2022 Book Recommendations

I love reading. As a fellow innovator, I’ll bet you do too. I’ve found that the right book can fundamentally change your understanding of things. Shape your mind in new ways. Every week, I feature a book I found interesting in my weekly newsletter. The topics ranged from innovation to creativity, to design thinking, to customer experience, to business modeling, to brainstorming, as well as recommendations on envisioning the future: predicting, embracing, and surviving change.

THE IDEATION EQUATION: How a Handful of Habits Can Make You a Creative Genius

The Ideation Equation establishes the core habits for becoming a highly creative thinker, similar to how other books focused on habits have helped millions of people to become better leaders, improve their general efficiency, enjoy superior health, have better relationships, and countless other great things.

The Essential Entrepreneur: What It Takes to Start, Scale, and Sell a Successful Business

Richard Turner delivers a practical, step-by-step approach to starting and growing a thriving enterprise. If you’re ready to take your fledgling business to the next level—and finally follow that brilliant big idea—this guide covers everything you’ll need to navigate the challenges ahead.

A Complaint Is a Gift: How to Learn from Critical Feedback and Recover Customer Loyalty.

Complaints provide a feedback mechanism to help organizations rapidly and inexpensively strengthen products, service styles, and market focus. Most importantly, complaints that are well-received create customer loyalty.

Your Next Five Moves: Master the Art of Business Strategy

Both successful entrepreneurs and chess grandmasters have the vision to look at the pieces in front of them and anticipate their next five moves. In this book, Patrick Bet-David translates this skill into a valuable methodology that applies to high performers at all levels of business. Whether you feel like you’ve hit a wall, lost your fire, or are looking for innovative strategies to take your business to the next level, Your Next Five Moves has the answers.

Ideaflow: The Only Business Metric That Matters

We all want great ideas, but few actually understand how they’re born. Innovation doesn’t come from a sprint or a hackathon–it’s a result of maximizing ideaflow.

The Chaos Machine: The Inside Story of How Social Media Rewired Our Minds and Our World

We all have a vague sense that social media is bad for our minds, for our children, and for our democracies. But the truth is that its reach and impact run far deeper than we have understood.

The Mountain is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery

This is a book about self-sabotage. Why we do it when we do it, and how to stop doing it—for good. Coexisting but conflicting needs create self-sabotaging behaviors. This is why we resist efforts to change, often until they feel completely futile. But by extracting crucial insight from our most damaging habits, building emotional intelligence by better understanding our brains and bodies, releasing past experiences at a cellular level, and learning to act as our highest potential future selves, we can step out of our way and into our potential

Turn The Ship Around!

No matter your business or position, you can apply Marquet’s radical guidelines to turn your ship around. The payoff: a workplace where everyone around you is taking responsibility for their actions, where people are healthier and happier, and where everyone is a leader.

The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War

In The Bomber Mafia, Malcolm Gladwell weaves the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the most significant moral challenges in modern American history.

Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love

How do today’s most successful tech companies―Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla―design, develop, and deploy the products that have earned the love of billions of people worldwide? Perhaps surprisingly, they do it very differently than most tech companies. In INSPIRED, technology product management thought leader Marty Cagan provides readers with a master class on how to structure and staff a vibrant and successful product organization and discover and deliver technology products that your customers will love―and that will work for your business.

A Brief History of a Perfect Future: Inventing the World We Can Proudly Leave Our Kids by 2050

What if, instead of trying to predict the future, we could just pick the one we want – and then invent it? Well, we can. This book describes seven stunning technological advances that will occur by 2050 and shows how to combine them, starting now, to build a future that will let billions thrive.

The Autonomous Revolution: Reclaiming the Future We’ve Sold to Machines

We are at the dawn of the Autonomous Revolution, a turning point in human history as decisive as the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. More and more, AI-based machines are replacing human beings, and online environments are gathering and using our data to manipulate us. This loss of human autonomy amounts to nothing less than a societal phase change, a fundamental paradigm shift. The same institutions will remain–schools, banks, churches, and corporations–but they will radically change form, obey new rules, and use new tools.

Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques

From the linear to the intuitive, this comprehensive handbook details ingenious creative-thinking techniques for approaching problems in unconventional ways. Through fun and thought-provoking exercises, you’ll learn how to create original ideas that will improve your personal life and your business life.

