of page space to the power of an Apple launch, particularly when it’s led by CEO Steve Jobs. In Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences, author Nancy Duarte discusses the power of Jobs’ presentations and the secrets that you can learn from him. Duarte pays particular attention to Jobs’ launch of the MacBook Air. During his presentation for the laptop, Jobs built up the audience’s anticipation by describing certain aspects of the product. One of Duarte’s major points is that a great presentation should always contain a “STAR” moment (Something They’ll Always Remember). Jobs’ STAR moment came when he picked up an ordinary inter-office envelope, carefully opened it and withdrew the elegant, thin MacBook Air. The audience was stunned and Jobs had wowed the technology world yet again.

To learn more about delivering your own STAR moments in your presentations, get your copy of Soundview’s summary of Resonate. For more great business book summaries about presentations, visit Soundview online at Summary.com.



Got an iPad? Don’t Miss the Smart Summary.

OK, raise your hand if you received an iPad as a gift during the holiday season? Raising your hand will, of course, require you to remove one of your two paws from the iPad’s surface to do so. While the Web wizards here at Soundview Executive Book Summaries are busy tallying the results, I thought I’d take a moment to tell all of you newly minted members of the iPad Nation about Soundview’s latest format … one that happens to be a divine fit for your dreamy new device.

Soundview’s Smart Summary format offers a multimedia look at each of the best business books summarized by Soundview. Designed specifically for the tablet user, the Smart Summary format combines the readability of a newspaper’s front page with the audio and video features of your favorite business news Web sites. In addition, every Smart Summary features a video introduction providing an overview of the book and its takeaways. The elegant design and content-rich nature of the Smart Summary make it a must-read for anyone looking to increase his or her business intellect.

To see a preview image of a Smart Summary, visit Soundview’s home on the Web: Summary.com. If you’re already a Soundview subscriber, log in to your online library and click the icon “SMART” from the list of available formats to see the Smart Summary for a particular title.

And for those of you who received an iPad, you are apparently one of millions to find it under the tree. According to sources, we’ll know just how many new iPads were snapped up when Apple releases its 2010 sales figures for the device sometime in January. The praise for Apple’s tablet continues to rage into the new year. Here’s one of the hundreds of tech writers to name it “Product of the Year.”

Why not combine the “Product of the Year” with the first business book summary format designed specifically to go along with it?



Debunking an E-Reader Myth

This week The Washington Post covered a story that was particularly relevant to us at Soundview. The piece originated in PC World magazine and put the spotlight on a study suggesting decreased (or slower) comprehension of material read on an e-reading device. The study, conducted by a product development consulting firm called The Nielsen Norman Group, is, in my opinion, a brutal misrepresentation of the positive impact of e-readers. It borders on guesswork disguised as science.

Full credit goes to PC World for calling into question the disputable “facts” of Nielsen Norman’s flimsy research. As the magazine points out, the so-called study involved a whopping 24 people who described themselves as “avid” readers. The claims made by the study are baseless and should be dismissed outright by any rational reader. With the amount of doom and gloom in the Nielsen Norman report, I half expected to read that e-readers were the cause of any number of natural disasters.

I thought the reporter did a great job of extolling the business benefits of an e-reader, regardless of the brand. The digital reading revolution continues to reshape the traditional world of publishing. One of the best points in the story is the storage potential of certain devices. When you purchase one of Soundview’s Premium Subscriptions, you gain access to our massive archive of digital summaries. This means you can read summaries of the best business books stretching back to the year 2000. A decade’s worth of knowledge at your fingertips is a business tool that anyone would want to possess.



Another Battle in the E-Book War

If you follow Soundview on Twitter (and really, why wouldn’t you?), you probably look forward to the regular E-Book News feature. It’s a great way to stay up to date on the latest in e-publishing. One of the big stories this week involved the price drop on e-reading devices by both Barnes & Noble and Amazon. The news of the steep price cuts made waves throughout the industry and hit the blogosphere with a bit of force.

One of the more interesting comments on the continuing e-book war came from technology blogger Om Malik. As I read his column about Amazon’s potential to win the e-book market, I became curious about how the average reader is using the technologies available now. So, I thought I’d ask:

If you are a Kindle user, are you still using the device? Malik states in his blog that he’s swapped the device for the Kindle app on the iPad instead. However, he notes that he still uses Amazon for his e-book downloads rather than Apple’s iBook store. If you’re using the Barnes & Noble Nook, how do you feel about the price drop? Are you interested in the Wi-Fi capabilities of the new Nook?

As I considered my own thoughts on the competition in the e-reader market, I returned to one small, but vital, fact in the Publishers Weekly story: “In addition to lowering the price of the Kindle 2 from $259 to $189, Amazon is selling the device at all of Target’s 1740 stores around the country, the first time the device has been for sale at a retailer other than Amazon.”

Soundview is currently working on a summary of author Kevin Maney’s book Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On and Others Don’t. In the book, Maney discusses the decision to offer fidelity (high quality at a high price) versus convenience (readily available for mass consumption but without mystique). By lowering the price and selling the Kindle through Target stores, Amazon is taking a giant leap toward convenience, something that may help win the e-book war.

Speaking of convenience, while the e-reader manufacturers are busy battling it out, Soundview continues to offer its product in eight (that’s right, eight!) digital formats. Visit us at Summary.com to learn more and stay alert for an announcement about the Trade-Off summary.