6 Must-Reads for Professionals

In a fast-paced, Internet-driven society where new information pops up on a daily basis, how do we keep up with all of the information? Many business leaders would tell you the key to staying current is to read everyday. CEO’s Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Tim Cook claim to read on a regular basis, even Bill Gates says he gobbling up a new book every week.

For deciding what to read it can be difficult to know where to start, which is why we’ve offered a list of highly recommended books for business, marketing and IT professionals, each read giving valuable insights into the modern world we live in.

Business:

Think Like a Freak

The authors of the best-selling Freakonomics are back, and this time Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner give fun and unusual insights on how to retrain your brain to solve problems in a very unconventional and “freak” like way. Levitt and Dubner reveal how you can see the world like they do and apply it not just to business, but in any area of life.

Favorite quote: “Why do so many frown so sternly at the idea of having fun? Perhaps out of fear that it connotes you aren’t serious. But best as we can tell, there is no correlation between appearing to be serious and actually being good at what you do. In fact an argument can be made that the opposite is true.”

Capital In the Twenty First Century

While it isn’t exactly a light read, this ground-breaking book by French economist Thomas Piketty challenges our conventional thoughts about wealth and inequality. Piketty reveals major economic and social patterns discovered from going over data collected over hundreds of years in more than 20 countries. This book has become very popular among a wide range of business people, and was even featured it as one of the best reads in the books section of Bill Gates’ blog.

Favorite quote: “Over a long period of time, the main force in favor of greater equality has been the diffusion of knowledge and skills.”

Marketing:

Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking)

This book written by Christian Rudder, an entrepreneur, writer and musician, is ideal for the marketing mind. It covers the vast differences in how we observe human behavior today versus the past. For example, just by examining a Facebook page we can tell what the views, interests and intelligence level of a person are. Rudder shows how data has evolved over time and what that means for the individual and how they communicate. Dataclysm offers an insightful look at how we see and present ourselves today.

Favorite quote: “Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram, all these companies are businesses first, but, as a close second, they’re demographers of unprecedented reach, thoroughness, and importance. Practically as an accident, digital data can now show us how we fight, how we love, how we age, who we are, and how we’re changing. All we have to do is look:”

Buy-ology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy

In a world packed with messages and ads flying at us every second, what is that special quality that hooks people in, making them want to buy something? Martin Lindstrom, a “Brand Futurist” and Time magazine Influential 100 Honoree, takes his seven million dollar neuromarketing study to delve into the mind of today’s consumer to reveal secrets, like how we are scarcely aware of the many factors influencing the decisions we make and how we behave.

Favorite quote: “When we brand things, our brains perceive them as more special and valuable than they actually are.”

IT:

The New Digital Age Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and former advisor to secretaries of state Condoleeza Rice and Hillary Clinton, Jared Cohen, come together in The New Digital Age to give us an outline of what we can expect to see in the coming decades. In the coming years, online territory will open up millions of new opportunities, and also dangers. What does this mean for people, nations and businesses? Schmidt and Cohen have traveled extensively to face some of these challenges in order to tackle this question about our future, and how the digital age will change our approach toward issues.

Favorite quote: “Can a robot be brave? Can it selflessly sacrifice? Can a robot, trained to identify and engage targets, have some sense of ethics or restraint?”

The Singularity is Near

This is a book that challenges conventional thoughts about humans and technology. Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts what he calls “The Singularity,” i.e. when humans become one with technology by genetic alterations, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. It’s a far stretch of the mind to say the least, but it offers an interesting perspective into the direction in which mankind is ultimately going with technology.

Favorite quote: “One cubic inch of nanotube circuitry, once fully developed, would be up to one hundred million times more powerful than the human brain.”


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