35 posts categorized "Books"

June 01, 2012

Calling on editors, book designers and marketing gurus

At Net Minds, we are changing the way publishing makes books. (see my previous post on the startup I've cofounded.) 

We are a networking service that partners authors with publishing talents to produce great books that are effectively promoted upon release.  After publishing four books through the antequaited traditional model, I realized that there had to be a better way...The Net Minds Way. 

Currently, we are working with over a dozen authors on books of all types.  We've built up a network of free lance editors, book designers, mareketers, and publicists to work with them.  Each partner gets a piece of the book's profits as part of their comp package.  We strongly believe that joint-ventures make better products ... and in my experience, sharing the upside makes all the difference. 

Here's the May Net Minds list of projects, looking for partners of all types.  The authors are impressive: Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, former CMO of AMD Nigel Dessau, media visionary Robert Tercek and nine others.  If you know a freelancer that might be intersted, please forward this blog post to them.  The deadline for responding is Thursday June 7.  


May 23, 2012

Want To Extend Your Reach? Don't Hire A Babysitter!

I assume that most of you who read my blog or subscribe to my newsletter are those who have something to say or sell, whether it’s your own or someone else’s. We’re all trying to be seen or heard and that’s increasingly complicated in a noisy world. 

Wouldn’t you agree?

The problem is that to be successful in the market today, you must possess two strategic assets: a compelling product and a meaningful platform. 

Platform is key. 

Most of us know it and it’s why we spend time networking, developing social media, writing emails and blogs, speaking, trying to connect with potential customers, etc. 

But here’s the issue, simply being on Facebook or Twitter, simply writing a book or newsletter, simply opening the doors of your business… doesn’t matter (unless others know about you and follow). 

That’s why I am excited about a new book from my good friend Michael Hyatt, one of the top bloggers in the world and Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers.  It’s called Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. It’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the waters so that you can do what works in order to be seen and heard. 

Special: To celebrate the launch of the book this week, Michael is giving away $375.98 worth of free Platform bonus content for those who purchase the book between May 21 and May 25. Complete details are available at http://michaelhyatt.com/platform

As I was chatting with Mike he mentioned something that really stood out to me about building a platform. He said… 

Accept Personal Responsibility - If you’re thinking of hiring a babysitter for your platform, think again. It is critical that you be 100% committed and the driving force behind its creation and growth. Think about it. Does anyone know your mission, product or service better than you do? Is anyone more passionate about it than you are? Does anyone have as much skin in the game as you do? Expertise, passion, and, frankly, the fate of your career will drive you to create something greater than anything a hired-out marketing team could imagine.” 

Basically he’s saying don’t phone it in and try to pass it off to someone else. If you want to be heard, you have to speak up and be the driver. 

In my years of being an author and speaker I have found that to be very true. Yes, you need to hire a great team and utilize great resources but don’t expect someone else to do all of the work that you too must be active in doing. 

If it’s important, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse. 

I have two three copies of the book to give away - all you have to do is hit the retweet button and make a comment to this post.  


February 13, 2012

Love Is the Killer App turns 10

It feels like yesterday: Valentine's Day, 2002, the day my first book was published.  

Since then, thousands of readers have shared their stories with me.  A few of them even showed up in the paper back version of the book, which was release in 2003.  Many of you told me that the principles in the book validated your actions: Share Knowledge, Network Without Expectations, Be Compassionate.  (Read the Fast Company excerpt from Love that ran in their Feb 2002 issue.)

To me, that's one of the two best reasons to write a book.  Validate the reader, to quote Kurt Vonnegut, "let her know that someone else shares her values and that she is not alone." (note: the other reason to write a book is to give advice or share perspective that is counter to conventional wisdom.) 

I have so many people to thank from my writing partner Gene Stone to the last person who emailed me with an account of how he has given the book to fifty business partners over the last year.  From the genesis to today - "thanks for sharing the love!" 

