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Books That Made Me Think Differently
Notes and reactions to the books I have read.
Curated by Stephen Lippa
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Zero to One

Zero to One | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it
The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One , legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.

Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.

Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique.
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Smartcuts

Smartcuts | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it

How do some startups go from zero to a billion in two years? How did SpaceX founder Elon Musk, President Obama, and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer climb to the top in less time than it takes most of us to get a promotion? What do successful heart surgeons, elusive “city hackers,” dubstep artists, and the world’s fastest self-made billionaires do in common to beat the norm?

According to Shane Snow, a handful of innovators throughout history have leveraged “the new” like computer hackers to find shorter routes to stunning accomplishments. These are not shortcuts, which produce rapid but short-term gains, but smartcuts, which yield sustainable gains, achieved quickly. In Smartcuts, Snow shatters common wisdom about success, debunking the myth that it takes decades of practice to master a skill or industry, and revealing how conventions like “paying dues” prevent progress, why kids shouldn’t learn times tables, and how, paradoxically, it’s easier to build a huge business than a small one.

Smartcuts illuminates how breakthrough innovators get to the top and beyond by applying entrepreneurial and technological concepts to success, and how by emulation we can climb the ladder, grow businesses, and fix society faster than we think possible.

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Accelerate

Accelerate | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it
It’s a familiar scene in organizations today: a new competitive threat or a big opportunity emerges. You quickly create a strategic initiative in response and appoint your best people to make change happen. And it does—but not fast enough. Or effectively enough. Real value gets lost and, ultimately, things drift back to the default status.

Why is this scenario so frequently repeated in industries and organizations across the world? In the groundbreaking new book Accelerate (XLR8), leadership and change management expert, and best-selling author, John Kotter provides a fascinating answer—and a powerful new framework for competing and winning in a world of constant turbulence and disruption.

Kotter explains how traditional organizational hierarchies evolved to meet the daily demands of running an enterprise. For most companies, the hierarchy is the singular operating system at the heart of the firm. But the reality is, this system simply is not built for an environment where change has become the norm. Kotter advocates a new system—a second, more agile, network-like structure that operates in concert with the hierarchy to create what he calls a “dual operating system”—one that allows companies to capitalize on rapid-fire strategic challenges and still make their numbers.
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Make Your Mark

Make Your Mark | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it
Are you ready to "make a dent in the universe"? As a creative, you no longer have to take a backseat. In fact, stepping up and embracing entrepreneurship is the fastest route to impact. But where do you start? And what sets the businesses that succeed apart?

To find out, we asked the bright minds behind companies like Google X, Warby Parker, Facebook, O’Reilly Media, and more to share their startup wisdom. Featuring hard-won wisdom from twenty leading entrepreneurs and designers, 99U’s Make Your Mark will arm you with practical insights for launching a purpose-driven business, refining your product, delighting your customers, inspiring your team—and ultimately—making something that matters.
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This Changes Everything

This Changes Everything | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it

Forget everything you think you know about global warming. It's not about carbon - it's about capitalism. The good news is that we can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed economic system and build something radically better. 

 

You have been told the market will save us, when in fact the addiction to profit and growth is digging us in deeper every day. You have been told it's impossible to get off fossil fuels when in fact we know exactly how to do it - it just requires breaking every rule in the "free-market" playbook: reining in corporate power, rebuilding local economies and reclaiming our democracies.

You have also been told that humanity is too greedy and selfish to rise to this challenge. In fact, all around the world, the fight back for the next economy is already succeeding in ways both surprising and inspiring.

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Make Your Mark

Make Your Mark | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it

Are you ready to “make a dent in the universe”? As a creative, you no longer have to take a backseat. In fact, stepping up and embracing entrepreneurship is the fastest route to impact. But where do you start? And what sets the businesses that succeed apart?

 

We tapped 21 leading entrepreneurs and experts to share their best practices for launching a purpose-driven business, refining your product, delighting your customers, inspiring your team—and ultimately—making something that matters.

 

Stephen Lippa's insight:

Excellent! Worth buying to pass along. Insightful, quick read that clarifies what characterizes good leadership practice today. Recommended for sure.

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Where Good Ideas Come From

Where Good Ideas Come From | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it

The printing press, the pencil, the flush toilet, the battery—these are all great ideas. But where do they come from? What kind of environment breeds them? What sparks the flash of brilliance? How do we generate the breakthrough technologies that push forward our lives, our society, our culture? Steven Johnson’s answers are revelatory as he identifies the seven key patterns behind genuine innovation, and traces them across time and disciplines. From Darwin and Freud to the halls of Google and Apple, Johnson investigates the innovation hubs throughout modern time and pulls out applicable approaches and commonalities that seem to appear at moments of originality. Where Good Ideas Come From gives us both an important new understanding of the history of innovation and a set of useful strategies for cultivating our own creative breakthroughs.

