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Linchpin by Seth Godin

February 1, 2010 1 comment

Book: Linchpin by Seth Godin

Rating: Great

Lesson Learned: It’s your job to make yourself indispensable.

Steven Pressfield wrote the War of Art which explained how the resistance holds us back from doing the things that we really need to be doing artistically. It is a pep rally book, it makes you think and then go and do something because you cannot read it and not be motivated.

Seth’s new book Linchpin is a response to Pressfield. It takes the war of art and transfers the battle to the workplace. The premise is that only artists will survive in the new economy because they are the most valued and the hardest for employers to replace. In typical Godin style you are left inspired and excited to go to work understanding that in the end you are your own boss because your actions decide whether you keep your job or get fired.

A lot of what Godin wrote about I too wrote about in Breaking Into the Creative Class so it excites me a big timer would agree (in that the premise of my ebook is the same) with me. He is writing to a generation of workers who are tired of work and I am writing to a generation entering into the workforce.

You need to buy this book.

The Poor Will be Glad: Joining the Revolution to Lift the World Out of Poverty by Peter Greer and Phil Smith

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Book: The Poor Will be Glad: Joining the Revolution to Lift the World Out of Poverty by Peter Greer and Phil Smith

Rating: Great

Lesson Learned: Tactics used to help bring sustainable development to developing countries and communities

This is the follow up book to A Billion Bootstraps by the same authors. It explores the different ways people are making an impact throughout poverty stricken areas. It is an exciting time to be involved with philanthropy since it is so results based and making sustainable differences.

They mention Global Art Inferno, my art import company, on page 231 so that was pretty exciting for me.

Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark INnovation During Times of Change by Jeremy Gutsche

September 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Book: Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark INnovation During Times of Change by Jeremy Gutsche

Rating: Cool

Lesson Learned: Trend Spotting

Jeremy Gutsche runs the website TrendHunterand wrote this book as a way to describe what he has learned about spotting trends. The book is fun because it is written like a 200 page exciting PowerPoint. It provides an excellent explanation of how to spot and create trends. The lessons he teaches are substantive and the way the book was published is as unique as Bell’s Velvet Elvis. (I’m talking about the Velvet Elvis- pre-weird guy falling on the cover.)

Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone by Mitch Joel

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Book: Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone by Mitch Joel

Rating: Meh

Lesson Learned: The internet has closed the gap

This was a good book and would have been a fantastic book had I read it at the beginning of my quest to learn everything about online marketing and building brand awareness. However, I didn’t and so I was re-reading a lot of stuff I had already heard. It seems like the new deal for marketing agencies is to have their higher ups write really good books. I’m down with that. I think the real story here is that if this book was published there are still people out there that don’t know and understand the power of the internet.

Don’t misunderstand me the book is worth reading if you are beginning your exploration into online marketing and understanding electronic community, but if you are in your 20s you have grown up with this stuff.

Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

September 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Book: Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

Rating: okay

Lesson Learned: be authentic

If you are a big company and don’t get the whole ‘net youth culture’ this is a good book. I enjoyed reading it because the lessons seem so intrinsic to me since this is the time I grew up in. There isn’t anything here revolutionary unless you really don’t understand the power of blogs and the potential for your brand to spread online following simple rules.

Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself by Daniel H. Pink

September 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Book: Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself by Daniel H. Pink

Rating: Great

Lesson Learned: Mastering the New Economy

The name of the book sums it up. Daniel writes about the shift of people working for organizations to working for themselves as contractors and freelancers. I think it is great. However, I don’t think big companies or midsize companies will ever disappear. I would take his book and make it go a little further by saying that everyone is a Free Agent whether you are a contract graphic designer or you work for an enormous company. If you aren’t creating your own specialty and value you have no shelter when the storm comes.

Accidental Branding: How Ordinary People Build Extraordinary Brands by David Vinjamuri

September 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Book: Accidental Branding: How Ordinary People Build Extraordinary Brands by David Vinjamuri

Rating: Meh

Lesson Learned: It’s all a narrative

Vinjamuri writes the story of 7 unique companies and their rise to brand stardom. (Craig’s List, Burt’s Bees, Columbia Sportswear, Cliff Bar, J Peterman, The Art of Shaving, Baby Einstein) He spends time with each of the entrepreneurs that started the companies and asks them, “How did you do it”. Then, he narrates their interview. Nothing groundbreaking, but since he teaches at NYU I am going to say it is worth reading…however it really isn’t all that eye opening.

I have heard story after story of brand giants that started out as personal dreams and the common thread in each of them is the passion, intensity and dedication of the entrepreneur to make things happen at the right time. You could have invented the Internet and if it was bad timing it wouldn’t matter. Work on your timing.

Categories: Book Review, Entrepreneur