In the comments, please share what you learned from the book, and how you've applied it to your business or leadership life.  Thanks in advance for sharing. 

For iPad or iPhone users, here's a YouTube video I made about the ten year anniversary. 

For the rest of you, here's the video! 


Love Is The Killer App Turns Ten from Tim Sanders on Vimeo.

January 04, 2012

Best Business Books Of 2011

Here's a six pack of 2011 releases that represent the year's best business books:

The Master Switch: The Rise And Fall Of Information Empires by Timothy Wu. 

This read is gripping as a biz-book like The Social Network was interesting as a movie.  Wu chronicles the rise of AT&T, it's demise, then later monopolies leading up to Google.  Very provocative, and good food for our understanding of how things work in the free market now - and into the future.     

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge From Small Discoveries by Peter Sims

 This new book helps unlock the secrets to true innovation: Fast prototyping, testing and scaling and close monitoring of feedback.  His examples of how little bets create big ideas range from comedian Chris Rock to Google to Pixar.  This is a think-piece book, that you'll put to work immediately on your own business, product or project at work. 

In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy

Most books on Google are either premature or outside-looking-in, and so far, I avoided them. In this case, Levy's work appealed to me, as he's been covering them for Wired since 2004 and has insider status with their culture. This is an entertaining, useful and enlightening read about the formation of Google's culture, assets and evolving mission.

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation To Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

This is, hands down, the best business book for leaders I've read since Good To Great a decade ago.  Will no-doubt be my top pick for 2011. It's that valuable.  Whether you are a startup or working inside a big company, Eric and his Lean Startup Practices will make you a rock star.  Learn how to master the MVP, innovate in Small Batches and ask the Five Whys when things go wrong.  Those who read this book will have a business advantage over those that don't.  And the book is a really good read, too.

Brain Rules: 12 Principles For Surviving And Thriving At Work, Home and School by John Medina

To improve your professional performance, you need to first leverage your brain.  Medina offers simple, but highly effective ways to improve your creativity, memory and emotional intelligence.  Some ideas you already know about ('get enough sleep') but others are novel (repeat to remember).  There are a slew of brain science books you can read, but this one was written to be easily understood and acted upon. 

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson 

What do you get when you combine intensely private person who's changed our life with one of the greatest biographers of our time?  The book, Steve Jobs, which is storming the best seller lists and dribbling out provocative pieces of Jobsian thinking daily via the press.

This is one of those books you really need to read to be in the know.  It's likely that we'll discuss Jobs for years to come in a lot of areas: CEOs, design, innovation, management style, history, etc.  This book is likely the best money you'll invest this year.  Just think, $20 in Apple stock a decade ago is worth...NOTE: Read this book on your iPad if you can, it will be a special experience for you. 


September 21, 2011

Do this first thing tomorrow INSTEAD of checking your email

What's the most important meal of the day for your body? Breakfast, of course.  

Why? It establishes your metabolism and gives your brain fuel to operate well.  Just the same, if not moreso, breakfast is the most important meal for your mind too.  One braniac refers to the most important hour of your day: Hour One.  What you put into your mind during Hour One is critical.

So what do you feed it? When you check your email, you graze on the random. Yet, many of my friends start out EVERY day by doing just that.  Think about the message that your Inbox (with 100 or more emails waiting to be answered) sends to your subconcious: "We are behind, overwhelmed, hurry!" 

Sure, it seems prudent to check email out of the gate when you wake up, but honestly, I think you are just being childish - and I don't mean that in a bad way, either.  Children cannot delay gratification. They get up super early on Christmas just to open their presents. Give them a pile of candy and they'll eat it all or get sick trying.  We are the same with email - can't wait to see if something interesting came in! 

By the way, same goes for our social media rounds where we check on our Facebook, Twitter, etc. Again, when you do this, you cede control over Hour One to the outside world. Your breakfast is tantamount to drinking coffee out of a firehose and eating bagels as they fly out of a wood chipper. 

