Added Value Edits: 2015 Must Reads

27 Dec 2015|jhall

It’s already that time of year again, so as some of us head out for year-end holidays, here are some of our favorite reads from 2015.

What the Pirelli Calendar Actually Reveals
For 2016, the Pirelli calendar will feature fully clothed portraits of 13 women who are shaping the world today. Pirelli is paying tribute to the evolving meaning of female power, for recognizing the diversity of roles that women play by spotlighting their strength and achievement — not just their seductive sexuality. But this leap in content and style is not just an example of jumping on the girl power brandwagon; it also sheds light on a just-as-important dialogue in culture around the shifting definition of masculinity. Click here to read more…

Five Tips to Being On-Demand And in The Now
Simply put, we’re living in the ‘age of now’. The proliferation of smartphone technology has made us accustomed to always-on connectivity. Nicole Shapiro & Tatum Chett investigate this further and offer five tips to being in the “now” and more “on-demand”. Click here to read more…

A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life
Film and Television producer, Brian Grazer, is celebrated for works such as A Beautiful Mind and Arrested Development. In his book, he reveals the secret to his success: curiosity. Grazer schedules weekly “curiosity conversations” with experts including scientists, spies and business leaders that allow him to ask questions and learn. Grazer uses these conversations to spark creative inspiration for new films and TV shows. Highly applicable in a business context, this book explores curiosity as a tool for innovation.

Losing the Signal
Remember how there was a time not so very long ago when the Blackberry was the phone of choice in the business world? That quickly changed when Apple and Android phones came on the scene, reducing Blackberry’s penetration of the Smartphone market to just 0.4% at the end of 2014. Globe and Mail reporters Jacquie McNish and Sean Silicoff outline the story behind the rise and fall of the Blackberry – and on what we can learn from this failure.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
Technology journalist Ashlee Vance spent over 30 hours speaking to Elon Musk in a bid to understand the man behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Vance also spoke to over 300 people, including friends and family members, to paint a picture of Musk’s life to date – starting with his childhood in South Africa and going into the details of his 100-hour weeks in the early years of SpaceX and Tesla. An intriguing look into the life of someone many call the Thomas Edison of our time.

Knowledge is Beautiful
Kantar partner David McCandless has created another exquisite book to get lost in. This time McCandless is focusing on knowledge: “Information focusses on the ‘now’ and the ‘what’. In contrast, knowledge feels like it’s more concerned with causes and consequences, past influences and future projections. The ‘how’ and the ‘why’” The book invites you to linger over graphics that reveal who the top action movie baddasses are based on how many people they have killed, what the top 500 passwords are and how passwords are hacked.

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics
Richard Thaler, co-author of bestselling book “Nudge” and economist at the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business, has penned a book that chronicles the major developments in behavioral economics over the last 50 years. Thaler uses wit to bring to life the often illogical influences on human behavior that ultimately impact our economy. Thaler has long tried to bridge the gap between academic theory and solving practical problems, and has worked closely with business and even the UK government.

The Membership Economy
The way consumers interact with brands is shifting from transactional to relational, and as a result, we are seeing new models springing up: subscriptions, memberships, loyalty programs and communities. Companies such as Blue Apron and Birchbox are capitalizing on this trend, but it’s tough for established brands to keep up with these shifts and build long term and meaningful relationships with consumers. In The Membership Economy, Robbie Kellman Baxter gives helpful insight into how to nurture relationships that keep profits growing.

The Rise of the Robots
For most people it’s probably hard to imagine a robot in the workplace let alone the idea of being replaced by one. But Martin Ford emphatically explores this idea in his new book, The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. The prospect seems a little science fiction, but we are already seeing progress in Artificial Intelligence being made on a daily basis from Apple’s Siri to Google recently winning a patent to start building worker robots with personalities. Robot futures are already here…
Beyond the world of books, 2015 has been labelled the year of the newsletter. From the launch of Lenny by Lena Dunham this summer (“the best from Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner in Feminism, Style, Politics, Friendship & More”), to services like Tiny Letter (“Email for people with something to say”), newsletters have been booming. Hailed as a respite from the endless stream of Internet content, newsletters are thought to offer a more intimate relationship between writer and reader, with content more closely tied to interests.

Get in touch if you’d like to hear how Added Value can help you think about strategic marketing that works.

Written by Jonathan Hall, President North America Consulting, Added Value
Follow Jonathan on Twitter @HallCJonathan

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