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Posted Dec. 21, 2011 2:07 a.m. by sally-haldorson
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
Over the course of this week, we will be introducing, by category, the candidates for the 2011 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards. Even though only one of the candidates can win the big prize, good business books deserve an audience, and perhaps one on this list will be the winning book..to you.
Today, we take a look at the candidates in two categories, Entrepreneurship/Small Business and Finance/Economics.
- The Big Enough Company: Creating a Business That Works for You by Adelaide Lancaster, Amy Abrams | Portfolio/Penguin US
- Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler | Portfolio/Penguin US
- Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur by Ryan Blair | Portfolio/Penguin US
- The Method Method: Seven Obsessions That Helped Our Scrappy Start-up Turn an Industry Upside Down by Eric Ryan, Adam Lowry with Lucas Conley | Portfolio/Penguin US
- Great Again: Revitalizing America's Entrepreneurial Leadership by Henry Nothhaft | Harvard Business Review Press
- The Entrepreneur Equation: Evaluating the Realities, Risks, and Rewards of Having Your Own Business by Carol Roth | BenBella Books
- From Idea to Success: The Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network Guide for Start-Ups by Gregg Fairbrothers | McGraw-Hill Professional
- The Lean Startup : How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries | Crown Publishing Group, Crown Business
- Making It Happen : Turning Good Ideas Into Great Results by Peter Sheahan | BenBella Books
- The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership Between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs by William H. Draper, III | Palgrave Macmillan
- Will Work for Shoes: The Business Behind Red Carpet Product Placement by Susan J. Ashbrook | Greenleaf Book Group
- Selling Sunshine: 75 Tips, Tools and Tactics for Becoming a Wildly Successful Entrepreneur by Tony Hartl | Greenleaf Book Group
- Bold: How to Be Brave in Business and Win by Shaun Smith and Andy Milligan | Kogan Page
- The Growth Map: Economic Opportunity in the BRICs and Beyond by Jim O'Neill | Portfolio/Penguin US
- The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do by Eduardo Porter | Portfolio/Penguin US
- Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers by Ellen E. Schultz | Portfolio/Penguin US
- Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis by James Rickards | Portfolio/Penguin US
- Fixing the Game: Bubbles, Crashes, and What Capitalism Can Learn from the NFL by Roger L. Martin | Harvard Business Review Press
- Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst by Vikram Mansharamani | Wiley
- The Future of Value: How Sustainability Creates Value Through Competitive Differentiation by Eric Lowitt | Jossey-Bass, An Imprint of Wiley
- The Coming Jobs War: What Every Leader Must Know About the Future of Job Creation by Jim Clifton | Gallup Press
- Banker to the World: Leadership Lessons from the Front Lines of Finance by William Rhodes | McGraw-Hill
- Pinched: How the Great Recession Has Narrowed Our Futures & What We Can Do About It by Don Peck | Crown Publishing Group, Crown Publishers
- The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor by Howard Marks | Columbia Business School Publishing
- Guaranteed to Fail: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Debacle of Mortgage Finance by Viral Acharya, Matthew Richardson, Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, Lawrence J. White | Princeton University Press
- Borderless Economics: Chinese Sea Turtles, Indian Fridges, and the New Fruits of Global Capitalism by Robert Guest | Palgrave Macmillan
So which book is going to win the Entrepreneurship and the Finance categories and be in the running for the 800-CEO-READ Best Business Book of 2011? We'll announce the shortlist and winner in January!
Rounding Up the Best of 2011
Posted Nov. 29, 2011 5:14 a.m. by dylan
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
Posting the strategy + business list before the Thanksgiving break reminded me that we haven't seen quite as many "best of 2011" business lists at this point of year as we have in years past. Beside the Goldman Sachs/FT award and s+b's list, The only two I've seen have come from booksellers—Amazon and Hudson.