DO THIS INSTEAD: For the first 30-45 minutes of your days, read a book that helps you get better or more prepared for your career or purpose.  You read from books at a fraction of the speed you graze online - so think of it as a slow-and-easy way to start the day.  This will give your subconscious a different start-message: "We are growing, learning and getting better." 

This side benefit is that if you do this five days a week, you'll easily finish a book every month or better.  Fifteen well chosen reads in a year can change your life via confidence, insight and innovative thinking.  For some, you may need to get up a little earlier (skip TV the night before) to accomplish this feat. 

It's going to be hard, I will not kid you. Delaying the Inbox check requires strength, like quitting any bad habit such as smoking.  But you can do it, I have.  And starting out the day with a highly nutricious mental breakfast is the #1 lifestyle hack I use to stay confident and positive.  

For fuel, check out my book recommendations


March 08, 2011

Three Great Books For the Times

So far, this is shaping up as a great year for books! 

Over the last few weeks, I've received advance copies of 20 books, and read about eight of them (based on their appeal and relevance to myself or my followers).  Here's my down and dirty review of the best 3: 

1 - Tell To Win by Peter Guber - If you sell, speak, present or communicate...read this book ASAP. While there have been several books written on storytelling, this is the most business-centric one I've ever read.  As a speaker, I'm already employing his techniques and they WORK.  He is very generous, sharing his failures with us in his career due to a lack of storytelling.  More important, he divulges the heart of a good story: Challenge, Struggle and (surprising) Resolution.  As a master story man (he produced movies like Rain Main and taught a UCLA class on narrative), he is the perfect source for the subject.  

2 - Poke The Box by Seth Godin - If you've ever put a book down halfway through because 'you got it' at the introduction, you'll love Godin's brevity and economy.  This book is a classic 'pocket book' that's both beautifully designed and powerfully effective.  He'll prod you to close the Dreaming-Doing gap and execute your vision ... today!  Much like his blog posts, he's crisp and clear here.  You'll spend less than $8 on it and finish it in an hour.  What a deal. 

3 - Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki - From the master of influence (Apples original evangelist), comes a tool box of techniques for engaging other people and bringing out the best.  If you liked my second book (The Likeability Factor), you'll love his extensions on the subject.  He's also great at creating a case for Cause-Driven companies, projects and people.  PS - It's got one of the most enchanting jacket designs I've ever seen.  Guy told me how hard he had to fight for it, and how much trouble he went to in finding the perfect butterfly for it.  Design matters. 

PS - I'm digging into Disciplined Dreaming by Josh Linkner right now.  It's on the subject of creativity and innovation, and how we can unleash that inside our groups and within ourselves.  Looks VERY promising.  


December 08, 2010

Give the holiday business gift of knowledge!

We are all thinking about appropriate business holiday gifts.

After all, the season gives us an opportunity to give to others - and our business partners and co-workers deserve something under the tree from us!  We might worry that the gift is too personal, too expensive or just too whimsical.  So we look for clues, or even worse, guess.  Sometimes, we grab some swag from the company closet or hit up Sam's Club for high calorie tokens of Biz Love. 

But that's not the way to 'multiply the value' in this world.  The best give you can give someone at work is a dollup of know-how.  The best source of that is in books.  When you hand pick a book for someone, based on their needs or dreams, you are prescribing a better life for them.  When he reads it, he'll get inspired to do something with the insight.  He might even share it with others.  Who knows, he might become a book reader.

If you give books, encouraging knowledge sharing, you'll create a more innovative culture - prone to solving problems with ideas instead of worrying and fretting.  At Yahoo!, I loved to find specific 'book solutions' for people in my life - and give those on holidays of all types (as well as birthdays).  Several of my  friends called me Dr. Tim because of this tendency. 

NOTE: Giving current books reduces the risk that your recipient has already read it.  You can also casually ask someone if they've read any of the three or so books (still not divulging your strategy). 

