My Autumn reading list

I’ve been a little lighter on the business reading these past months as I tried to catch-up on some fiction and podcasts. However, thanks to audible and a few long distance journeys, here’s what I’ve got through:

Deep Thinking by Garry Kasparov. (Thanks to Glyn from Dream Agility)

Set against the backdrop of the chess world, this is a great book for illustrating the challenges, and potential for machine learning. It’s great at highlighting how far we have yet to go, and the odd relationship between human and computer. While Garry still seems bitter about his experience with IBM, it’s fascinating to see what an advocate of ML he’s become. This book actually inspired me to start the online Elements of AI course from the University of Helsinki – which is FREE so give it a go if you’ve got a spare 20 hours!

The Alliance by Reid Hoffman, Chris Yeh and Ben Casnocha (Thanks to Tim from Canddi)

I’ve written before about the impact of office space on teams, and how to attract and retain younger team members, so this book proposes a completely new approach to the employment contract. The work explores the idea of an alliance between the employer and the candidate that goes well beyond they time of employment within the organisation. The focus on the alumni network bears resemblance to the less formal relationship that exists between the Latitude Alumni. With hindsight I should have created something more formal at the time.

Exponential Organisations by Salim Ismail (Thanks to Neil McKay from Endless Gain)

A detail rich book that provides a number of models (SCALE and IDEAS) to support fast growth (or exponential growth) organisations in the private and public sector. Keep a notepad handy while you’re reading it since there’s a hell of a lot to take in.

Given the abundance of blogs and podcasts related to the subject the only downside of this book is the use of example pre-2014.

Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin

Having spent many years i the search industry, I’m no stranger to Rand, but this book exposes the gritty reality of startup life. There’s none of the perceived glamour of fundraising, the big “exit” or the IPO. Rand’s adventures with SEOMoz (now just Moz) cover depression, debt, failure and some fascinating experiments in entrepreneurship. I recommended the book to a couple of founds I mentor and they read it in a day, recognising and empathising with Rand’s real-life dramas.

This book will definitely deter any “wantrepreneurs” out there., but is a must read of all founders.

When by Daniel Pink

As a regular listener to Bruce Daisley’s Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat podcast (heavily recommended!) Daniel Pink’s work is often referenced on the show.

The author shot to fame with the books Drive and To Sell is Human – a great work that dispels the myth that selling is just for sales-people – and this latest read looks more at the system of timing. It covers the times of day we make the best decisions, when to exercise, how your year of birth affects your lifetime earnings and when not to go to hospital!


Dan Pink - When: Hospitals of Doom


As always, I’m looking for more recommendations so please send them through or drop them in the comments below.

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