The innovator’s library in 2016

What’s next? If you wonder the business ideas and trends that will matter in the future, below 20 new book releases in 2016 will perfectly appeal to you. Indeed, original research studies are primarily published in scientific journals, stimulating thoughts are initially discussed within certain communities, and innovative products are first tested in the markets. I understand that books are not the first channels novelties are introduced into the world any more but are still vital indications of their significance and diffusion. The smell of a new book is still exciting, isn’t it?🙂 Also, immediate mentions of the novelties in other mediums let me add links to relevant resources so that you can have advance access to book coverages right away.

All the images are linked to book pages on Amazon. Books are ordered by release date, except that I put Christensen’s two books together.

The new year begins with a new edition of a best-seller, The Innovator’s Dilemma, published by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen (@ClayChristensen) in 1997. This book explores how established large corporations fail to recognize emerging innovations while small new entrants successfully disrupt the markets. It provides suggestions to both parties that are still applicable today. Christensen is the originator of the term Disruptive Innovation and has dedicated almost his entire academic life to disruption research mostly on technology, education, and health care industries, which makes him one of the best management thinkers in the world.

Innovation enthusiasts would definetely appreciate a collection of Christensen’s seminal articles, which includes Disruptive technologies: Catching the wave published in 1995 and cited by many people as the first article introducing the theory of disruption. (Though I should note that this theory emerged from Christensen’s doctoral thesis and he actually published his findings earlier in another article in 1993.) The last piece of the selection is What is disruptive innovation? just published this month, which revisited the core pillars of the theory and highlighted some misunderstandings using examples from Uber and Netflix.

This book is about how the world will work in the next ten years and how to best tap into the opportunities it will bring. Alec Ross (@AlecJRoss), was Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton between 2009-13 when he had vast experience and observations on entrepreneurship, technology, and global policies in tens of countries all over the world. His book does not only cover emerging tech trends such as machine learning, robotics, cybersecurity, and genomics but also deals with the changing nature of work. To get an initial sense of his perspective, you can watch his global rebellion speech or read his his interview on the global future of work.

Adam Grant (@AdamMGrant) argues “We don’t lack good ideas, but people who champion them.” He is a professor at Wharton Business School, author of an award-winning best-seller, Give and Take, and contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times. His book answers the question of how do we champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity and buck outdated traditions – without risking it all? If you do not already know him, his TED talk The power of powerless communication may be a good start. Others might prefer jumping into his recent conversation on creating better workplaces and his forthcoming book.

The first Confessions of an Economic Hitman (2004) has been translated into 32 languages and sold more than 1.25 million copies. The new edition has 15 new chapters where, as a former chief economist, John Perkins (@economic_hitman) shares an insider view on the ways corporations, banks, governments, lobbyists, and powerful people cheat on each other. Actually, it is unfortunate that Perkins is still able to provide new intelligence on the dishonest practices and deception despite such huge cases as Julian Assange & WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden that occurred after his first book, which implies that we will never be fully capable of understanding and managing the world around us.

Are you a superboss? Here is an online test for you created by Sydney Finkelstein (@SydFinkelstein), a professor at the Tuck School of Business and a best-selling author. Based on a 10-year research, his book explains how exceptional leaders attract the best talents, get the most out of them, and make them even better. (By the way, he studies the worst CEOs, too.) He outlines his research in Secrets of the superbosses in the Jan-Feb 2016 issue of HBR. He classifies superbosses in 3 groups: Glorious bastards, nurturers, and iconoclasts. His column on BBC Capital always features interesting content. In a recent interview with CNBC, he was talking about the end of performance reviews.

When everybody is focused on ‘big data’, branding and consumer behavior expert Martin Lindstrom (@MartinLindstrom) argues that what makes the real difference is ‘small data’. He is one of the top management thinkers in the world and author of several best-sellers translated into more than 50 languages. He asks such questions as “Why is it that we check out the contents in the fridge – realize there’s nothing interesting – then revisit it again 5 minutes later – just to be sure?” Then, he explains how the smallest clues lead to the biggest ideas enabling better customer experiences and even brand turnarounds. You can watch the book trailer or take a look at his writings for Fast Company.

Gary Vaynerchuk (@GaryVee) is an inspiring speaker and a unique businessman known for growing businesses really fast. He is the founder of VaynerMedia, a social-first digital agency with more than 500 employees, serving the biggest global brands. He is also a venture capitalist with investments in such companies as Facebook and Uber. He shared his wisdom in several best-sellers before. In July 2014, he started his #AskGaryVee show on Youtube where he genuinely answered his followers’ questions on entrepreneurship, social media, and startups. By the end of 2015, the show broadcasted its 172nd episode. This book features the most interesting and useful insights from this show.

‘Sprint thinking’ probably entered our life 20 years ago as part of Scrum mostly used by software startups back then. Subsequently, enriched by agile methodologies, it has become a standard tool for team management, project development, and innovation in many industries. Apparently, it has created its own path, as well. The lead author of this book, Jake Knapp (@JakEk) works as a design partner at Google Ventures where more than 100 sprints have been run for such brands as Nest, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Google Search. He presents a proven 5-day sprint process with 5 steps: Unpack, sketch, decide, prototype, and test. His articles in Fast Company are truly enlightening for sprint enthusiasts.

David Burkus (@DavidBurkus) is a provocative thinker, author, and professor. He loves to challenge established paradigms as he magnificently did in his best-seller The Myths of Creativity before. Now, he is questioning mainstream business management practices, for instance, job interviews, annual performance reviews, and open floor policies, and shows how they may be even counter-productive. His following articles may give you a hint about what you will find in this book: The worst ideas in management in Forbes, How to make unlimited vacation time work at your company and For leaders, looking healthy matters more than looking smart, both in HBR.