Amazon's Best Books of 2011 were announced earlier this month. The books in the Business & Investing category are:
- In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy, Simon & Schuster
- Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schultz, Rodale Press
- EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches by Dave Ramsey, Howard Books
- Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All by Jim Collins, HarperBusiness
- Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki, Portfolio
- The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries, Crown Business
- Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy by Martin Lindstrom, Crown Business
- Endgame: The End of the Debt Supercycle and How It Changes Everything by John Mauldin, John Wiley & Sons
- Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity by Josh Linkner, Jossey-Bass
- Poke the Box by Seth Godin, The Domino Project
But the list of books that would interest a business reader doesn't end in the business category. It extends into Biographies & Memoirs with Walter Isaacson's bio of Steve Jobs, and even Joshua Foer's Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything. Foer's book also made it in the general Nonfiction category, along with The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick and A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor. The design nerds among us might also enjoy Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield, which made the Nonfiction list as well.
Hudson Booksellers Best were announced quietly late last month. The Best Business Interest included:
- Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur by Ryan Blair with Don Yaeger, Portfolio
- Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World by William D. Cohan, Doubleday Books
- Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story by Peter Guber, Crown Business
- Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis, W.W. Norton & Company
- The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin, The Penguin Press
Other, less business-centric lists have been announced, such as Publishers Weekly, whose (admittedly long) Nonfiction list includes a smattering of books that would be of interest to the business reader:
- The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick, Pantheon
- Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis, W.W. Norton & Company
- The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson, Riverhead Books
- The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity by Jeffrey D. Sachs, Random House
There will most likely be many more coming soon. The Economist is making an event out of their list this year, with their first “Books of the Year” festival at London’s SouthBank Centre early next month. We’ll get that list to you when it’s announced, and will keep you updated as more come in, including our own!
Nothing to Lose
Posted Aug. 30, 2011 10:27 a.m. by jon
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
Business books have a certain stigma attached to them. For non-fans, they might seem intimidating, or pointless, depending which end of the judgment spectrum you're on. The assumption is that "they're for other, more business-types of people."
On some level, that doesn't make much sense. We all have tastes and opinions, true, but, we're also involved in the process of survival. And survival comes down to what you can contribute in order to obtain that which let's you continue living. Business books are about all sorts of things having to do with profits and statistics and management; things some people "don't want to think about." Yet they live it, in some way or another.
That's what makes a book like Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain, by Ryan Blair, a refreshing glimpse into the world of business. You see, Ryan Blair wasn't a Harvard graduate, hedge fund manager, or heir to a company fortune - not that any of those things are bad. Ryan Blair was a middle class kid who got caught up in gangs: a gun carrying criminal that saw survival in it's most uncaring form.
But he learned lessons during that time, lessons about himself, the world, and in the end, business. For one, he lived through this experience, not just physically, but mentally. Eventually, he found a mentor and realized his life could change. But what about all those good lessons he learned in the gang lifestyle, about loyalty, investing, plans, and deals?
He didn't forget them, and he figured out how to filter them through his later book knowledge of business, where people didn't die over deals. While most people try to distance themselves from negative experiences, Blair used them to his advantage, took the fundamental truths from his negative experiences, and eventually started, built and sold a number of successful companies by the time he was in his twenties. He now helps entrepreneurs start and build their own companies under the "nothing to lose" philosophy - a philosophy that many of his previous "business associates" lived and died under.
Here's his statement:
Some of you reading this are judging me and saying, 'Why should I listen to him when he's made bad decisions in his life?' For those of you having a hard time getting over the fact that I haven't had a squeaky clean life, I say take any middle-class kid whose family is in shambles - torn apart by drug addiction and abuse - throw him into a gang-infested neighborhood when all he wants is a male role model, and he will find males to follow but they won't be role models. That's why I've made bad decisions, but that's also how I got my nothing-to-lose mind set. And those things you are judging - my poor decisions - those are my assets...But a mind-set isn't enough; you're going to need to get smart - book smart and street smart - because there are going to be a lot of people trying to steal your milk. Read on.
And "read on" is something we'd recommend. It's a compelling story from an interesting person who's seen more in his life, negative and positive, than most of us will ever see. And through his experiences, shared here, we too can learn.
