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June 29, 2006



Sounds an interesting read and reading list.
Anyway, here is what I'd add:-
Rules For Revolutionaries : The Capitalist Manifesto for Creating and Marketing New Products and Services/guy kawasaki (any of his books are good) and his blog is excellent.

The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture by Battelle......his book is the definitive, the other are not up to scratch

Obviously Chris Andersons LONG TAIL (which is due for release in uk on thursday week)

Malcolm Gladwell's TIPPING POINT is good to.

An article dealing with us as consumers can be found on trendwatch which looks at something called INFOLUST (http://www.trendwatching.com/trends/infolust.htm)

This discusses:-
how incredibly addicted consumers have become to getting instant access to any kind of useful and relevant information. In fact, consumers are experiencing nothing short of an all-encompassing INFOLUST.

Maybe of some use.

Anyhow, best of luck with the talk. Love the blog, and hope this helps. And hope you put the talk on the blog to read.

T Scott

I'd strongly recommend Friedman's "The World Is Flat". I posted some comments on it back in January here: http://tscott.typepad.com/tsp/2006/01/friedmans_flat_.html


One book that has followed me from my amazon.com days to libraryland is Max DePree's Leadership is an Art. One of the overriding themes is that in order to help people work well, you have to understand their work (ahem, library administrators). It is also very thin & therefore a quick read.

Joy Weese Moll

I like Tom Peters' Re-imagine! in small doses. His writing style is hard to take in long reading sessions, but I've been reading a page or two each morning for quote I can take into the day. Today's quote: "Make a Big Impact...and then a Quick Exit."

Thanks! I'm putting GGS and T Scott's recommendation of The World is Flat on my reading list.

caleb tr

James Surowiecki, the business columnist for the New Yorker, raises an interesting point in The Wisdom of Crowds.

Groups of regular people, together, are smarter than experts.

Given that libraries use experts for describing materials and experts for finding them, I think this is pretty damning, though Suroweicki doesn't mention libraries specifically.


Hey, Brian!

Sounds like a great topic for a talk! I liked Seth Godin's book All Marketer's Are Liars. I'm currently reading his ealier work, Permission Marketing and his Purple Cow has received a lot of praise among marketers (though I haven't read it yet).

MarketingProfs, KnowThis.com and WOMMA are must-use resources for all kinds of customer service/marketing how-to.

My favorite marketing/customer service blogs right now are: Church
of the Customer
, Modern Marketing, and Marketing Genius. Also, MarketingSherpa just came out with their top reader picks for marketing blogs.

As for articles and the like, you can take a look at my blog category "must_reads." Two in particular that I think are important are one on SIVA and one called Marketing Malpractice (I wrote a follow-up about it here).

Personally, I learn tons from the business world on things like consumer behavior and attitude, service design and evaluation, and marketing trends. I'd say the most important trend going on right now has to do with "open source marketing," or allowing customers to take on some marketing roles. If you browse through any services marketing or consumer behavior journal, you'll find many, many themes that exactly match things we're talking about in library-land. One discipline doesn't supplant the other, but they can complement one another.

Good luck!

steven bell

Brian - thanks for the suggestion/offer. My problem tends to be that I have too many things to write about - and figuring out when I can get to them. But anything is always up for consideration. I agree with much of what Jill said. What you may not know is that I was a librarian (and assistant director when I left in '97) for nearly a dozen years at the Wharton School Library, which is where I developed my passion for business information and keeping up with the world of business. It has always been a source of inspiration and some publication as well (a 2001 article in PORTAL on dealing with competition in the information industry sector and how to develop a differentiation strategy).

I think you've received a good many suggestions. I would add the works of Clayton Christensen on disruptive technologies since that applies so well to the environment in which we find ourselves. Beyond that I add The Art of Innovation (a few years old now) and I'd recommend that librarians keep an eye on BusinessWeek's new special supplement section IN - which is all about innovation in the business world.

While having a good list of business books is a good resource, I would stress the importance of maintaining a keeping up regimen that includes BusinessWeek, Fortune (and Forbes if you're a bit of a conservative), the NYT business section and of course WSJ. If you don't have much time - which is most librarians' barrier to a good keeping up strategy - use RSS to keep up with these few. The other point to make is that while the world of business can be a valuable source of insight for librarians we need to keep reminding ourselves that just because something works well in the business sector - or that works for Amazon or eBay - doesn't necessarily transer to our environment. It's easy to be taken with a great idea that works in business (e.g., focus on the needs of 80% of your customers and don't worry about the other 20% - but that doesn't work for us - we have to care about the 1% who need unique resources) but may not work for us - as our value system is quite a bit different.

Good luck with your presentation.

Scott Allen

Flattered to be included in this list, Brian. Application of knowledge from one domain into another is a great source of innovation.

I'd suggest adding to the list the upcoming The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom. It's another great look at how we can often be more effective by subverting hierarchy rather than following it.

susan gibbons

may I suggest Jim Collins "Good to Great" and his accompanying piece "Good to Great and the Social Sector." I would also recommend Clayton Christensens "The Innovator's Dilemma."


I don't know if it's relevant or not, but I'm reading a great book called Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers. It discusses the ways in which blogs are used by a wide variety of businesses, from small one-man shops to Fortune 100 companies. One of the ideas is that having a blog humanizes a company. Customers seem to feel like they get to know a company through its company blog or employee blogs, and business often increases. There are lots of other benefits to blogging that companies are seeing as well.

It's an entertaining and interesting read.

Manuel Alderete

Read James Blaut's review of GGS in his book called "Eight Eurocentric Historians."

Blaut demolishes Diamond's "scientific predestination of European superiority" theory.


Diamond conveniently neglects to mention that almost all the major inventions prior to 1492 were not made by Europeans:
the wheel
magnetic compass
printing press
paper money
water wheels
measuring units (360degrees, 60 minutes, etc)
geometry, algebra
modern numerals and positional notation
and on and on...

and that Europeans have never been a dominant global power until after 1492 (when they absorbed millions of tons of stolen Aztec and Inca gold and silver.)

Imagine what you could do if your paycheck was suddenly multiplied by six. That's what Aztec/Inca gold/silver did for Europe.

Read James Blaut. Caution for those infatuated with Jared Diamond: your heart will be broken after reading Blaut!

Blaut on Amazon:

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