Reading List

This week @EllensAdventure asked me if I had any book recommendations. I’ve had this draft saved for a couple of months so this was the motivation I needed to get it written. Here are some of my favorite books (these are all affiliate links, I am making enough per month to buy a box of diapers, that’s not incredible but beats a sharp stick in the eye). These are a few that come to mind but this is by no means a comprehensive list. Business Books: Start With Why by Simon Sinek Most business books are all about how to climb the ladder faster, this one asks if you have it leaning on the right building. Permission Marketing and We Are All Weird by Seth Godin The first is a classic, the second is cutting edge New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott Ignore the Social Media Guru baloney and get pragmatic advice here Read this First by Ron Ploof Book to give to your manager if they don’t get the New Rules Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer by Christopher S. Penn Starting properly by my Marketing Over Coffee co-host Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore Required reading for selling technology, also applies to how trends and new ideas move through the world. The Marketing Playbook by John Zagula and Richard Tong A hidden gem that will give you a set of concepts that allow you to review and discuss any business model. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen A classic that explains why well managed organizations are not innovative. Critical to understand the weakness of large corporations. Drucker on Management by Peter F. Drucker Applies intellectual integrity to the practice of management. I have an edition called The Essential Drucker...

Guide for New Dads

A friend heard me talking about books for new Dads and asked for a recommendation. Again I saw the opportunity for a blog post, thanks to the magic of the interwebs I can share this information with millions, even though I am only one child away from being entirely unqualified to write about this. Unfortunately either he was thinking of someone else, he got it wrong, or I was blabbering in some state of sleep deprivation (all quite possible). I read a number of books. They were all crap. I could have written them. That should tell you something. And so without further ado, my Guide for New Dads: Never drop the baby. Ever. Bath time is inherently dangerous, buy protective stuff and see rule 1. Don’t worry about the baby, take care of Mom and everything else takes care of itself. Do some cooking and cleaning you lazy bum. If you do 3 and 4 she will let you sleep more, this is all that matters in your life. Have your own baby time when you can have fun and let Mom sleep, this reduces the chance of Mom accidentally/intentionally killing you. Dirty diaper containment systems/furnaces/hermetic sealing systems are overkill for year 1 In all seriousness though, it’s both amazing and overwhelming. I was having a tough time dealing around six months and found inspiration in these words from a man called Warrior: “A father does it ALL — and he never once whines or complains about being blessed with the privilege and honor to do so. He doesn’t try to find a way out or around. He wakes each day and simply handles whatever it is that is going on in his life.” Last week I read an article where a reporter...

Third and Three

The third quarter has elapsed and year end is in sight. Here’s the scorecard as it stands: On the Family front I took a hit by not taking a summer vacation. Between starting a new job, juggling the finances and trips back to the Berkshires it wasn’t in the cards this year. I’m also behind on the College Fund, but we have some plans underway to straighten out the cash flow situation that are moving forward. On target on the Personal front, getting coached on running has paid huge dividends, live music was a big part of the summer, and I am actually in decent shape. I’ve given up on a specific weight number because I have been lifting a lot more and have been gaining weight while losing inches. As long as I see some semblance of abs and my clothes fit, I score that as accomplished. Q4 is a huge challenge to face though, the one-two punch of crappy weather and holiday food makes this the tough one, but the good news is I am ready to go this year instead of being behind. Financial goals are actually in decent shape thanks to the sleazy practice of keeping the college fund over in the family goals, really nothing to do for this in Q4 but try and control spending enough to save a bit. Professional is in good shape with work going well and my first draft of a book done. Marketing Over Coffee is still growing but pretty slowly, it takes a back seat to work and the book but it’s much better than a hobby that burns cash. That’s about it, on to the rest of the year. I hope your Q4 goes well....

Seth Godin on We Are All Weird...

A few weeks ago I a great discussion with Seth Godin about his new book We Are All Weird. You can hear the original interview over at Marketing Over Coffee  (or just buy the App). I had a request for a transcript, and since I went to the expense of having it written up I thought it was worth posting: John Wall: So your new book here is “We Are All Weird” on the Domino Project available on Amazon. Tell us about “We Are All Weird”, what’s the idea and how did this all come to you? Seth Godin: You know this is possibly the biggest idea I’ve had in terms of it all coming to me at once and I’ve been writing the last couple years about the death of the industrial age and the beginning of a new age. And I’ve been talking about how the industrial revolution created all this wealth. It created a culture around it because the wealth brings culture with it. It created standards, it created public school, it created expectations. But what I realized, just a little while ago, is that most insidious of all, it created a standard of normal. And by that I mean both statistical, normal, the center of the bell curve, and cultural, normal as “just like us”. And so what we do in our society is we make stuff in a factory, whether that factory makes insurance policies or widgets, and by default we have to pick the model we’re going to make. We have to pick whether the scissors are for left handed people or right handed people . We have to pick whether the car has four on the floor or automatic transmission. And what factory owners want, what shareholders want, is for...

For Love of K-Cups

Back in April I bought a Keurig B60 for Carin’s birthday. We had a Keurig at work so I had been using it for years and Carin really wanted to be able to brew a single cup without any hassle. I’ve enjoyed trying out a wide variety of coffees (you can check out my coffee ratings here). For buying the coffee, if you are willing to pay a bit more you can order single cups at The Coffee Mix – a great way to try a bunch of flavors. Once you figure out what you like it’s hard to beat the price of Bed, Bath and Beyond when you have some of the coupons that they send out all the time. Surprisingly my favorite drink is the Lime Berry Green Tea, which is getting difficult to find so I’ve been hoarding it. On the coffee side I like Emril’s and Timothy’s as well as the (more expensive) Dunkin’ Donuts brand. Although the coffee is superb, there has been some trouble with the machine. Occasionally we’d have a problem with short filling – a cup of coffee getting 2 oz or so less that normal. After some experimenting I found two solutions online, one is to beat on it, which actually does work, but the real fix is to leave it on 24/7. One theory is that when the chamber cools you get a vapor lock that the pump has a hard time overcoming. I don’t know about that but I do know that once we turned off the auto-shutoff we were never short filled again. About 2 weeks ago when I would push the medium cup button it would activate the setup menu. It must have been some kind of short because two weeks...