No-Excuses Innovation: Strategies for Small- and Medium-Sized Mature Enterprises

Makes the case to owners, advisors, executives, and leaders―as well as those in the trenches―of the value of innovation: why it’s worthy of investment and what it can do for the health and longevity of a company

IdeaSpotting: How to Find Your Next Great Idea

Positioning ideas as the fuel of business success and personal fulfillment, this indispensable resource helps readers find creative fuel by helping them discover insights and develop habits that lead to more and better ideas. Written in a punchy style with easily digestible single-page messages, the book inspires creativity simply through the way it looks and feels, but it is also packed with stories, interviews, quotes, tips, exercises, and real-world examples that show readers how to think outside the box—and then throw away the box.

Build for Tomorrow: An Action Plan for Embracing Change, Adapting Fast, and Future-Proofing Your Career

We experience change in four phases. The first is panic. Then we adapt. Then we find a new normal. And then, finally, we reach the phase we could not have imagined in the beginning, the moment when we realize that we wouldn’t go back.

The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck

Good luck isn’t just chance—it can be learned and leveraged—and The Serendipity Mindset explains how you can use serendipity to make life better at work, at home—everywhere.

Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most

The intricacy of modern life has created a false dichotomy between things that are ‘hard and important’ and those that are ‘easy and trivial.’ Everything has become so much harder than it ought to be.

Feeling & Knowing: Making Minds Conscious

From one of the world’s leading neuroscientists: a succinct, illuminating, wholly engaging investigation of how biology, neuroscience, psychology, and artificial intelligence have given us the tools to unlock the mysteries of human consciousness

The Customer of the Future: 10 Guiding Principles for Winning Tomorrow’s Business

Customer experience futurist Blake Morgan outlines ten easy-to-follow customer experience guidelines that integrate emerging technologies with practical strategies to combat disconnected processes, silo mentalities, and a lack of buyer perspective.

Dark Horse: Achieving Success Through the Pursuit of Fulfillment

For generations, we’ve been stuck with a cookie-cutter mold for success that requires us to be the same as everyone else, only better. This “standard formula” works for some people but leaves most of us feeling disengaged and frustrated. As much as we might dislike the standard formula, it seems like there’s no other practical path to financial security and fulfilling life. But what if there is?

Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less

Overwork is the new normal. Rest is something to do when the important things are done but they are never done. Looking at different forms of rest, from sleep to vacation, Silicon Valley futurist and business consultant Alex Soojung-Kim Pang dispels the myth that the harder we work, the better the outcome.

Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life

Four out of five adults report feeling that they have too much to do and not enough time to do it. These time-poor people experience less joy each day. They laugh less. They are less healthy, less productive, and more likely to divorce. In one study, time stress produced a stronger negative effect on happiness than unemployment.

The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again

Price reveals the surprising mental, physical, and cognitive benefits of fun and offers a practical, personalized plan for how we can achieve better screen/life balance and attract more True Fun into our daily lives—without feeling overwhelmed.

Hunting Discomfort: How to Get Breakthrough Results in Life and Business No Matter What

Discomfort can be high-octane fuel for performance or the most direct path to your goals. Learn how to turn rock bottom into one of life’s greatest gifts

The B2B Innovator’s Map: How to Get from Idea to Your First Ten Customers

Most new enterprise software products fail to generate a profit. They fail not because of technical challenges, lack of funding, or market conditions. Instead, new products fail because most companies build products that don’t solve a market need, and therefore, customers don’t buy them.

Step into the Metaverse: How the Immersive Internet Will Unlock a Trillion-Dollar Social Economy

Delivers a startlingly insightful discussion about how the world as we know it will fundamentally change as the physical and the digital worlds merge into the metaverse, impacting the everyday experiences of people, companies, and societies.

Humankind: A Hopeful History

Rutger Bregman provides a new perspective on the past 200,000 years of human history, setting out to prove that we are hardwired for kindness, geared toward cooperation rather than competition, and more inclined to trust rather than distrust one another

The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present

A highly provocative, mindbending, beautifully designed, and visionary look at the landscape of our rapidly evolving digital era. 50 years after Marshall McLuhan’s groundbreaking book on the influence of technology on culture in The Medium is the Massage, Basar, Coupland, and Obrist extend the analysis to today, touring the world that’s redefined by the Internet, decoding and explaining what they call the ‘extreme present’.

The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance That Awaits New Ideas

The Human Element is for anyone who wants to introduce a new idea or innovation into the world. Most marketers, innovators, executives, activists, or anyone else in the business of creating change, operate on a deep assumption.

The Future Starts Here

When we look into the future, we imagine economic collapse, environmental disaster, and the zombie apocalypse. But what if we are wrong? John Higgs takes us on a journey past the technological hype and headlines to discover why we shouldn’t trust science fiction predictions, why nature is not as helpless as we assume, and why purpose can never be automated. In the process, we will come to a better understanding of what lies ahead and how despite everything we can build a better future.