Stephen Lippa's insight:

The scientist in me loved the connections that Johnson made with this book. Would be tough read unless if you dont have an inner geek that likes science history. 

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Leaders Eat Last

Leaders Eat Last | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it

Determining a company’s WHY is crucial, but only the beginning. The next step is how do you get people on board with your WHY? How do you inspire deep trust and commitment to the company and one another? He cites the Marine Corps for having found a way to build a culture in which men and women are willing to risk their lives, because they know others would do the same for them. It’s not brainwashing; it’s actually based on the biology of how and when people are naturally at their best. If businesses could adopt this supportive mentality, employees would be more motivated to take bigger risks, because they’d know their colleagues and company would back them up, no matter what. Drawing on powerful and inspiring stories, Sinek shows how to sustain an organization’s WHY while continually adding people to the mix.

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Six Degrees

Six Degrees | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it
Possibly the most graphic treatment of global warming that has yet been published, Six Degrees is what readers of Al Gore's best-selling An Inconvenient Truth or Ross Gelbspan's Boiling Point will turn to next. Written by the acclaimed author of High Tide, this highly relevant and compelling book uses accessible journalistic prose to distill what environmental scientists portend about the consequences of human pollution for the next hundred years.

In 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a landmark report projecting average global surface temperatures to rise between 1.4 degrees and 5.8 degrees Celsius (roughly 2 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century. Based on this forecast, author Mark Lynas outlines what to expect from a warming world, degree by degree. At 1 degree Celsius, most coral reefs and many mountain glaciers will be lost. A 3-degree rise would spell the collapse of the Amazon rainforest, disappearance of Greenland's ice sheet, and the creation of deserts across the Midwestern United States and southern Africa. A 6-degree increase would eliminate most life on Earth, including much of humanity.

Based on authoritative scientific articles, the latest computer models, and information about past warm events in Earth history, Six Degrees promises to be an eye-opening warning that humanity will ignore at its peril.
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The Long Tail

The Long Tail | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it

In the most important business book since The Tipping Point, Chris Anderson shows how the future of commerce and culture isn t in hits, the high-volume head of a traditional demand curve, but in what used to be regarded as misses -- the endlessly long tail of that same curve.

Stephen Lippa's insight:

Very insightful.

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Decisive - Heath Brothers

Decisive - Heath Brothers | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it
Research in psychology has revealed that our decisions are disrupted by an array of biases and irrationalities: We’re overconfident. We seek out information that supports us and downplay information that doesn’t. We get distracted by short-term emotions. When it comes to making choices, it seems, our brains are flawed instruments. Unfortunately, merely being aware of these shortcomings doesn’t fix the problem, any more than knowing that we are nearsighted helps us to see. The real question is: How can we do better?
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The Radical Leap Re-Energized

The Radical Leap Re-Energized | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it
The Radical Leap Re-Energized is an expansion and revitalization of The Radical Leap, which was named as one of the 100 Best Business Boo...
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1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it

Contrary to what so many Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The astonishing Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had running water and immaculately clean streets, and was larger than any contemporary European city. Mexican cultures created corn in a specialized breeding process that it has been called man’s first feat of genetic engineering. Indeed, Indians were not living lightly on the land but were landscaping and manipulating their world in ways that we are only now beginning to understand. Challenging and surprising, this a transformative new look at a rich and fascinating world we only thought we knew.

Stephen Lippa's insight:

There have been so many historical misconceptions that I have been taught challenged by this book. Not quite finished but am recommending it based on what I have read so far. Awesome.

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Bold

Bold | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it
Bold unfolds in three parts. Part One focuses on the exponential technologies that are disrupting today’s Fortune 500 companies and enabling upstart entrepreneurs to go from "I’ve got an idea" to "I run a billion-dollar company" far faster than ever before. The authors provide exceptional insight into the power of 3D printing, artificial intelligence, robotics, networks and sensors, and synthetic biology. Part Two of the book focuses on the Psychology of Bold, drawing on insights from billionaire entrepreneurs Larry Page, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos. In addition, Diamandis reveals his entrepreneurial secrets garnered from building fifteen companies, including such audacious ventures as Singularity University, XPRIZE, Planetary Resources, and Human Longevity, Inc. Finally, Bold closes with a look at the best practices that allow anyone to leverage today’s hyper-connected crowd like never before. Here, the authors teach how to design and use incentive competitions, launch million-dollar crowdfunding campaigns to tap into ten’s of billions of dollars of capital, and finally how to build communities—armies of exponentially enabled individuals willing and able to help today’s entrepreneurs make their boldest dreams come true.

Bold is both a manifesto and a manual. It is today’s exponential entrepreneur’s go-to resource on the use of emerging technologies, thinking at scale, and the awesome power of crowd-powered tools.
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Scrum

Scrum | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it
We live in a world that is broken. For those who believe that there must be a more efficient way for people to get things done, here from...
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Manage Your Day-to-Day

Manage Your Day-to-Day | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it
Do you work at a breakneck pace all day, only to find that you haven't accomplished the most important things on your agenda by the time you leave the office? With wisdom from 20 leading creative minds, 99U's Manage Your Day-to-Day will equip you with pragmatic insights for using your time wisely and making your best work. We'll show you how to build a rock-solid daily routine, field a constant barrage of messages, find focus amidst chaos, and carve out the time you need to do the work that matters
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The Gen Z Effect

The Gen Z Effect | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it
One of the most profound changes in business and society is the emergence of the post-Millennial generation, Gen Z. While every new generation has faced its share of disruption in technology, economics, politics and society, no other generation in the history of mankind has had the ability to connect every human being on the planet to each other and in the process to provide the opportunity for each person to be fully educated, socially and economically engaged.
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Lon Woodbury's curator insight, January 5, 7:56 PM

Look what we have to look forward to.  I'm sure its going to be more messy with all kinds of unintended consequences as they move up in age. :)  -Lon

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Rework

Rework | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it

Rework shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. Read it and you'll know why plans are actually harmful, why you don't need outside investors, and why you're better off ignoring the competition. The truth is, you need less than you think. You don't need to be a workaholic. You don't need to staff up. You don't need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don't even need an office. Those are all just excuses. 

What you really need to do is stop talking and start working. This book shows you the way. You'll learn how to be more productive, how to get exposure without breaking the bank, and tons more counterintuitive ideas that will inspire and provoke you.

With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs they hate, victims of "downsizing," and artists who don’t want to starve anymore will all find valuable guidance in these pages.

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Stephen Lippa's curator insight, November 13, 2014 8:51 AM

I actually found this fun and insightful. Well worth picking up.

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The Road to Reinvention

The Road to Reinvention | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it

Companies, communities, and individuals fall for many reasons, but one of the most common--and easily avoidable--is the failure to reinvent. When people and organizations rest on prior successes rather than driving purposeful transformation, they discover too late that they have lost their market position altogether to competitors and external forces.

The most successful companies, brands, and individuals make reinvention a regular part of their business strategies. Transformation demands an ongoing process of discovery and imagination, and "The Road to Reinvention" lays out a systematic approach for continually challenging and reinventing yourself and your business. Venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur Josh Linkner identifies six elements in any business that are ripe for reinvention and shares examples, methods, and step-by-step techniques for creating deliberate, productive disruption.

Stephen Lippa's insight:

...next on the cue - adding it here so I don't lose the reference. 

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An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it
Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. The secret to Col. Hadfield's success-and survival-is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst-and enjoy every moment of it.

In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff.

You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Col. Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth-especially your own.
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The E-Myth Revisited

The E-Myth Revisited | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it

Gerber walks you through the steps in the life of a business—from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective: the guiding light of all businesses that succeed—and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether or not it is a franchise. Most importantly, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business.

Stephen Lippa's insight:

Picked up this book on Friday and am half way through it. Great insight on why businesses struggle or succeed.

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The Future by Al Gore

The Future by Al Gore | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it
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Stephen Lippa's curator insight, September 4, 2014 8:22 AM

Ours is a time of revolutionary change that has no precedent in history. With the same passion he brought to the challenge of climate change, and with his decades of experience on the front lines of global policy, Al Gore surveys our planet’s beclouded horizon and offers a sober, learned, and ultimately hopeful forecast in the visionary tradition of Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock and John Naisbitt’s Megatrends. In The Future, Gore identifies the emerging forces that are reshaping our world.

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Switch - Heath Brothers

Switch - Heath Brothers | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it
Some big changes, like getting married, come joyfully. Other small changes, like losing 10 pounds, can be excruciating. Why? And how can we make difficult changes a little bit easier?
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David and Goliath

David and Goliath | Books That Made Me Think Differently | Scoop.it
In his #1 bestselling books THE TIPPING POINT, BLINK and OUTLIERS, Malcolm Gladwell has explored the ways in which we understand and chan...
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