An Introduction to APIs by Brian Cooksey, Zapier

APIs are the currency of software interoperability. This is why it draw my attention. Zapier, the number 2 IFTTT competitor, has an impressive learning centerAn Introduction to API is a recommended starting point to gain basic understanding about what is APIs, how it works and what are the possible applications.

The concepts of Polling, long polling, webhooks and webhooks with subscription where new for me, not even mentioning the clear structure/stack of API (resource, method, header and body), queries, protocols (XML and JSON).

This course is a set of article online, and PDF ebook (77 pages) available as well.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

500 intense pages of psychology, sociology and statistics, extrapolating human decision making in tiny details. Reminds me The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli, the book I’ve bought in one of the European airports and which could serve as a compressed version of biases, fallacies and other obstacles to clear decision making.

There’s NY Times review and The Guardian review which I am not going to beat with my review.

Thanks to FightMediocrity, there’s a quick video tour on the key concepts of the book:

Geografijos įkaitai: dešimt žemėlapių, pasakančių viską, kas lemia pasaulio politiką

Geopolitikos tema mane užkabino dėl dviejų priežasčių: pirmoji – smalsumas ir noras matyti “didesnį paveikslą”. Antroji – George Friedman (Stratfor) knyga “The next 100 years“.

Vos tik baigus skaityti pirmąją knygą, į rankas pateko ši britų žurnalisto ir publicisto Tim Marshall knyga, kurią rekomenduočiau bet kuriam geopolitika besidominčiam naujokui.

Skaitant nebe pirmą knygą apie geopolitiką, pabosta standartinis standartinių regionų ir jų problematikos pristatymas – Senoji susiskaldžiusi Europa, totalinės santvarkos siekiantys viduriniai rytai, natūralių barjerų užbarikaduota Rusija, vandenyno galias iš Amerikos atimsianti Kinija, bedantė Japonija, Kinų užkariauta Afrika ir taip toliau. Kitavertus, istorija moko, ir kartojantis jos pamokas, darosi akivaizdu, kad labai toli nuo Vestfalijos taikos sutarties pasaulis nenuvažiavo.

Man labai patiko gerokai šviežesnis požiūris ir išvados nei jau senstelėjusioje Zbigniew Brzezinski “Strateginės įžvalgos” ar nuobodokoje Henry Kissinger “World order”.

Žiauriai geras – sklandus ir be nesąmonių, Aurelijaus Katkevičiaus vertimas.

Lietuvišką versiją mačiau A. Mickevičiaus bibliotekoje, knygynuose ir knygos.ltangliška versija Amazon’e.

 

Innovator’s dilemma by Clayton Christensen

One of those books with several sticky findings. Disruptive vs incremental innovations and simple reason why big companies fail to disrupt – they are too big, their markets are big and shareholder expectations for growth are big. It’s almost impossible to target niche markets for them. This is why.

Now, the crazy part – the book was published in 1997. 19 years! Currently, I know massive amount of MBA studies, stuck with evangelizing sustaining innovations.

You can find author’s own description here.  And I found Book Video Club today. Wow!

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Strongly reminds “Next 100 years by George Friedman”. In a contrary sense. While Friedman predicts the future, Taleb simply points out that the biggest impact in the world comes from unpredictable events.

Here is Wikipedia page about this book is written nicely if you want to go deeper. You can buy this book on Amazon.

Takeaways:

  • Turkey life changes on a day 1001
  • Extremistan and Mediocristan and why Gaussian distribution (bell curve) does not work
  • Empty suites – experts
  • Narrative fallacy, confirmation bias and other foolish beliefs.

The black swan book mind map

Zapp! The Lightning of Empowerment by William Byham, Jeff Cox

Sounds like motivating and leading your colleagues is an easy task if aware about the needs.

NOT.

I like this book. It’s not outdated, even 20+ years since it was published. Written in M. Gladwell style it brings the leading education through simple storytelling. Zapp (the positive) vs Sapp fight kept me engaged for the whole day (yeap, it’s a day read).

Takeways:

There are three steps of Zapp (thanks to kevinb on this post)

  1. Maintain Self-Esteem. Help employees feel confident and satisfied in the work they do.
  2. Listen and Respond with Empathy. Understand their needs and concerns, and don’t assume that you know what they are.
  3. Ask for Help Solving Problems. Involve your employees in solutions. Seek ideas, suggestions, and information.

And the three steps lead to the Soul of Zapp: Offer Help without Taking Responsibility. Managers need to be there for their employees, being supportive and providing encouragement and help, but without taking the employees’ work on themselves or micro-managing them.

For Zapp to work, people need:
1. Direction, consisting of key result areas (the directions we want to go), measurements (ways we know we are moving in the right direction), and goals (something to tell us if we’re there yet).
2. Knowledge, including job skills, training, information, and specific goals.
3. Resources, such as tools, materials, facilities, and money.
4. Support, including approval, coaching, constant feedback, and encouragement.

It’s easy to “sapp” people. But having Zapped! employees is difficult: it takes time, energy and a belief that the organization is only as good as its people. If you truly desire continuous improvement and the opportunity to reach your loftiest goals, your organization needs to get Zapped!

Authors on what the Zapped means:

responsibility, a sense of ownership, satisfaction in accomplishments, power over what and how things are done, recognition for their ideas, and the knowledge that they’re important to the organization.”

Digital minds by WSI

Got this book during digital marketing seminar in Vilnius. A bit outdated. Not very recommended for anyone with more than 100 hours of reading about digital marketing. Very useful resource for any business manager to get a quick overview, learn definitions, concepts. There are 12 topics covered in the book:

  • Competitor Analysis: Your Road Map to Winning the Web War
  • Website Development: Seven Steps to Success
  • eCommerce: A Shopping Revolution
  • Content Marketing: Make An Impression
  • Social Media: Sales, Marketing, and Reputation Management
  • Digital Advertising: Expand Your Reach
  • Landing Page Optimization: It’s About Psychology, Not Technology
  • SEO: The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same
  • Mobile Devices: They Are Commanding Our Attention
  • Email Marketing: Evolving in a Social World
  • Marketing Automation: Dream or Reality?
  • Analytics: The Role of Data in Digital Marketing
  • Conclusion: Technology of the Future

 

The tipping point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

Definitely one of mandatory books for every marketer and entrepreneur. Three rules:

  • The Law of the Few. 80/20, or, Paretto, means there are capabilities of people to be/act as:
    • Connectors are the people in a community who know large numbers of people and who are in the habit of making introductions. Network hubs, if you will. I consider myself being one.
    • Mavens are “information specialists”. They are capable of collecting, analyzing and delivering the information about marketplace as well as other knowledge.
    • Salesmen are “persuaders”, charismatic people with powerful negotiation skills. Why? Because of empathy they own.
  • The Stickiness Factor.  Sesame Street is the lead example here.
  • The Power of Context. “Epidemics are sensitive to the conditions and circumstances of the times and places in which they occur”. This reminds me M. Porter’s market strengthening fit concept.