Book Notes: Be an Effective Executive

Doer vs Thinker

Peter Drucker pointed out what’s most important for a knowledge worker: use your mind, not just your hands. Being effective is not about following orders and get them done right, but figuring out what’s the right thing to do in the first place.

Book Notes: Becoming Steve Jobs — A Growth Story

becoming steve jobs

“Becoming Steve Jobs” is a great book. As the authors Rick Tetzeli and Brent Schlender say, this is a growth story about Steve Jobs — how he grew from a two-person team to managing a company that has thousands of employees. There are a lot of books and articles depicting him as a complete genius and at the same time, a complete jerk. From this book, I saw his soft side, his care about his employees, friends, as well as his and others’ families.

Book Notes: Nickels and Dimes

Nickels-and-Dimes

I just finished this book written by Barbara Ehrenreich. It was about her research project how what lives were like for low wage workers in the US. I appreciate her observations and evaluations, and I think many of her evaluations are still valid even in 2015. I found how to improve people living on minimum wage is a practically complicated issue, it’s not as simple as raising minimum wage and force rent to be lower (which could potentially crash the economy), and I’m not even knowledgeable to make valid comments on it, but I believe this has to be addressed. So I’d like to share her book with you, to provoke thoughts and spark new ideas. Discussions are welcomed.

Book Notes: How Pictures Work

Have you every struggled to tell a story effectively using pictures?

Think about the picture books we read when we were kids: how those vivid pictures got us involved, making us laugh or cry together with the characters. How do they make the stories so powerful?

Book Notes: REWORK

Rework by 37Signals
I think this is a great book to help a start-up-size company to be more creative, efficient and productive. I like the positive attitude towards product and services throughout the book – keep products simple and be speedy and genuine in business. A big portion of the book are pages of illustrations, some of them are really cute ~ They match the book style really well. Of course, although this book is great, it’s not perfect. This is a book that works for 37Signals (or maybe similar start-up style companies) but not every company. Some chapters have weak substances and so the theories look somewhat empty; And there’s a little arrogant in tone when they talk about ignoring customer’s advice or the conventional wisdom. I would say, well, this is just a collection of experience and advice from a particular company, and as always, we need to wisely filter what we learn.