2023 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 End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness

The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge

The Equality Machine: Harnessing Digital Technology for a Brighter, More Inclusive Future

Mixed Signals: How Incentives Really Work

Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will

Preparing for a World that Doesn’t Exist – Yet: Framing a Second Enlightenment to Create Communities of the Future

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

From What Is to What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want

The Greatness Mindset: Unlock the Power of Your Mind and Live Your Best Life Today

My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising

Listen Like You Mean It: Reclaiming the Lost Art of True Connection

Ximena Vengoechea can show you how. In Listen Like You Mean It, she offers an essential listening guide for our times, revealing tried-and-true strategies honed in her research sessions and drawn from interviews with marriage counselors, podcast hosts, life coaches, journalists, filmmakers, and other listening experts.

Kites in a Hurricane: Startups from Cradle to Fame

Startups, even those started by mature founders, require a lot of monetary and intellectual investment in their entrepreneurial journey in terms of the development and collaboration of the ecosystem. There are a million stories out there of successes and failures, big and small startups, one-of-a-kind, and every kind of startup. However, one thing is common: the entrepreneurial journey is checkered with highs and lows, difficult decisions, roadblocks, perseverance, and lots of advice. Kites in a Hurricane is a book that describes how several startups innovatively used technology and entrepreneurial systems to solve the problems they faced daily when aspiring to build successful companies.

Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products

Most people think it’s because these companies are somehow able to find and attract a level of talent that makes this innovation possible. But the real advantage these companies have is not so much who they hire, but rather how they enable their people to work together to solve hard problems and create extraordinary products.

The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace

A captivating look at how companies can foster office culture that fuels creativity, productivity, and a sense of belonging and community among employees. A must-read for the future of work.

Metanoia: The Step-by-Step Method of Becoming a Master Co-Creator

This book is a practical manual written in lucid western terms, that explains the method, the path, of realizing who you really are, what obstacles, will you find on that path and how to avoid or solve them.

Nail It then Scale It: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating and Managing Breakthrough Innovation. 

Nail It Then Scale It is the first lean startup book to help entrepreneurs through the process of launching a high-growth company. The book includes not just high-level principles, but a distilled, step-by-step guide of key actions successful entrepreneurs take to reduce risk and increase success.

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

How to succeed in an era of ecosystem-based disruption: strategies and tools for offense, defense, timing, and leadership in a changing competitive landscape.

Shortcut: How Analogies Reveal Connections, Spark Innovation, and Sell Our Greatest Ideas

From the meatpacking plants that inspired Henry Ford’s first moving assembly line to the domino theory that led America into Vietnam to the “bicycle for the mind” that Steve Jobs envisioned as the Macintosh computer, analogies have played a dynamic role in shaping the world around us—and still do today.

Reimagining Design: Unlocking Strategic Innovation

Kevin Bethune shows how design provides a unique angle on problem-solving—how it can be leveraged strategically to cultivate innovation and anchor multidisciplinary teamwork.

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters, and scientists. He discovered that generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel in most fields—especially those that are complex and unpredictable.

The Daily Laws: 366 Meditations on Power, Seduction, Mastery, Strategy, and Human Nature

The Daily Laws offer a page of refined and concise wisdom for each day of the year in an easy-to-digest lesson that will only take a few minutes to absorb. Each day also features a Daily Law—a prescription that readers cannot afford to ignore in the battle of life. Each month centers around a central theme: power, seduction, persuasion, strategy, human nature, toxic people, self-control, mastery, psychology, leadership, adversity, or creativity.