Posts filed under “Books”
I had a chance at a recent Wired event to chat with Steven Levy about In The Plex which I enjoyed greatly. It is a fun, fascinating read about how a great innovation in search and a second innovation — monetizing it — led to creation, development, and dominance of Google.
Levy, who had done a few way early and quite complementary articles on Google (before anyone knew who they were) was granted “unprecedented access to the company” and it shows in his quite revelatory book about how how Google became the company it is today.
The key to Google’s success in all of their businesses, according to Levy, is the engineering mind-set and adoption of such Internet values as speed, openness, experimentation, and risk taking.
I was tempted to accuse Levy of fawning over the company, but he is pretty brutal on how Google stumbled so badly in China as well as in social networking,
He writes with a deep understanding of engineering and software — which works terrifically well in this book. That technology savvy is what was noticeably missing from Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs.
If you are curious as to how things operate in the Googleplex, this books gives you the details.
Once again, its time to peruse the data to see which books TBP readers bought last month via Amazon’s magic embed code (we can track click from these links). Its anonymous — I don’t know who bought what — but there’s lots of data on the various books generated.
These were the most popular TBP books for March:
• Contagious (Jonah Berger)
• Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger (Charles T. Munger)
• Big Data (Viktor Mayer-Schonberger)
• How We Know What Isn’t So (Thomas Gilovich)
• Bailout Nation (Barry Ritholtz)
• The Myth of the Rational Market (Justin Fox)
• Thinking, Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman)
• Wait: The Art and Science of Delay (Frank Partnoy)
• Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Robert B. Cialdini)
• Pound Foolish (Helaine Olen)
• The Bankers’ New Clothes (Anat Admati)
Kindle and eBooks after the jump
This book is next up in my queue. It looks to be a primer on why big, highly leveraged banks are bad for the economy.
More than four years after the financial meltdown devastated the economy, our banking system remains resistant to reform and riddled with risk. The Bankers’ New Clothes challenges us to question the status quo and to think anew about the transformative changes in banking that are needed to serve the public interest. This work should spur a long-overdue debate on real banking reform.”
-Phil Angelides, chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
The Bankers’ New Clothes underscores that there is perhaps no reform more important and central to a stable financial system than capping the ability of financial institutions to take excessive risks using other people’s money.
-Sheila C. Bair, former chair of FDIC and author of Bull by the Horns
The Bankers’ New Clothes accomplishes the near impossible by translating the arcane world of banking regulation into plain English. In doing so, it exposes as false the self-serving arguments against meaningful financial reform advanced by Wall Street executives and the captured politicians who serve their interests. This revelatory must-read shreds bankers’ scare tactics while offering commonsense reforms that would protect the general public from unending cycles of boom, bust, and bailout.
-Neil Barofsky, author of Bailout
Bankers have sold us a story that their risky practices are the necessary cost of a dynamic system. Admati and Hellwig expose this as a misguided and dangerous lie, and show how banks can be made more stable–if less profitable for the bankers themselves–without sacrificing economic growth. This brilliant book demystifies banking for everyone and explains what is really going on. Investors, policymakers, and all citizens owe it to themselves to listen.
-Simon Johnson, coauthor of 13 Bankers
A clearheaded antidote to the ill-advised snap reactions to the financial crisis, The Bankers’ New Clothes carefully counteracts arguments that the banking system is now more secure. With direct and rigorous analysis, Admati and Hellwig lay bare the ongoing misinformation about modern banks, and show what remains wrong with banking. This book is the voice shouting that the bankers are still not wearing any clothes. We should listen.
-Frank Partnoy, author of Infectious Greed
I like this book. The Bankers’ New Clothes explains in plain language why banking reform is still incomplete, contrary to what lobbyists, politicians, and even some regulators tell us.
-Paul Volcker, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the U.S. Economic Recovery Advisory Board
Full chapter after the jump . . .
Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
“Jonah Berger is as creative and thoughtful as he is spunky and playful. Looking at his research, much like studying a masterpiece in a museum, provides the observer with new insights about life and also makes one aware of the creator’s ingenuity and creativity. It is hard to come up with a better example of using social science to illuminate the ordinary and extraordinary in our daily lives.” -Dan Ariely, James B. Duke professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University and bestselling author of Predictably Irrational.
“Why do some ideas seemingly spread overnight, while others disappear? How can some products become ubiquitous, while others never gain traction? Jonah Berger knows the answers, and, with Contagious, now we do, too.” -Charles Duhigg, author of the bestselling The Power of Habit
“Jonah Berger knows more about what makes information ‘go viral’ than anyone in the world.” -Daniel Gilbert, Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and author of Stumbling on Happiness
“A provocative shift in focus from the technology of online transmission to the human element and a bold claim to explain ‘how word of mouth and social influence work . . . [to] make any product or idea contagious.” -Kirkus Reviews
“Think of it as the practical companion to Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point.” -Tasha Eichenseher Discover
“Contagious contains arresting — and counterintuitive — facts and insights. . . . Most interesting of all are the examples Berger cites of successful and unsuccessful marketing campaigns.” -Glenn C. Altschuler The Boston Globe
“An infectious treatise on viral marketing. . . . Berger writes in a sprightly, charming style that deftly delineates the intersection of cognitive psychology and social behavior with an eye toward helping businesspeople and others spread their messages. The result is a useful and entertaining primer that diagnoses countless baffling pop culture epidemics.” -Publishers Weekly
video after the jump
The ‘Big Data’ Revolution: How Number Crunchers Can Predict Our Lives Reviews: “Every decade, there are a handful of books that change the way you look at everything. This is one of those books. Society has begun to reckon the change that big data will bring. This book is an incredibly important start.” —Lawrence Lessig,…Read More
Click to enlarge Once again, its time to peruse the data to see which books TBP readers bought last month. Amazon’s embed code lets me track every click from these links — how many people look at the page, how many books get seen, and/or collectively purchased. Its anonymous — I don’t know who bought…Read More
Over the past few years, we have owned Berkshire Hathaway — not because I am a crazed Dodd & Graham fan (like many BRK owners) but because it is an excellent assortment of assets at a very reasonable price. (Its done well for us).
I bring this up because I wanted to reference this tome of a book: Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger, Expanded 3rd Edition
As you imagine, Warren Buffetts partner Charlie Munger is no slouch. He lays out his view of the world in very succinct (if I can describe a 500 word book that way) and direct fashion.
He has a terrific mind for business and investing, and essentially tells you what his secrets are in this book. He goes into the behavioral and cognitive issues investors face, but much more as well. The Munger approach to problem solving teaches you how to look at problems.
It is weird to say this, bu Charlie Munger may be an underrated investor. He is overshadowed by Buffett, and his blunt honesty may not be appreciated by some. But Munger is the reason Berkshire owns Coca-Cola, Gillette, and J&J.
He has been described as having numerous advantages over ordinary investors: An analytical edge, a behavioral advantage, the ability to see the world through multiple discipline, and a broad freedom from institutional norms.
Note the title of the book comes from Munger’s role-model, Benjamin Franklin. I have been reading speeches from Munger for years, and this morning I finally broke down and bought the book on Amazon.
The Psychology of Human Misjudgment speech after the jump
This presentation was presented by Goodreads CEO Otis Chandler at the 2013 Tools of Change conference in New York. It details how readers discovered, acquired, and read two specific titles — Gillian … What's Going On With Readers Today from Goodreads by Goodreads on Feb 13, 2013
Once again, its time to peruse the data to see which books TBP readers bought last month. Amazon’s embed code lets me track every click from these links — how many people look at the page, how many books get seen, and/or collectively purchased.
Its anonymous — I don’t know who bought what — but there’s lots of data on the various books generated.
These were the most popular TBP books for January:
Wait: The Art and Science of Delay (Frank Partnoy)
The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood (James Gleick)
Thinking, Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman)
Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition (Milton Friedman)
The Art of Contrary Thinking (Humphrey B. Neill)
Underwater Dogs (Seth Casteel)
Kindle and eBooks after the jump