Eclectic Curiosity

books


Crossing the Chasm

Posted on May 23rd, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments


Recently I re-read Geoffrey Moore’s classic “Crossing the Chasm”, a great technology marketing book that came out in the 90s. It’s about marketing and selling disruptive technology products to mainstream customers. Although some of the case studies naturally date the book, it remains just as instructive now in 2009 as it did over a decade ago.

There are a few key sections worth highlighting (excerpts below): identifying the chasm, moving from early market to mainstream, niche segmenting, and creating a whole product. Food for thought…

What is the Chasm?…

“We have enough high-tech marketing history now to see where our model has gone wrong and how to fix it.more


A Generalist President

Posted on April 4th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

It’s clear reading The Audacity of Hope that Barack Obama isn’t just a good speaker but he’s also a very good writer, exceptionally talented at conveying thoughts and ideas articulately, intelligently, and with flow. It’s a book that so obviously framed his whole presidential campaign, which as we all know now has thankfully turned the page on the redacted scribbles of the Bush-Cheney years. It’s a book about his background, experience, approach, beliefs, and aspirations.

Besides the obligatory pre-campaign introduction that most political personality books share, there are a couple things that really stand out about Obama in The Audacity of Hope.… more


Pow! Right Between the Eyes

Posted on February 23rd, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

Back in the autumn of 2006 I offered some guy named Andy my two cents on blogging and then gave him a nudge and introduced him to readers here.

A couple of years and hundreds of insightful/witty/bizarre posts later he’s got a big fancy business book and is on his way to becoming a best-selling author. Pow!

The guy is Andy Nulman, former president of Just for Laughs, current boss at Airborne Mobile, snazzy dressy, random shouter, and devout user of the Comic Sans font in emails. And the book, just out, and with forewords by comedians John Cleese and Craig Ferguson, is Pow!more


Romeo Dallaire on Leadership

Posted on January 29th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

Romeo Dallaire is a Canadian senator, humanitarian, author, and retired lieutenant-general. He is best known for the position he was assigned to in 1993: Force Commander of UNAMIR, the United Nations peacekeeping force in Rwanda. Responsible for the UN forces mandated to maintain order in the country yet left powerless by the UN itself, Dallaire witnessed firsthand the grisly bloodshed of the Rwanda genocide.

Dallaire wrote a book – Shake Hands with the Devil – about the experience, which has since spawned documentaries and a feature film. He continues to advocate strongly for human rights and for a more widespread understanding that all humans are human.… more


Spanning Silos

Posted on January 25th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

Two of the foundational elements of creative generalism — both of which I’ve noted here before — are these: 1) that Creative Generalist is a ying-yang sort of term in which the the executional focus of creativity is balanced with the big picture oversight and broader ideation of generalism, and that 2) corporate leaders need to be Creative Generalists. Essentially, this is also the central thesis of David Aaker’s recently published new book Spanning Silos: The New CMO Imperative.

Aaker, a giant in the field of branding and marketing theory, argues that decentralization has spawned powerful product, country, and functional silos which jeopardize companies’ overall marketing efforts.… more


The Stuff of Thought

Posted on December 7th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

I just finished reading Steven Pinker’s bestselling The Stuff of Thought, the Harvard experimental psychologist’s latest book about how the mind works. For some reason I wasn’t expecting much from it but by the end it left me wanting more.

This is a great book for curious people. (That last sentence could even be open to analysis.) Pinker eloquently goes through case after case and example after example of how and why we use language to convey ideas, and likewise how ideas shape our language. Grammar, semantics, pragmatics, inferences, naming trends, cursing – so many things that we take for granted are dissected with the goal of presenting human nature back to ourselves.… more


Why Don’t You Get It

Posted on October 29th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

Back in March I posted about my forthcoming involvement in The Age of Conversation 2, a book about the shift towards new business and marketing techniques for evolving dialogue about brands, experience, and community.

Well, it just released today. Ta-da!


This book has 237 contributors and I am one of them, writing about this creative generalism thing of course. The book is now available in both hard and soft cover from Lulu. All proceeds go to Variety, the international children’s charity.… more


The Geography of Hope

Posted on August 17th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

…[H]ere’s the real crux of it, the thing that puts bounce in the step of the ones already on this path – there is the chance to be part of possibly the greatest project in the history of civilization, to be at the forefront of the generation that confronted the worst conflagration the world had ever seen – and sorted it out. Scientific American calls climate change “arguably the most imposing scientific and technical challenge that humanity ever faced”; a veteran British politician warns of “an ecological time bomb ticking away”; and the former chief economist of the World Bank predicts “major disruptions on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the twentieth century.” To look back, perhaps half a century from now, to say to our children – to our grandchildren – that we took all this on, fought and thought, worked our asses off, tried and failed and tried again, and finally got this wondrous new contraption moving down a clear path toward the sustainable city on a hill – what could be better, more worthwhile, more flat-out balls-to-the-wall exhilarating, than to be part of that?more


The Great Pirates

Posted on July 22nd, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was an inventor, architect, engineer, mathematician, poet, cosmologist one of the great American visionaries of the 20th century. Best-known as the inventor of the geodesic dome, Fuller devoted much of his life to resolving the gap between the sciences and the humanities, which he believed was preventing society from taking a comprehensive view of the world. His theories and innovations traversed the worlds of architecture, visual art, literature, mathematics, molecular biology, and environmental science and have had a deep impact on all of those fields. (Description via the Buckminster Fuller Institute)

In 1963, Fuller published a short book titled the Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth, in which he relates Earth to a spaceship flying through space.… more


Blue Ocean Strategy

Posted on June 15th, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Miscellany. No Comments

Few business books have had the widespread and sustained resonance that Blue Ocean Strategy by INSEAD professors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne has. Published just a few years ago, it’s already a classic. If you haven’t yet read it, you should.

Blue Ocean Strategy challenges companies to break out of the red ocean of bloody competition by creating uncontested market space that makes the competition irrelevant. Instead of dividing up existing–and often shrinking–demand and benchmarking competitors, blue ocean strategy is about growing demand and breaking away from the competition.

Using as examples Cirque du Soleil, Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, CNN, FedEx, and Bloomberg, Kim and Mauborgne illustrate the value of redefining problems in new and different ways; ways not typical in traditional and entrenched marketing and management strategy.… more





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