Every time I see my good friend Sumana, we try catch up on books we are reading and other things that we have been excited about since last we met. I mentioned a book that I thought she really ought to read and she said, “Hey, why don’t you blog about it?” And I was reminded that I hadn’t blogged in a while. SO here is a roundup of things I’ve been reading, watching, listening to as of late. Kinda for you….but mostly for Sumana. 🙂
- Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday — The whole “growth hacking” thing is annoying to me too but hey I work at a startup and I need to know this stuff. The people I work for ain’t about that growth hacking life, but the book did give me a lot to think about in terms of getting creative when your drive is big but your budget is small.
- Do It! Marketing by David Newman — Well written book with lots of actionable ideas although it does get repetitive in places. I’d recommend it to others in the B2B space but recommend it even more to people running their own small business or personal consultancy. I did bristle at the one mention of Donald Trump but hey it was written well before he become an unfortunate part of our daily news cycle.
- I Love You More Than My Dog by Jeanne Bliss — This book is less of a how-to and more a series of brief case studies on what others have done. That said, if you read it with your current processes in mind, you can start to look at places where your approach might be more fine-tuned or personalized. As the main “customer-facing person” at my org, I am acutely aware of how important interactions with our support desk are for customer retention and overall perception of our brand. Users who reach out to us and have a good experience are users who stay on and refer us to others. While not everyone can be Tony Hsieh (of Zappos) or the folks over at Trader Joes (especially if you are working in B2B), beginning to run more company and product questions through the “customer love filter” can help you make decisions that will keep your business growing.
- This episode of the Track Changes podcast on the topic of NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) was surprisingly riveting. I have a lifelong, unwavering passion for the clean lines and unprejudiced sterility of tedious paperwork and I’ve issued, scanned, and signed a great number of NDAs in my days, but I appreciated this humorous takedown of the whole practice. Paul and Rich are fast becoming the Jerry and George of the tech industry and I love it!
- I can’t stop listening to Along the Coast by Azaelia Banks and Long Live the Chief by Jidenna. Summer? Jammed!
- Episode 4, Season 3 of Bojack Horseman on Netflix is a work of pure art. Stop what you are doing and watch it. You don’t have to watch any of the episodes that preceded it or any after. Just watch that one.
- Joshua Kerievsky’s talk on Modern Agile from the Agile2016 conference is a revelation. I am not a person who really cares a whole heap about agile stuff, but I found his talk engaging from start to finish. I was particularly moved by his emphasis on psychological safety in the workplace, and think it dovetails very well with a lot of the dialogue around fostering diversity in tech and moving beyond the pipeline. Curious to see how/if other orgs implement this.
What have YOU been watching? Reading? Listening to?