There are a lot of great business books coming out this quarter, and I’m looking forward to reading each one. I scoured the “coming soon” section of a few major retailers, picked 15 notable releases, and listed them below. I’m especially excited for three: Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators, Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style, and How Google Works, by the former CEO and current Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt. Via 250words.com
Business Books #1: The Intel Trinity
Michael Mauboussin: Here’s what active managers can do
Based on unprecedented access to the corporation’s archives, The Intel Trinity is the first full history of Intel Corporation—the essential company of the digital age— told through the lives of the three most important figures in the company’s history: Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove.
Often hailed the “most important company in the world,” Intel remains, more than four decades after its inception, a defining company of the global digital economy. The legendary inventors of the microprocessor-the single most important product in the modern world-Intel today builds the tiny “engines” that power almost every intelligent electronic device on the planet.
Business Books #2: Driving Honda
Driving Honda: Inside the World’s Most Innovative Car Company by Jeffrey Rothfeder
For decades there have been two iconic Japanese auto companies. One has been endlessly studied and written about. The other has been generally underappreciated and misunderstood. Until now.
Since its birth as a motorcycle company in 1949, Honda has steadily grown into the world’s fifth largest automaker and top engine manufacturer, as well as one of the most beloved, most profitable, and most consistently innovative multinational corporations. What drives the company that keeps creating and improving award-winning and bestselling models like the Civic, Accord, Odyssey, CR-V, and Pilot?
Business Books #3: The Power of Noticing
The Power of Noticing: What Leaders See by Max Bazerman
From Harvard Business School Professor and Co-Director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership: A guide to making better decisions, noticing important information in the world around you, and improving leadership skills.
Imagine your advantage in negotiations, decision-making, and leadership if you could teach yourself to see, and evaluate, information that others overlook. The Power of Noticing provides the blueprint for accomplishing precisely that. Max Bazerman, an expert in the field of applied behavioral psychology, draws on three decades of research and his experience instructing Harvard Business School MBAs and corporate executives to teach you how to notice and act on information that may not be immediately obvious.
Business Books #4: The Organized Mind
The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin
New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin shifts his keen insights from your brain on music to your brain in a sea of details.
The information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that the average American reports frequently losing car keys or reading glasses, missing appointments, and feeling worn out by the effort required just to keep up.
But somehow some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow. In The Organized Mind, Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time.
Business Books #5: Economics
Economics: The User’s Guide by Ha-Joon Chang
In his bestselling 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism, Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang brilliantly debunked many of the predominant myths of neoclassical economics. Now, in an entertaining and accessible primer, he explains how the global economy actually works—in real-world terms. Writing with irreverent wit, a deep knowledge of history, and a disregard for conventional economic pieties, Chang offers insights that will never be found in the textbooks.
Unlike many economists, who present only one view of their discipline, Chang introduces a wide range of economic theories, from classical to Keynesian, revealing how each has its strengths and weaknesses, and why there is no one way to explain economic behavior. Instead, by ignoring the received wisdom and exposing the myriad forces that shape our financial world, Chang gives us the tools we need to understand our increasingly global and interconnected world often driven by economics. From the future of the Euro, inequality in China, or the condition of the American manufacturing industry here in the United States—Economics: The User’s Guide is a concise and expertly crafted guide to economic fundamentals that offers a clear and accurate picture of the global economy and how and why it affects our daily lives.
Business Books #6: Smartcuts
Entrepreneur and journalist Shane Snow (Wired, Fast Company, The New Yorker, and cofounder of Contently) analyzes the lives of people and companies that do incredible things in implausibly short time.
How do some startups go from zero to billions in mere months? How did Alexander the Great, YouTube tycoon Michelle Phan, and Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon climb to the top in less time than it takes most of us to get a promotion? What do high-growth businesses, world-class heart surgeons, and underdog marketers do in common to beat the norm?
Business Books #7: The small BIG
The small BIG: Small Changes That Spark Big Influence by Steve J. Martin, Noah Goldstein, & Robert Cialdini
Business Books #8: The Virgin Way
The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson
Business Books #9: Valuing Life
Valuing Life: Humanizing the Regulatory State by Cass Sunstein
The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is the United States’s regulatory overseer. In Valuing Life, Cass R. Sunstein draws on his firsthand experience as the Administrator of OIRA from 2009 to 2012 to argue that we can humanize regulation—and save lives in the process.
