Reading is crucial: expand your mind, expand your game.
Here are my favorite non-fiction books:
Startups/Product Strategy/Product Development
The book that started a movement. My main takeaway was the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) concept: concentrate on the critical pieces of your product/experience, execute, learn and iterate.
While The Lean Startup seemed a bit theoretical/conceptual to me, I found Running Lean quite the opposite: it offered simple, practical advice that you could execute on right away. Highly recommended.
What’s a book about UX doing here? Lean UX is a book about Lean product development. The book illustrates how to create Lean UX teams and provides a framework on how they should operate so that they can be effective in their primary goal: creating and iterating on a product that makes sense.
If you’re part of a project that has a tight timeline or you’re in an organization that doesn’t see the value of UX, but you do, then this book is your best friend. This book will give you quick, tactical UX tips to help you produce wireframes/designs that work…all undercover.
The classic. A staple of almost every design course. You’ll learn how to make design useful and effective. Get it.
The main text of my Human Factors Engineering class. Although the text was written for primarily hardware interfaces and primitive computer UIs, it’s lessons a fully applicable to today’s more advanced user interfaces. You’ll learn how people process information, what sort of cues and affordances to provide, and how to use color and sound effectively.
In my opinion, this is the de facto best book out there on Influence (or manipulation…if you’re evil).
Believe it or not, habits define who we are. Some we have inherited from our ancestors and the culture we live in, but some we develop without realizing. Your need for coffee to get going in the morning: a habit. Your overeating compulsion: a habit. A great read for understanding how to make and replace/break habits.
A great book for marketers because you learn about a number of great strategies of getting your product in your customers’ minds, and highly recommended for product designers since you can design some of the strategies directly into your product to enhance its contagiousness.
The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson
This is a true University social psychology book, so it’s not as entertaining as the other books in this section, but if you’re interested in human behavior and how people interact with each other, a very deep, thorough book to guide you through topics from why people conform (intentionally and not intentionally) to how we justify/defend our actions even though they may be wrong.
This textbook was the main text for my Psych101 class, and the only textbook I read cover to cover even though we never had to! I found this textbook very engaging and it gives you a good understanding of every topic in psychology with topics on the history of the field, child development, memory and how we learn, motivation and psychological disorders. Thanks to this one book, I now more understanding of people with Schizophrenia and other psychological disorders, very mind-opening.
Leadership + Personal Development
Convey firmly believes before you can be an effective team player and leader, you must first gain control of your decisions and your life, meaning you must develop a strong character before others can rely on you. Definitely a book for all (future) leaders to read.
John Wooden is, without a doubt, the most successful college basketball coach. He won ten NCAA national championships in a 12 years, 7 of those wins were consecutive, and somehow managed to win 88 games in a row! Incredible…
So we can definitely say the man knows something about building teams and leadership. In his book, he defines the Pyramid of Success, which consist of 15 areas that you must develop to be great. Read it!
Hopefully, you’re not surprised to see this on the list. I read this book to understand how this one man’s journey through life redefined how to look and interact with technology. His passion for strive for simplicity, elegance and excellence is something I hope I never forget.
A good read that will take you through the world of economics in plain ol’ English! What else do I need to say?!
A compulsory read if you write in English as you’ll learn all the key details needed to write strong, effective prose.
Non-Fiction I’m Hoping to Read
What haven’t I read yet? It’s a long, daunting list, but I will read them all, one at a time.
Please note, this is a static list. My real list lives in Evernote, and I’ll update the list once every couple of months.
In no particular order, here they are:
The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage by Roger L. Martin
The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO’s Strategies for Defeating the Devil’s Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization by Tom Kelly
Positioning: The Batter for your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Focus by Daniel Goleman
Just Listen by Mark Goulston
Good to Great by James C. Collins
E-myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much by Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Dive by Chip & Dan Heath
Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
Word of Mouth Marketing by Andy Sernovitz
Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank
Guerilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Great by Choice by Jim Collins
Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim
Competitive Strategy by Michael Porter
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al and Laura Ries
Little Big Things by Tom Peters
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout
Disciplined Entrepreneurship by Bill Aulet
Hey Whipple, Squeeze This by Luke Sullivan
The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
Purple Cow by Seth Godin
Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk
Why We Buy by Paco Underhill
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
Talent is Overrated by Geoffrey Colvin
Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher
The New Solution Selling by Keith Eades
The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes
The Power of Full Engagement
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
Winning by Jack Welch
Drive by Daniel Pink
Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Beautiful Game Theory: How Soccer Can Help Economics
The Hard Thing about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Think Like a Freak by Stephen J. Dubner, Steven D. Levitt
Hooked by Nir Eyal
What About Fiction Books?
Too many to list…