As I mentioned on the main Resources page, I’ve read a fair number of the books in the list, and heard good things about others. However, I thought it would be nice to provide a review of each of those books. Below is a a short review of some of the books I’ve read, and I’ll be adding to this list as often as I can. The list is in alphabetical order by title – as it increases in length, I’ll try to add search and sort functionality to the list.
Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne was a book I picked up recently in response to a client requesting me to help design a new product for them that was entering into moderately developed markets. The book discusses many of the same phenomenon that are the subject of discussion in dozens of other books, including In Search of Excellence and Built to Last, but with the realization that both books used companies that eventually had lower than predicted success, or were merely examples of an industry which succeeded as a whole. As such, this book aims more at the strategies that lead to success via redefining markets as opposed to how to succeed in a market that already exists. If you’re looking to create a new product or service, this book can provide some insight that may be of use.
The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman was a recommended book in a course I took in university on designing software interfaces. Much of what is discussed in this book, though, has little to do with software, and all about how users interact with a given product. Taking you through the design of some physical objects, Donald shows you how to think like a user of your product, which will make it easier to design a product that is welcomed by its target market.
Making Things Happen by Scott Berkun is a book about project management. With experience working for Microsoft as a project manager, Scott wrote this book to deal with issues in project management that have nothing to do with the subject of the project itself. However, as I have a similar background, working in the IT industry, I found this book to be of particular interest, as he moves through the various pieces that make up managing a project. I strongly recommend reading this book if you lead projects, and if you work on a team, this book can give you insight into how and why projects are managed in a particular manner, and what you can do to make each project a success.