‘Innovation’ and ‘disruption’ are the most overused words in business, which creates confusion even among the experts. This book is inspired by a controversial article, The disruption machine in The New Yorker. At that time, Joshua Gans (@JoshGans), a prolific author and a professor, wrote a blog post on the matter intending to clarify our thinking of innovation. His rich and diverse research gave birth to this book that provides a framework and practical tools to enable innovators effectively manage the issues at hand. If you are not familiar with his work, his recent interviewHBR piece, Disrupt your startup, and blog post, Is Uber disruptive? would be a good introduction.

Platforms triumph products! First of all, the fact that the 3 most renowned experts of this field, Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Paul Choudary, are co-authors makes this book a must-read. The authors focus on platform-based ‘marketplace’ businesses like Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, Kickstarter, and PayPal. The book describes how such networks are created and monetized. Digital technologies and sharing economy accelerate the evolution of this kind of businesses in every industry. Both new starters and incumbents could benefit from this ‘manual’. Extensive amount of resources are already accessible on Platform Economics and Platform Thinking Labs.

Its publisher calls this book “part memoir, part manifesto, and part playbook of the future.” Steve Case (@SteveCase), co-founder of AOL, Revolution, and Case Foundation, breaks the internet era into 3 waves. The first wave started in mid-1980s with the building of internet infrastructure. The second wave started around 2000 enabling search engines, smart phones, and social networking. The third wave starts now transforming everyday life and will be characterized by company alliances, government policies, and perseverant entrepreneurs. Case argues that Silicon Valley will not be dominant any more and warns Get ready, the Internet is about to change again. Here’s how.

This checklist is a realistic, honest, and result-oriented roadmap entrepreneurs should follow. David S. Rose (@DavidSRose), co-founder of Gust, Rose Tech Ventures, New York Angels, and Singularity University, is a serial entrepreneur, super angel investor (100+ companies), and author of the bestseller Angel Investing. His 40+ years of unique experience enables him to provide refined and actionable advice. According to him, integrity and passion are the two most important qualities of an entrepreneur. He is a top writer on Quora and popular interviewee on TV. His TED Talks How to pitch to a VC (2007) and The evolution of success (2012) are worth to watch.

Professor Vijay Govindarajan (@VGovindarajan) is an influential researcher with several best-sellers including The Other Side of Innovation, Reverse Innovation and Beyond the Idea. Focusing on implementing rather than generating new ideas, this book identifies the biggest innovation challenge as how to create new products and markets while optimizing the existing ones. He offers a 3-pillar method to successfully achieve both goals simultaneously, which you can review in Transforming your organization with the three-box approach and Three-box solution. In 2010, one of his HBR blog posts triggered $300-house project aiming to build affordable dwelling for the poor.

Using a complex cryptography, Blockchain technology transparently enables peer-to-peer transactions without any intermediary organization and keeps all the record. It originally emerged as the underlying technology of bitcoinDon Tapscott (@DTapscott) is an authority on innovation and future trends. His son Alex Tapscott (@AlexTapscott) is a technology expert. They argue that blockchain will potentially be the basis for the next generation internet and change everything we do online not only in finance, where it already did, but also in other industries. The book explores the promises of this technology. See the authors’ What the blockchain means for economic prosperity.

The Inevitable comes out in Chinese first. It sold 50K copies on the first day of pre-order in China! Kevin Kelly (@Kevin2Kelly) is cofounder of Wired, Cool Tools, and Hacker’s Conference. His book details 12 transformative technologies that will dominate the next 30 years. He has been already curating and extensively discussing such long-term forecasts on his web site, in Extrapolation and The Technium sections. He says “new smart phones and apps attract your attention and you just cannot tear yourself away from them.” He thinks the best technology should be invisible, just like electricity. You can find more of his provocative thoughts in this interview.

“Building a product is not the product of your startup. Your business model is the product.” Ash Maurya (@AshMaurya) is a startup mentor and an author who favors systematic processes over intuition and luck in entrepreneurship. He divides startup development into 3 stages: finding a solution for a significant customer problem, sustaining product-market fit, and scaling. His best-seller Running Lean, part of Eric Ries’s Lean Series, mostly dealt with the first 2 stages. This book focuses on the success metrics for a healthy growth and offers practical tools with real-world examples. He has two blogs, The space between and Lean stack, where he regularly shares on ‘scientific’ entrepreneurship.

never give upThis is a collection of quotes and life lessons from Jack Ma, founder of the world’s largest online e-commerce marketplace, Alibaba, whose IPO broke the records, raising $25B in 2014. As an English teacher, Ma started everything with a $20K-loan. He believes that you do not need connections to achieve success but only customers. Now, he is the second richest man in China with a net worth of $24B. And, the transactions made on Alibaba increased from $250B to $400B between 2014 and 2015. His letter to the shareholders thoroughly outlines his vision for the future. His interview with Charlie Rose at Davos in 2015 was really interesting, you should either watch or read!

Cofounded by Alain de Botton, a philosopher and best-selling author, The School of Life has been publishing ‘how to’ books. This new part of the book serie illustrates how entrepreneurial spirit is magical in that entrepreneurs are loaded with passion and inspiration, generate fresh perspectives, and disrupt the status quo. Philip Delves Broughton (@DelvesBroughton), a journalist and author of What They Teach You at Harvard Business School, shows how this mindset can improve our personal life as well as business life. Broughton has an entertaining and informative writing style as you can see in To be rational about Tesla is to miss the point and That’s not a ‘sharing economy’.

 

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