As OIRA Administrator, Sunstein helped oversee regulation in a broad variety of areas, including highway safety, health care, homeland security, immigration, energy, environmental protection, and education. This background allows him to describe OIRA and how it works—and how it can work better—from an on-the-ground perspective. Using real-world examples, many of them drawn from today’s headlines, Sunstein makes a compelling case for improving cost-benefit analysis, a longtime cornerstone of regulatory decision-making, and for taking account of variables that are hard to quantify, such as dignity and personal privacy. He also shows how regulatory decisions about health, safety, and life itself can benefit from taking into account behavioral and psychological research, including new findings about what scares us, and what does not. By better accounting for people’s fallibility, Sunstein argues, we can create regulation that is simultaneously more human and more likely to achieve its goals.
Business Books #10: Zero to One
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel & Blake Master
The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.
It’s easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1. The act of creation is singular, as is the moment of creation, and the result is something fresh and strange.
Business Books #11: How Google Works
How Google Works by Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg
Google Executive Chairman and ex-CEO Eric Schmidt and former SVP of Products Jonathan Rosenberg came to Google over a decade ago as proven technology executives. At the time, the company was already well-known for doing things differently, reflecting the visionary–and frequently contrarian–principles of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. If Eric and Jonathan were going to succeed, they realized they would have to relearn everything they thought they knew about management and business.
Today, Google is a global icon that regularly pushes the boundaries of innovation in a variety of fields. HOW GOOGLE WORKS is an entertaining, page-turning primer containing lessons that Eric and Jonathan learned as they helped build the company. The authors explain how technology has shifted the balance of power from companies to consumers, and that the only way to succeed in this ever-changing landscape is to create superior products and attract a new breed of multifaceted employees whom Eric and Jonathan dub “smart creatives.” Covering topics including corporate culture, strategy, talent, decision-making, communication, innovation, and dealing with disruption, the authors illustrate management maxims (“Consensus requires dissension,” “Exile knaves but fight for divas,” “Think 10X, not 10%”) with numerous insider anecdotes from Google’s history, many of which are shared here for the first time.
Business Books #12: The Innovator’s Hypothesis
What is the best way for a company to innovate? That’s exactly the wrong question. The better question: How can organizations get the maximum possible value from their innovation investments? Advice recommending “innovation vacations” and the luxury of failure may be wonderful for organizations with time to spend and money to waste. But this book addresses the innovation priorities of companies that live in the real world of limits. They want fast, frugal, and high impact innovations. They don’t just seek superior innovation, they want superior innovators.
In The Innovator’s Hypothesis, innovation expert Michael Schrage advocates a cultural and strategic shift: small teams, collaboratively–and competitively — crafting business experiments that make top management sit up and take notice. Creativity within constraints — clear deadlines and clear deliverables — is what serious innovation cultures do. Schrage introduces the 5X5 framework: giving diverse teams of five people up to five days to come up with portfolios of five business experiments costing no more than $5,000 each and taking no longer than five weeks to run.
Business Books #13: The Sense of Style
Business Books #14: The Innovators
Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens.
What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?
In his masterly saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page.
Business Books #15: Winners Dream
Winners Dream: Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office by Bill McDermott
A leadership and career manifesto told through the narrative of one of today’s most inspiring, admired, and successful global leaders.
In Winners Dream, Bill McDermott—the co-CEO of the world’s largest business software company, SAP—chronicles how relentless optimism, hard work, and disciplined execution embolden people and equip organizations to achieve audacious goals.
Growing up in working-class Long Island, a sixteen-year-old Bill traded three hourly wage jobs to buy a small deli, which he ran by instinctively applying ideas that would be the seeds for his future success. After paying for and graduating college, Bill talked his way into a job selling copiers door-to-door for Xerox, where he went on to rank number one in every sales position he held and eventually became the company’s youngest-ever corporate officer. Eventually, Bill left Xerox and in 2002 became the unlikely president of SAP’s flailing American business unit. There, he injected enthusiasm and accountability into the demoralized culture by scaling his deli, sales, and management strategies. In 2010, Bill was named co-CEO, and in May 2014 he will become SAP’s sole, and first non-European, CEO.