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Connected by Design: Seven Principles for Business Transformation Through Functional Integration
Connected by Design: Seven Principles for Business Transformation Through Functional Integration
by Barry Wacksman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.13
51 used & new from $0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Boring! Repetitive! Clumsy! Not helpful at all, July 21, 2015
Dont know whether the authors are so used to present with PowerPoint or so keen to theorize their ideas with only big corp cases, as a heavy reader of business books, I find it boring, repetitive, clumsy and not helpful at all. Those principles/chapters are so overstretched with little practical advice. Copying the comment of some reviewers, it reads more like an ad for the authors' company than anything else. In short, not recommended!

p.s. If it were not for the following favorite passages of mine, I might have rated it a one star.
People now demand us not to say “Just Do It.” They say “Help me just do it. Enable me to do it.” – Stefan Olander, VP, Digital Sport Division, Nike pg4
Each of these digital ecosystems is defined and supported by a distinctive online platform that function as both a hub for the brand’s digital services and as an invaluable portal to the brand’s e-commerce offerings. These ecosystems succeed by nurturing ongoing relationships with the brand’s most loyal customers……The conception, design and execution of such ecosystems represent a comprehensive new business model for the digital age. We call this business model Functional Integration because it relies on the interdependent dimensions of functionality and integration within ecosystems in order to deliver growth and profits. Pg6
The business of advertising is the business of interrupting….Advertising is probably the only industry to grow and prosper by excelling as a source of annoyance. Pg47
It is easy to state, as many companies have, that you intend to become the “Amazon of X” or “iTunes of Y”. The results, however, will be at odds with your hopes if the people in your organization remain fixed on targeted consumer categories, rather than building relationships and providing ever increasing value to the best customers with in your ecosystem) pg86
It is easy in the short term to disregard threats to the status quo and stick to one’s core competencies, even as the products of those competences are being replaced or commoditized. Theodore Leavitt’s famous 1960 HBR paper, “Marketing Myopia”, observed how the railroads doomed themselves to bankruptcy and irrelevance because they continued to believe that they were in the railroad business and not in the broader transportation business. To avoid the railroad’s fate, Leavitt counseled, “Management must think of itself not as producing products but as providing customer-creating value satisfactions ….. otherwise the company will be merely a series of pigeonholed parts, with no consolidating sense of purpose or direction. Pg90

No Hero: The Evolution of a Navy SEAL
No Hero: The Evolution of a Navy SEAL
by Kevin Maurer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.91
157 used & new from $5.82

4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, motivational, themed chapters/narratives of SEAL's heroic deeds, July 9, 2015
My review title says it all. A very good book for sure. Yet, I couldnt help but rated it a four star because I am not used to the non linear time line of the writing, and I might have too high an expectation set by the author's previous work and other great SEAL books I read before, including "Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior by Rorke Denver", "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History ... by Chris Kyle" and "SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper by Howard E. Wasdin". Recommended, but IMHO the books I mentioned above are more well-rounded choices!

p.s. Below please find some favorite passages of mine for your reference.
Being a SEAL is not just a job. It is a lifelong commitment to challenge yourself, and your teammates, to exist in a constant state of evolution, examining your decisions and learning from your mistakes so that you and your team can be as effective as possible. Pg17
I was a couple of hundred feet up the rock face and I could barely think, let alone decipher his cryptic advice….”Only focus on your three foot world. Focus on what you can affect. You keep looking around, and none of that s*** can help you right now, can it?”……Staying in my three-foot world became a mantra for me. It is liberating once you let go of the things that you can’t control. pg62
Assess. Prioritize, and act. Pg91

The Rolex Story
The Rolex Story
by Franz-Christoph Heel
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $32.62
44 used & new from $16.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative. Beautiful. A collectible for all Rolex watch owners, July 7, 2015
This review is from: The Rolex Story (Hardcover)
My review title said it all. I learnt more in this book than all piecemeal data I acquired before despite my keen interest in this brand. The quality of the printing paper and the photos are exceptionally high. I guess Rolex might have sponsored part of publishing cost. Value for money. Recommended!

You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Ou tsmart Yourself
You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Ou tsmart Yourself
by David McRaney
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.35
66 used & new from $1.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Readable. Helpful or not? Depends, July 2, 2015
In order to help potential readers/buyers of their purchase decision, I am obliged to copy and paste the Misconceptions M and Truths T of all chapters for your consideration.

