Posts Under: Book Reviews

Adapt by Tim Harford: A Book Review

April 29, 2012 Book Reviews 1 comment

“Undercover Economist” Tim Harford’s latest book Adapt – Why Success Always Starts with Failure blends economics, psychology, evolutionary biology, and anthropology to explain why trial and error is preferred over grand strategic plans. Touted as “Britain’s Malcolm Gladwell”, Harford’s central thesis is that countries, companies and individuals should embrace an evolutionary and empirical approach in determining what works and what doesn’t.

Using analogies from evolution such as variation, selection and adaptation, Adapt uses far flung examples ranging from the Iraq War, Global Warming, 2007’s Financial Meltdown, to 3rd World Development efforts to prove its point. Some of its stories – such as the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg – date all the way back to the middle ages. Others, such as the almost accidental success of Google (which purportedly has no corporate strategy) are more recent.


Likeable Social Media: A Book Review

March 27, 2012 Book Reviews no comments

With close to 900 million users and an upcoming IPO, Facebook is ruling the web as the social network of choice. Following close behind is Twitter, the 140 character king of microblogging also known as the “SMS of the Internet”. LinkedIn, Youtube, Flickr, Foursquare, blogs, and tonnes of other social networks make up the other players of the social web.

Collectively, these social technologies and platforms rule a disproportionate part of our lives as consumers.  This is why companies need to get into the digital act and be “likeable”.


Brandwashed by Martin Lindstrom: A Book Review

March 13, 2012 Book Reviews 1 comment

Martin Lindstrom Brandwashed

Wonder why you are perpetually tethered to your smartphone, refusing to put it down even when your kids are yelling at you?

Or started eating that tub of delicious Haagen Dazs ice cream, and couldn’t stop until it’s all gone.

Perhaps you’ve got a 10 year old boy who nagged you incessantly about getting him that latest Play Station Portable (PSP) which all his friends in school have.


Evil Plans: A Book Review

February 18, 2012 Book Reviews 3 comments

Written and illustrated by renowned cartoonist and blogger Hugh MacLeod of gapingvoid.com (he just completed his 10th year in the business), Evil Plans: Escape the Rat Race and Start Doing Something You Love is a business book that reads more like a personal motivation tome. True to MacLeod’s craft, every other page (or more) is peppered with his characteristically abstract and witty cartoons, complete with clever captions.

An example of this is found below:


Marketing Greatest Hits: Book Review

January 30, 2012 Book Reviews no comments

With the subtitle “A Masterclass in Modern Marketing Ideas”, British marketing consultant Kevin Duncan’s Marketing Greatest Hits provides quick summaries of what he considers seminal or interesting titles and their key ideas in marketing. Touted as a “definitive compendium of everything you need to know from the best minds in modern marketing”, the book attempts to encapsulate key lessons from the discipline’s thought leaders.

Neatly organised into six chapters, Duncan’s book systematically dives into the essence of 40 books covering major themes, principles and philosophies, branding, consumer behaviours, creativity and personal organisation. Each section provides a book summary that is further crystallised into an elevator pitch of sorts called a one-sentence summary – the core idea behind a book. Examples of these include the following: