Tag: Book Reviews

Book Review: The Pirate’s Dilemma

August 4th, 2011   •   1 comment   

Pirate DJ, music buff, and magazine publisher Matt Mason’s book The Pirate’s Dilemma – How Youth Culture is Reinventing Capitalism is a fascinating tour-de-force of the world of youth culture, content piracy and the future of commerce.  Written from an insider’s perspective – Mason himself was once voted pirate of the year by Business Week – the book traces the development of various music genres over the decades and how they impacted societies. 

Defying the class action suits launched by record companies and copyright owners around the world, Mason declared that piracy isn’t a sin but instead, a necessary ingredient for innovation and invention. By allowing others to adapt and modify original content and spread it freely around, piracy helps to foster change in popular culture in all its forms – fashion, food, hairstyles, movies, games, software and even enterpreneurship.
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How to be an Indispensable Linchpin

March 18th, 2011   •   no comments   

“You are not a faceless cog in the machinery of capitalism…” In fact, according to Seth Godin’s latest book Linchpin, you are an “artist who can give good gifts”. Best of all, you don’t need a canvas, a stage, nor a musical instrument to create art.

Beginning with such a delightful premise, Linchpin tackles the age-old issue of career motivation. What’s interesting is that Godin doesn’t just promote entrepreneurialism but rather, a form of intrapreneurialism – one where you as a worker in any circumstance or situation can “make magic”.
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Can You Make Money from FREE?

September 2nd, 2010   •   1 comment   

Well, apparently Chris Anderson, author of New York Times bestseller The Long Tail and editor-in-chief of WIRED magazine, seems to think so. Moreover, you can still make a decent living out of it.

In his book, FREE: The Future of a Radical Price (which you download completely for FREE though I have the paid paper version), Anderson shared that charging people $0.00 for goods and services can only be possible primarily through cross-subsidies. These could take the following routes:

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The Promise and Peril of Starbucks

May 31st, 2010   •   2 comments   

Taylor Clark doesn’t like Starbucks. However, he does patronise its outlets. Apparently he is not alone, as there are many who publicly profess their distaste for Starbucks’ “almost burnt” brew while still swarming towards their outlet.

That in a nutshell is the premise behind the book “Starbucked” authored by Clark, a Portland-based journalist who appears to have more than a little caffeinated chip on his shoulder while appearing to be balanced in his authorship. Unlike the more glowing titles featuring the world’s most famous purveyor of coffee as experience, Clark squarely places both the pros and the cons of the cafe behemoth in his book.
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Beyond Buzz by Lois Kelly (A Book Review)

April 12th, 2010   •   no comments   

What is the best way to make conversational marketing work?

How does one embrace the lofty ideals espoused by the Cluetrain Manifesto?

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Making Money from Minority Markets

November 2nd, 2009   •   1 comment   


Courtesy of Christopher Pattberg

Considered one of the most multi-cultural country in the world, the United States of America has one of the world’s most culturally and ethnically diverse population. Presently, it has some 305 million people out of whom 68% are non-Hispanic whites, 15% are Hispanics, 12% are blacks and 5% Asian American.

While white Americans currently dominate the American marketplace, some of the country’s most profitable segments actually hail from the other segments. Projections by the Census Bureau show that by 2050 when the US population grows to about 439 million, non-Hispanic Caucasians will only make up 46% of the country’s population. By then, the population of Hispanics (the fastest growing group) will swell to 30%, with blacks growing to 15% and Asian Americans swelling to 9%.
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The Purrfect World of Hello Kitty

October 16th, 2009   •   no comments   

Hello Kitty Cafe Queue

Courtesy of The Straits Times

Hello Kitty strikes again!

This time around, the opening of the Hello Kitty Cafe at Changi Airport generated huge and serpentine queues. According to a story in The Straits Times, this is the world’s first 24 hour Hello Kitty Cafe, offering a modest 84 seats in total.

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How Market Leading Companies Do It

September 18th, 2009   •   no comments   

In the world of business, there are few winners and many losers. The merciless marketplace leaves little room for companies trying to be all things to all men, spreading their resources too thinly across many areas. Those who make it focus their energies and resources on focusing their energies on one of the three key value disciplines – operational excellence, product leadership or customer intimacy – and look at ways to continually improve superior value.

According to The Discipline of Market Leaders, the true formula for enduring strategic success is to be either operationally excellent, exceptional in leading the market in product development, or to have one’s entire business closely integrated with one’s customer’s processes. Authored by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema, the slim volume proposes that market leaders choose their customers carefully and find the best ways to meet their needs in a highly differentiated and focused manner while ensuring that quality standards are not compromised.
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All of (Capitalist) Life is But a Stage

September 5th, 2009   •   no comments   


American Girl dolls casting their branded charms (Courtesy of Lauren-xo)

“Lights, cameras, action!” Put on your “costumes”, don your best “branded” behaviour, and perform in the stage of life’s biggest commercial brands.

That seems to be the key message of Maurya Wickstrom’s volume Performing Consumers which described the multiple ways in which big brands endear themselves to their customers through performance and theatre. Peppered liberally with theories of performativity and theatricality, the book illustrated how the creation of brandscapes in the retail environment induces deep emotional connections between man and merchandise.
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Who’s Your City – A Review of Florida’s Book

August 25th, 2009   •   1 comment   

I first heard about Richard Florida’s ideas from a public sector conference back in November 2008 and was intrigued by his ideas on how the world isn’t flat (ala Thomas Friedman) but is in fact spiky and dominated by mega-regions. Florida’s earlier assertions about the rise of the creative class and their catalytic roles in urban regeneration have been so significant that they are often cited by cities around the world as reasons to invest in more heavily in cultural infrastructure.

Who’s Your City was a highly ambitious undertaking by the urban theorist and economist Richard Florida to understand the importance of place in both economic and social spheres. Working with armies of researchers and statisticians from Gallup and various universities, Florida plowed through an impressive mountain of economic, social, geographic, psychographic and even cartographic (yes Florida is pretty big on maps) data to substantiate his findings.
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