Stumbling onto 800-CEO-Read, and their top books feature, I found Brogan and Smith’s work. Brogan’s blog intrigued me enough so I walked down to the Strand here in NYC to pick up a copy.
What I found was an excellent introduction to the nebulous world of social media marketing, where you find all sorts of advice and suggestions on how to engage your target audience. If you’re feeling like an ignoramus on matters of social media, Trust Agents is a great place to start and will give you ideas of how to ‘humanize’ your digital connections.
The authors illustrate the Trust Agent idea with Comcast Cares for example and how they engaged customers, and what worked so well for them. Or Gary Vaynerchuk and his game changing Wine Library TV about wine. He also emphasizes that building relationships online is a lot like building relationships in the real world a la Keith Ferrazzi of Never Eat Alone fame. Engage in meaningful ways with people, don’t market to them. Share valuable tidbits, and the community will reward you tenfold.
A ‘trust agent’ lives by six principles:
- Make your own game – be willing to take risks and break from the crowd
- Be ‘One of Us’ – be part of the community by doing your bit and contributing to it
- The Archimedes Effect – leverage your own strengths wisely
- Agent Zero – position yourself at the center by connecting people and groups
- Human Artist – learn how to work with people; help others and be conscientious of etiquette
- Build an Army – you need allies to help spread your ideas
The book is excellent. Put it on your holiday list.
Effective MySQL: Optimizing SQL Statements
by Ronald Bradford
No Nonsense, Readable, Practical, and Compact
I like that this book is small; 150 pages means you can carry it easily. It’s also very no nonsense. It does not dig too deeply into theory unless it directly relates to your day-to-day needs. And those needs probably cluster heavily around optimizing SQL queries, as those pesky developers are always breaking things 😉
Jokes aside, this new book out on Oracle Press is a very readable volume. Bradford has drawn directly from real-world experience to give you the right bite size morsels you need in your day-to-day MySQL activities. Continue reading Book Review – Effective MySQL
What do you do after founding not one, but two companies and watching them fail miserably all by the time you were barely out of college?
Move to the Valley, make shrewd investments in other startups and become insanely rich like Sean Parker? A Bit lofty perhaps. How about try, try again and succeed. Then reinvent yourself as a guru dishing out startup wisdom through your blog and publishing a book that ends up the top of the New York Times Bestseller’s list. That’s essentially what Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup did.
True entrepreneurs fail many times before they succeed and continuously find opportunities to reinvent themselves. Ries is one of them. He’s taken all that he’s learned from his failures, and later successes, from his college years in the 1990s right through the dotcom crash, and packaged them into a guide for startups to consult in their quest for world domination. Continue reading Book Review – The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Help! How To Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done
I’ve long overcome that sheepish feeling when browsing the Self-help section at the bookstore. Sure, How to Make Friends and Influence People or the Seven Steps to World Domination in your bookcase aren’t exactly the sort of titles to suggest a deep intellect but I like to keep an open mind when checking out the latest hardcover secret to happiness and prosperity. Basically I try not to diss a book just because it’s got “soup” on the cover.
I will concede that publishers have gone a bit overboard with churning out the number of self-help titles in the last 20 years or so. As with anything that proliferates you’re stuck with having to wade through the swamp of well, BS. HELP! How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done by Oliver Burkeman is ideal for those curious enough about self-improvement but too cool to buy into mind-body-soul mantras.
Continue reading Book Review – Help! by Oliver Burkeman
Spencer Johnson is a great writer. His business book classic was a real page turner. He takes a page from the REWORK book and that’s a good thing.
Who Moved My Cheese is a story about mice living in a maze happy and content that they have an unlimited supply of cheese. Then one day the cheese runs out. Continue reading Review – Who Moved My Cheese
Rework is chock full of ideas
Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson’s new book REWORK is one of the best startup business books I’ve read since Alan Weiss’ Million Dollar Consulting. If you’re already a fan of their signal vs noise blog, you’d be familiar with their terse style. Sharp and to the point.
Which is why you can pick it up and read it in a few hours. You’ll want to because it’s well written and pared down to essentials. In fact the book reads like their workflow advice, less mass, do it yourself, cut out the fat, concentrate on essentials. As such they are clearly practicing what they preach, which I like. Continue reading Book Review – Rework
In search of a good book on Chef itself, I picked up this new title on O’Reilly. It’s one of their new format books, small in size, only 75 pages.
There was some very good material in this book. Mr. Nelson-Smith’s writing style is good, readable, and informative. The discussion of risks of infrastructure as code was instructive. With the advent of APIs to build out virtual data centers, the idea of automating every aspect of systems administration, and building infrastructure itself as code is a new one. So an honest discussion of the risks of such an approach is bold and much needed. I also liked the introduction to Chef itself, and the discussion of installation.
Chef isn’t really the main focus of this book, unfortunately. The book spends a lot of time introducing us to Agile Development, and specifically test driven development. While these are lofty goals, and the first time I’ve seen treatment of the topic in relation to provisioning cloud infrastructure, I did feel too much time was spent on that. Continue reading Review – Test Driven Infrastructure with Chef – Stephen Nelson-Smith