Business Beach Reads?
Posted July 21, 2011 7:00 a.m. by sally-haldorson
In - 800 CEO Read Blog
We try to keep most of our recommendations oriented around business reading, but we do get an eclectic selection of books sent to us. Since I'm about to take a few days of stay-cation, it seemed just the right time to suggest this multifarious collection of reads appropriate for hot summer days. These books may not spark a change revolution in your company or inspire the perfect new product to rush into development, but, they will entertain you and make you think--just a little, but not too much, because after all, it is vacation.
STORIES ABOUT BAD GUYS GONE GOOD
by Ryan Blair with Don Yaeger
Ryan Blair knows about building a business from the ground up. Like many entrepreneurs he had no formal business education. But he had great survival instincts, tenacity, and above all, a "nothing to lose" mindset.
This book is an inspirational guide for people who are willing to put in the hard work, time, and dedication needed to see their vision through to the end. Blair shares lessons from his mentors and advice from his own life-changing experiences, and provides readers with a road map for entrepreneurial success.
"You can tell a lot about a person by his or her prized possession. Besides the artwork that I own, the items I collect are not what would fetch a fortune at Sotheby's. Rather than things intended to impress someone else, my collection reminds me of the people who taught me to be a better businessman, employer, philanthropist, and person.
These are the things I surround myself with. Their purpose is to remind me to ask myself daily whether or not I am living up to the lessons learned from each person along the way."
Mob Rules: What the Mafia Can Teach the Legitimate Businessman
by Louis Ferrante
As an associate of the Gambino family, Ferrante relied on his instincts to pull off some of the biggest heists in U.S. history. By the age of twenty-one, he had netted millions of dollars for his employers. His natural talent for management led Mafia bosses to rely on him.
After being arrested and serving an eight-and-a-half-year prison sentence, Ferrante went straight. He realized that the Mob's most valuable business lessons would allow him to survive and thrive in the real world.
Lesson 61: The Mafia Spends Very Little on Office Supplies*: Cutting Overhead
"I was shaking down this guy, Larry, who owned a large auto parts distributorship. Larry made tons of bread and had no problem throwing a few crumbs my way. Then one day, the payments stopped. Larry claimed his business no longer made a profit.
I was standing in Larry's office when he cried poverty. He was wearing python-skin shoes, kicked up onto a Louis Whatever-the-King desk. He had a thirty-thousand-dollar Bulgari watch on his wrist, a fifty-dollar cigar was stinking up his office, and a giant TV hung on the wall. Outside his office, at least fifty people worked at their desks.
Scrutinize your expenses. Every nickel you cut from overhead is an extra nickel in your purse."
STORIES ABOUT BAD GUYS DOING BAD
by Mark Seal
A real-life "Talented Mr. Ripley," the unbelievable thirty-year run of a shape-shifting con man.
The story of Clark Rockefeller is a stranger-than-fiction twist on the classic American success story of the self-made man-because Clark Rockefeller was totally made up. The career con man who convincingly passed himself off as Rockefeller was born in a small village in Germany. At seventeen, obsessed with getting to America, he flew into the country on dubious student visa documents and his journey of deception began.
Clark Rockefeller not only snowed the school with his famous family name and promised munificence, he snowed the parents in the living room, they both had to admit, so much that they were comfortable leaving their daughter with him at times. "He would watch the girls," said the mother.
"Is Uncle Clark a genius?" asked the daughter.
"Perhaps," said the father. "I don't know. But he's a bright guy. I'll tell you that. He knew how to push people's button, what to say, to get their attention."
by Rachel Shteir
[T]he first serious study of shoplifting, looking to history to reveal the roots of our modern dilemma. Dismissed by academia, sensationalized by the mainstream media, and largely misunderstood, shoplifting has become the territory of moralists, mischievous teenagers, tabloid television, and self-help gurus. But shoplifting incurs remarkable real-life costs for retailers and consumers....The theft of one $5 item from Whole Foods can require sales of hundreds of dollars to break even.