Stop Asking Questions: How to Lead High-Impact Interviews and Learn Anything from Anyone

An essential read for podcasters, salespeople, startup founders, and anyone who wants to lead deeper conversations with people they admire. Andrew Warner’s book not only teaches you how to interview, but it also teaches you how to learn.

Design Thinking Process & Methods

Design Thinking has the power to transform nearly everything. It is a human-centered approach to finding innovative real solutions to tough problems.

Winning the Right Game: How to Disrupt, Defend, and Deliver in a Changing World

The basis of competition is changing. Are you prepared? Rivalry is shifting from well-defined industries to broader ecosystems: automobiles to mobility platforms; banking to fintech; television broadcasting to video streaming.

hat tip to Tammy Madsen

Black-and-White Thinking: The Burden of a Binary Brain in a Complex World

Using the latest advances in psychology, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology, Dutton shows how we can optimize our tendency to categorize and fine-tune our minds to avoid the pitfalls of too little, and too much, complexity.

hat tip to Neil Botten

Framers: Human Advantage in an Age of Technology and Turmoil

To frame is to make a mental model that enables us to make sense of new situations. Frames guide the decisions we make and the results we attain. People have long focused on traits like memory and reasoning, leaving framing all but ignored.

hat tip to Neil Botten

How Creativity Rules the World: The Art and Business of Turning Your Ideas into Gold

This timeless guide promises to make the creative process of billion-dollar entrepreneurs and successful seven-figure artists accessible and actionable for you.

Chasing Failure: How Falling Short Sets You Up for Success

We all have something we’d love to do, but often our fear of failure outweighs the potential of our destiny. But what if we found out that failure could actually help us succeed?

Laziness Does Not Exist

Explores the psychological underpinnings of the “laziness lie,” including its origins from the Puritans and how it has continued to proliferate as digital work tools have blurred the boundaries between work and life. Using in-depth research, Price explains that people today do far more work than nearly any other humans in history yet most of us often still feel we are not doing enough.

Anthro-Vision: A New Way to See in Business and Life

While today’s business world is dominated by technology and data analysis, award-winning financial journalist and anthropology Ph.D. Gillian Tett advocates thinking like an anthropologist to better understand consumer behavior, markets, and organizations to address some of society’s most urgent challenges.

Online Innovation: Tools, Techniques, Methods, and Rules to Innovate Online

After describing 10 common pitfalls, the authors share great tools and techniques that work in practice.

Corporate Explorer: How Corporations Beat Startups at the Innovation Game

Innovation used to be seen as a game best left to entrepreneurs, but now a new breed of corporate managers is flipping this logic on its head. These Corporate Explorers have the insight, resilience, and discipline to overcome the obstacles and build new ventures from inside even the largest organizations.

Driving Innovation from Within: A Guide for Internal Entrepreneurs

Conventional business wisdom tells us that entrepreneurs are society’s main source of innovation. However, many of the modern world’s most impactful creations were invented by passionate employee innovators

Your Survival Instinct Is Killing You: Retrain Your Brain to Conquer Fear, Make Better Decisions, and Thrive in the 21s t Century

Thanks to technology, we live in a world that’s much more comfortable than ever before. But here’s the paradox: our tolerance for discomfort is at an all-time low. And as we wrestle with a sinking “discomfort threshold,” we increasingly find ourselves at the mercy of our primitive instincts and reactions that can perpetuate disease, dysfunction, and impair performance and decision making.

Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change

In this startling and provocative look at how the human mind deals with change, Leonard Mlodinow shows us to unleash the natural abilities we all possess so we can thrive in dynamic and troubled times.

The Loop: How Technology Is Creating a World Without Choices and How to Fight Back

This eye-opening narrative journey into the rapidly changing world of artificial intelligence reveals the dangerous ways AI is exploiting the unconscious habits of our minds—and the real threat it poses to humanity.

Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love

How do today’s most successful tech companies―Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla―design, develop, and deploy the products that have earned the love of literally billions of people around the world? Perhaps surprisingly, they do it very differently than the vast majority of tech companies.

Deliver Great Products That Customers Love: The Guide to Product Management for Innovators, Leaders, and Entrepreneurs

Building a great product that customers love requires a variety of skills, mindsets, and techniques. Starting from the three pillars of customer focus, the culture of Agility, and team empowerment, this book explains how to go from theory to practice.

Innovation Management and New Product Development

Clear and informed coverage of the management processes of new product development, coupled with practical orientation of taking you through real-life challenges and dilemmas.