Speed Summaries

Business bestsellers, distilled

The Lean Startup [Speed Summary]

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The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses Author: Eric Ries Publisher: Crown Publication date: 2011 As well as earning cult status as the innovator’s bible in Silicon Valley, The Lean Startup is being adopted by big brands as a fast, efficient and cost-effective framework for doing breakthrough innovation in new and unproven markets. Learning by Doing In essence, the message…

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Seeing What Others Don’t [Speed Summary]

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Seeing What Others Don’t – The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights Author: Gary Klein Publisher: PublicAffairs Publication date: 2013 What is insight anyway? Ever wanted to nail the definition of insight simply and clearly? Eminent cognitive psychologist Dr Gary Klein, renowned for his work on how people make decisions in practice – rather than theory, has a simple and clear definition for…

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Think Like a Freak [Speed Summary]

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Think Like a Freak: How to Think Smarter About Almost Everything Author: Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner Publisher: William Morrow Publication date: 2014 Moving from description to prescription, the Freakonomics duo economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner, offer a self-help book for professionals in innovation, business and marketing on how to think, persuade and incentivise people. How to…

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Superfreakonomics [Speed Summary]

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Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance Author: Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner Publisher: William Morrow Publication date: 2009 In a followup to their bestselling Freakonomics (speed summary) economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner explore how incentives and the laws of supply and demand are key to understanding and changing behaviour.…

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Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything [Speed Summary]

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Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything Author: Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner Publisher: William Morrow Publication date: 2005 Before summarising the latest 2014 instalment of the massively popular Freakonomics franchise ‘Think Like a Freak’, here’s a speed summary of the best-selling original Freakonomics published back in 2005. Freaky Research Freakonomics is…

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Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die [Speed Summary]

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Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die  Author: Chip Heath and Dan Heath Publisher: Random House Publication: 2007 What makes an idea psychologically sticky? The answer is SUCCESs. Made to Stick distills years of research and communication science into an easy-to-remember mnemonic and blueprint for creating ‘sticky ideas’; ideas that get understood, remembered and that…

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Decoded – The Science Behind Why We Buy [Speed Summary]

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Decoded – The Science Behind Why We Buy Author: Phil Barden Publisher: Wiley Publication: 2013 A little psychology can go a long way in marketing.  Decoded explores five core psychological insights that will make your marketing better Sell by Association.  Move beyond rational persuasion and argument, and use the power of association to sell.  We know that…

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Contagious: Why Things Catch On [Speed Summary]

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Contagious – Why Things Catch On Author: Jonah Berger Publisher: Simon and Schuster Publication: 2013 Ever since Gladwell’s Tipping Point, the business press has been adding flesh to the bare bones theory that what make’s a product or idea ‘go viral’ is 1) The Law of the Few (seed with influencers), 2) The Stickiness Factor (play to…

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Big Bang Disruption [Speed Summary]

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Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation Author: Larry Downes and Paul Nunes Publisher: Portfolio Publication: 2014 The tell-tale signature profile of disruptive innovation is a shark fin – an adoption curve that features a steep curve, brief glory, and then a precipitous fall.  And it can be calamitous and devastating for both innovators and…

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Generation Me [Speed Summary]

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Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled – and More Miserable Than Ever Before Author: Dr. Jean M. Twenge Publisher: Free Press Publication: 2007 Marketing to Gen Y is no longer about youth marketing. In 2014 Gen Y (variously dubbed GenMe, The Entitlement Generation, Millennials or NetGen – b. 1980-2000) is today’s…

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David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants [Speed Summary]

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David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants Author: Malcolm Gladwell Publisher: Allen Lane Publication: 2013 How do new brands, innovators and startups enter new markets dominated by powerful market leaders – and win? In David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell reveals how, distilling…

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The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail [Speed Summary]

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The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail Author: Clayton M. Christensen Publisher: Harvard Publication: 1997 Clayton M. Christensen’s Innovator’s Dilemma is a bestselling innovation classic on disruptive innovation, perhaps the innovation classic tout court – receiving universal acclaim and dubbed “a masterpiece…The most profound and useful business book ever written about…

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Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire [Speed Summary]

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Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire Author: Bruce Nussbaum Publisher: HarperBusiness Publication: 2013 “Decoding creativity is the biggest business challenge of our era”. And decoding creativity – the ability to produce something new and useful – is what Bruce Nussbaum, award-winning writer and professor of innovation and design at Parsons School of Design, seeks to do in Creative Intelligence: Harnessing…

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Influence: The Science of Persuasion [Speed Summary]

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Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion Author: Robert Cialdini Publisher: Quill Publication: 2007 (Revised Edition) Hailed by the Journal of Market Research as “among the most important books written in the last ten years”, Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Science of Persuasion is essential reading for anybody involved in new product concept development. The book outlines the six universal “persuasion…

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Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness [Speed Summary]

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Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness Author: Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein Publisher: Yale Publication: 2008 The Secret to Successful Innovation Want to know the secret to successful innovation? Simple. You need to create innovations that are designed to be chosen. That’s the deceptively simple premise of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth…

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Imagine: How Creativity Works [Speed Summary]

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Imagine: How Creativity Works Author: Jonah Lehrer Publisher: Houghton Publication: 2012 Here’s how creativity works – you sweat a problem until you get frustrated, then a flash of insight (epiphany) reveals the answer, and then you sweat your answer (a whole lot) more to work it up into a fully fledged solution. It’s the Thomas Edison…

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How Brands Grow [Speed Summary]

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How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don’t Know Author: Byron Sharp Publisher: Oxford University Press Publication: 2011 How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don’t Know (HBG) is one of those business bestsellers that has fast become an absolute must-read for marketers; it has perhaps done more to shake up the world of brand marketing than anything else…

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The Little Black Book of Innovation [Speed Summary]

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The Little Black Book of Innovation: How it Works – How to do it Author: Scott D Anthony Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press Publication: 2012 The Little Black Book of Innovation demystifies innovation – defined as “something different that has impact” for consumer brands into 28 straight-talking Q&As. It’s a smart distillation of thought- leading innovation…

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Thinking, Fast and Slow [Speed Summary]

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Thinking, Fast and Slow Author: Daniel Kahneman Publisher: Allen Lane Publication: 2011 How persuasive is your marketing? If you’re thinking about persuasion in marketing in terms of rational argument, then you’re missing out on the true power of persuasion; persuasion by appealing to people’s intuition not their reason. Thinking, Fast and Slow is an accessible overview…

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The Ultimate Question 2.0: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World

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The Ultimate Question 2.0: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World Author: Fred Reichheld and Rob Markey Publisher: Harvard Publication: 2011 How do brands grow?  Whilst there are many paths to growth, none are as sustainable as consistently delighting brand users and reaping the rewards of enhanced loyalty and advocacy.  This book shows how…

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