"When the first trial of a shoplifter who was not a prostitute or a professional took place in England in the spring of 1800, it turned on the question of whether she really stole or whether she was a victim of dishonest shopkeepers. The trial is notorious because this alleged shoplifter belonged to literary royalty: Jane Leigh Perrot was Jane Austen's aunt."
A STORY ABOUT GOOD GUYS DOING GOOD
by Frank Moss
If you've ever read a book on an e-reader, unleashed your inner rock star by playing Guitar Hero, built a robot with LEGO Mindstorms, or ridden in a vehicle with child-safe air bags, then you've experienced just a few of the astounding innovations that have come out of the MIT Media Lab over the past twenty-five years....In this exhilarating tour of the Media Lab's inner sanctums, we'll meet these professors and their students--the sorcerers and their apprentices--witness firsthand the creative magic behind [the] inventions....
"Though they might not look like Rosie, the comical housekeeper from the 1960s TV animated sitcom The Jetsons, some robots have been put to work doing things humans would rather not be bothered to do in the home.
Still, the impact of robots on ordinary people's everyday lives has been extremely limited to date. The majority of robots in people's homes today are merely toys and gadgets, entertaining but largely impractical holiday and birthday gifts that spend most of their lifetime in the recipients' storage closets."
However, this is about to change because the barriers to widespread integration of robots in our lives and homes are about to come tumbling down.
BOOKS THAT WILL MAKE YOU PONDER
by Ralph Waldo Emerson (and Kurt Anderson)
Redefining the classic essay, this modern edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson's most famous work, Self-Reliance, includes self-reflections from both historical and contemporary luminaries. With quotes from the likes of Henry Ford and Helen Keller to modern-day thought leaders like Jesse Dylan, Steve Pressfield, and Milton Glaser, we're reminded of the relevance of Emerson's powerful words today.
"Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. (Emerson)
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trail and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved." (Helen Keller)
by Matthew Kelly
One of the major issues in our lives today is work-life balance. Everyone wants it; no one has it. But Matthew Kelly believes that work- life balance was a mistake from the start. Because we don't really want balance. We want satisfaction.
Kelly lays out the system he uses with his clients, his team, and himself to find deep, long-term satisfaction both personally and professionally.
“Systems drive behaviors. Certain behaviors lead to certain outcomes. If you know what outcome you desire, the next step is to identify what type of behaviors will produce that outcome.”
BOOKS THAT WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH
by The Bureau Chiefs
In the grand tradition of The Onion and The Daily Show, the media satirists behind the sensationally popular Twitter feed @FakeAPStylebook have produced the definitive guide on how (not) to write, tuned to the precise frequency of the Internet age.
Maybe it's time to face up to reality: writing clearly, checking facts, and correcting typos are dying arts. Whether you're a jaded producer of media or a nitpicking consumer of it, this book will help you to embrace, not resist the lowering standards for the printed word!
Chapter 7: The Shiny Money Box, or, Technology and the Death of All Paper
"If you are doing research on the Internet, never use anything in the first page of results. In order to make it seem as though you took more than ten seconds to Google the facts and figures in your article, take your information from the fifth or sixth page of Google results. Even better, don't use Google at all. Instead, try a more obscure tool like Lycos or Gigablast, to keep everyone guessing about how you found your sources."
Damn You, Auto Correct!
by Jillian Madison
If you own an iPhone, Blackberry, Droid, or any smartphone, there's a good chance you've screamed that phrase out at least once.
Filled with submissions from readers of her popular website, this laugh-out-loud [Ed: Seriously...the people in this office cry with laughter over this book] funny book features cringe-worthy exchanges with parents, friends, significant others, and co-workers that contain some of the most unintentionally hilarious--and mortifying--mistakes ever caused by Autocorrect.
Seriously...some of the best examples would be completely inappropriate to put on this respectable(?) blog. Pick up a copy of the book or check out Madison's website for a taste.