Decide to embrace your inner polymath? That’s okay.
With summer rapidly upon us, maybe it’s time to start talking about books that AREN’T about marketing. Or social media.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t check out some of the higher profile marketing books out there – but, to be honest, they are starting to all blend together. Unless you’ve got some unique spin to add to the marketing campaign of the future, at some point it’s time to broaden your horizons.
So, Dave, What DO You Recommend?
Funny – if there’s one thing this site has been known for, it’s a healthy dose of counter-intuitive thinking. Zig when other zag. Things like that. Alas, some tips for your summer reading:
1. Rediscover the Magazine
In the early part of the 90s, I was a subscriber to The Economist. I let my subscription expire…then felt something missing and re-upped. But, to be direct, to understand the workings of modern business AND get a healthy dose of counter-intuitive thinking, there’s no magazine right now that does the trick better than…Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
When Bloomberg bought the property in 2010 and rescued it from the precipice of bankruptcy, they refreshed the design (it’s slick) and the editorial went up a couple notches, IMHO. The writing is rock solid. You’ll learn something new every week.
Oh, and even though I’m a “flip through the pages” kinda guy – the website is great and there’s an iPad version of the magazine.
A tip from a wise person I worked with ages ago: score inexpensive trial subscriptions to something you’re sorta interested in – this will broaden your horizons. So if you KINDA think you want to be a Surfer someday, there’s a magazine for that. (It’s called…Surfer.)
2. Anything Michael Lewis
Moneyball? It was a book before it was a movie. I have a copy sitting here, and I’ve re-read it a couple times.
I’m a baseball guy – sorta, not one of those “Sabermetricians” that Lewis talks about in the book, but a fan from way back when. But this isn’t a baseball book – it’s about thinking differently about how you approach business, decision making, and life. Really. Even if you don’t care to watch the movie, read the book.
Or Boomerang – that’s a great read, too, and will put the whole Euro Mess into perspective.
Lewis is really cool because, well, he’s a polymath. And he has a great writing style.
3. Ask People Who Run Businesses What THEY Read
This is one of my favorite tricks – and I’m not talking about asking bloggers to recommend other bloggers’ blogs.
Smart people have suggested books to me such as Business Model Generation (photo above, worth checking out, thank me later) and Aftershock (which will scare the crap out of you). Neither are marketing books.
4. Pick Up an Almanac or an Atlas
I dig reference books. But, in this “look it up on Wikipedia” world we live in, the need for an Almanac isn’t there. Or is it?
Ditto the Atlas – why would you look through an actual book when you can just go to Google Maps?
Well, think what you want about these beauts – they’re dinosaurs and people don’t need them – they can spark creativity.
Maybe I’ll return to marketing books one of these days, but my plan is to read lots of other stuff this summer. What about you?