Here are four great books to give this year: 

1 - Mesh: Why The Future Of Business Is Sharing by Lisa Gansky

2 - Rework by Jason Fried and David Hansson

3 - Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsiesh

4 - Multipliers: How The Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wizeman

If you'd like to suggest some great books, do so in comments. 


September 24, 2010

Three New Books To Get Excited About

Bury My Heart At Conference Room B: The Unbeatable Impact Of Truly Committed Managers by Stan Slap: This easy-to-enjoy book makes the case for bringing your emotions to work.  Managers that personalize business will drive more engagement and produce better results.  The book provides great examples of managers who've innovated their work in the most human of  ways. 

The Orange Revolution: How One Great Team Can Transform An Entire Organization by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton.  From the authors of the Carrot Principle comes a great book about the power of teams.  The point is that small groups of people, properly motivated and organized, can change the world at work.  

Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Ask God For The Impossible by Steve Furtick: OK, this is not a business book, so it's a little bit of a diversion from my previous editorial policy.  But, it's a great book about the power of audacious faith.  Furtick is the fiery senior pastor at Elevation, a very cool church in Charlotte that's redefining the 'church experience.'  The book's voice is direct, and will challenge the way you think of yourself and your relationship with God. 


July 07, 2010

Give that great book a second read

Recently, I re-read a great book that I discovered about a decade ago. 

The Experience Economy revolutionized my point of view about the nature of business (it's a stage to create an experience on) and helped me sell streaming video while at broadcast.com.  Later, on the lecture circuit, it offered great content for my talks to retailers and service providers.  

Reading it again, I'm picking up on entirely new points: Create street theatre, don't measure satisfaction, differentiation is an enduring profit driver, etc.  The book's premise is as true as ever, but with my growth over the last ten years, I'm taking away fresh insights. 

The same goes with my recent re-read of Norman Vincent Peale's A Guide To Confident Living.  I read it twenty years ago, three years ago, and two weeks ago.  Each time, I marked new sections and took away new insights.  That's the way great books work.  They are meant to be read over and over, and with the passing of time, their truths will build your total wisdom.  Think about Good To Great: You may have read it back in 2002 or 2004, but reading it again will likely give you fresh leadership ammo (maybe the Hedgehog Theory resonates now that you are at a new company?) 

Too often, we want to read the latest and greatest book, thinking the older ones are 'out-of-date.' While this is true of certain eCommerce or social media books (that were just a snap shot of a tech development), you'll find that mixing in the ones you've already read can really add a lot to your perspective.  

It's like visiting your home town after being gone a decade - If you open your eyes, you'll discover it all over again!

March 02, 2010

The Secret of 1937

These days, I'm reading the classics in motivation and leadership.  

They were written during and after the Great Depression (30s/40s) and influence a second round of great books in the 70s & early 80s.  One of the seminal works was Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  While much of the book is either dated (you have opportunities in the USA) or low level (how to market your personal services), many ideas are still very relevant.  

Hill had unique access to industry titans like Thomas Edison, JP Morgan, Andrew Carnegie and Charlie Schwab.  He studied them for 25 years and discovered the "secret" to their success.  They all possessed four key assets that shaped their thinking into a powerful sword of success: 

1. A clear purpose - They started with the Why, not the what they are doing.  The purpose was worthy and just.  It elicited powerful emotions about the value of the mission. 

2. Intense desire to fulfill the purpose - Desire is when thoughts combine with emotions to create energy. You must be willing to weather heavy criticism, multiple setbacks and a potential loss of everything.  This desire will give you persistence. 

3. A mind free of negative thoughts. You choose to spend your mind-time on solutions, previous successes or positive thoughts.  You chase out the negative thoughts like a healthy body attacks disease. 

4. A network of supporters.  You can't do it alone, and you need help.  Not just any help, positive help. You need people that will give you the honest but positive feedback you need to overcome adversity and chase your most ambitious dreams. 

Join the discussion "What Are the Motivational Classics" on my Facebook fan page.

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