The books that have our team excited…
We’ve got a talented team, so we’ve been asking them which #books have profoundly shaped the ways they do business. See what books they’ve recommended below…
“My favourite book is a decently famous New York Times’ previous bestseller, and anyone who has travelled will have seen its bright orange cover at an airport, train station or other bookstores. It’s the fabulously titled Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.
I have both Kindle and Audible copies of the book and I’ve listened to it and read it several times. The base of the book is you only have so many f*cks to give and you need to tend to them, not waste them and only apply them to the correct subjects. It’s a harsh reality of life that much as we want to, we can’t fix every problem, can’t right every wrong and should be careful about what we care about.
Wasting mental, physical or emotional energy on some things is a distraction. For me, this means trying not to get annoyed at the guy who’s parked across two spaces, yes he’s selfish but you can’t do anything meaningful so move on and don’t stress. On the flip side, your friend who is going through a bad time, spend some time with and do give a f*ck about.
TLDR: Be cautious of where you place your f*cks, you have a finite amount, don’t spend them foolishly.”
” The Thank You Economy is essentially the concept of shifting the culture of your business to be customer aware and fan-friendly. Vaynerchuck demonstrates how harnessing the power of word-of-mouth and virality of social media from customers helps leverage the good-will you work hard to achieve, especially when people have an excellent experience, feel your band is authentic or maybe even just feel heard.
Customer service or direct contact is the first element that is stripped away when cutting costs or scaling up, but is arguably the most important factor on a users’ opinion of the company, so its definitely something worth optimising for.
TLDR: don’t forget that customer experience is the basis of everything you do, so make sure yours is exceptional and leverage any positive feedback that you work hard to achieve.”
“Chaos Monkeys isn’t too serious and is pretty funny, but also gets to the core of the craziness and pace of startups whilst also addressing the subject of people as monetisation. They talk specifically about the build of Facebook’s systems to track huge amounts of data to efficiently advertise, which is a fun read and also relevant knowledge for our industry.
TLDR: A memoir of the chaotic early days of startups like Facebook and a look behind the Silicon Valley veil.”
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a hidden gem because it teaches us too…
“1. Put real creativity into your marketing
So many companies just do the same thing with their marketing and expect results to magically appear. We need more ‘golden ticket’ campaigns and less ‘fitting in’. Don’t be afraid to go big to generate buzz. By creating his own mini lottery, there is no doubt Willy Wonka generated huge ROI and revenues as a result. The potential reward of ‘free chocolate for life’ is about as good as a lead magnet gets.
2. Make your products or services innovative
By launching Everlasting Gobstoppers and Golden Chocolate Eggs laid by real geese, Wonka isn’t just setting out to replicate what already exists, but instead differentiating his products from everyone else in that market place. There is a key message in not setting out as a company to make what already exists, but to make something much better. By doing so, you force the market itself to evolve to meet you.
3. It’s fine to make mistakes
Wonka’s factory is littered with products he has tried to make and that went wrong/or still need tweaks, but have never stopped him from exploring a new idea. Behind great marketing and any successful business, is quite often countless historic failures. Any marketer that is afraid of getting stuff wrong and testing something out, is never going to deliver great results for you. Building a culture that is OK with mistakes is a crucial lesson for any business to learn.”
TLDR: Willy Wonka might have been a marketing genius”
Not only was Tobin not afraid to shake things up, he actively went out of his way to push his senior team well outside of their comfort zones with radical, bizarre and often extreme team building and barrier breaking activities.
On one occasion, totally out of the blue, he took his Executive team swimming with sharks, Why? He wanted to create an experience that would help his team convert their fearfulness into fearlessness, something that would instil fear in them but then show them that their fear was unfounded and thus allowed them to adjust their expectations.
He took a small London data centre operator on to become a market leading Multi-Billion $ Global Goliath. It’s a tangible example of pushing the envelope and try to live by the Dr Pepper ethos of “What’s the worst that could happen!”
The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis (of Moneyball and The Big Short fame) covers the work and friendship of two Israeli psychologist, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. It’s pretty typical of Lewis’ style and features a mixture between pure non-fiction with some more vivid storytelling wrapped around it.
It explores how people make decisions and how we’re essentially really bad at it! It boils down to ideas like “why is it less disappointing to be stuck in traffic and miss your flight by 3 hours, than if you just made it to the airport but still missed your flight by 3 minutes” or “why does winning £6,000 but losing 20% to tax feel somehow worse than just winning £5,000 tax free even though the end prize is the same.”
Their work showed that the same outcome can feel fundamentally different depending on how you interpret the data, even though its illogical. Even more bizarre, the same thing can happen even when you know it’s illogical. Although it can be a little heavy in places it’s softened by snippets of their friendship even if that was similarly flawed. A good read, especially for a company specialising in data – just because someone has the same data, it doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to use it correctly!
Keep checking back!
We’ll be updating this list as more of our team add their suggestions.