M: You are being of logic and reason.
T: You are a being capable of logic and reason who falls short of that ideal in predictable ways.

Narrative Bias
M: You make sense of life through rational contemplation.
T: You make sense of life through narrative.

The Common Belief Fallacy
M: The larger the consensus, the more likely it is correct.
T: A belief is not more likely to be accurate just because many people share it.

The Benjamin Franklin Effect
M: You do nice things for the people you like and bad things to the people you hate.
T: You grow to like people for whom you do nice things and hate people you harm.

The Post Hoc Fallacy
M: You notice when effect doesn’t follow cause.
T: You find it especially difficult to believe a sequence of events means nothing.

The Halo Effect
M: You objectively appraise the individual attributes of other people.
T: You judge specific qualities of others based on your global evaluation of their character and appearance.

Ego Depletion
M: Willpower is just a metaphor.
T: Willpower is a finite resource.

The Misattribution of Arousal
M: You always know why you feel the way you feel.
T: You can experience emotion states without knowing why, even if you believe you can pinpoint the source.

The Illusion of External Agency
M: You always know when you are making the best of things.
T: You often incorrectly give credit to outside forces for providing your optimism.

The Backfire Effect
M: You alter your opinions and incorporate the new information into your thinking after your beliefs are challenged with facts.
T: When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger.

Pluralistic Ignorance
M: Many of your private beliefs are in disagreement with what most people think.
T: On certain issues, the majority of the people believe that the majority of the people in a group believe what, in truth, the minority of the members believe.

The No True Scotsman Fallacy
M: You honestly define that which you hold dear.
T: You will shift your definitions to protect your ideologies.

The Illusion of Asymmetric Insight
M: You celebrate diversity and respect others’ points of views
T: You are driven to create and form groups and then believe others are wrong just because they are others.

Enclothed Cognition
M: Clothes as everyday objects are just fabrics for protection and decoration of the body.
T: The clothes you wear change your behavior and can either add or subtract from your mental abilities.

M: People who riot and loot are scum who were just looking for an excuse to steal and be violent.
T: Under the right conditions, you are prone to losing individuality and becoming absorbed into a hive mind.

The Sunk Cost Fallacy
M: You make rational decision based on the future value of objects, investments, and experiences.
T: Your decisions are tainted by the emotional investments you accumulate, and the more you invest in something, the harder it becomes to abandon it.

The Overjustification Effect
M: There is nothing better in the world than getting paid to do what you love.
T: Getting paid for doing what you already enjoy will sometimes cause your love for the task to wane because you attribute your motivations as coming from the reward, not your internal feelings.

The Self Enhancement Bias
M: You set attainable goals based on a realistic evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses.
T: You protect unrealistic attitudes about your abilities in order to stay sane and avoid despair.

In short, this book is little different from the author's previous work "You are not so smart". Well written and organized like good narratives. Yet, I doubt whether the prescriptions are effective enough for us to conquer our innate weaknesses. So, your liking of it will depend much on whether the above topic suit you well. Recommended, but not on anyone's priority list.

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered
Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered
by Austin Kleon
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.39
110 used & new from $5.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful for amateur artists. Interesting for common readers, July 1, 2015
The whole books is centered on one premise: "For artists, the great problem to solve is how to get oneself noticed." IMHO, the author had done an excellent job in dealing with the above issue via his bright ideas, practical suggestions and well selected sayings. Definitely a concise yet great guide for amateur artists who want to go pro, and an interesting read for common guys like me. In short, recommended!

p.s. Below please find some of my favorite passages for your reference.
Be so good that they cant ignore you. - Steve Martin pg1
Scenius - Under this model by Brian Eno, great ideas are often birthed by a group of creative individuals - artists, curators, thinkers, theorists, and other tastemakers - who make up an "ecology of talent." pg11
In the beginner's mind, there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind, there are few. - Shunryu Suzuki pg15
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. - Steve Jobs pg24
Words matter. Artists love to trot out the tired line. "My work speaks for itself," but the truth is, our work doesnt speak for itself. Human beings want to know where things came from, how they were made, and who made them. The stories you tell about the work you do have a huge effect on how people feel and what they understand about your work, and thus how they value it. pg93
The cat sat on a mat is not a story. The cat sat on the dog's mat is a story. - John le Carre pg95
When people realize they are listened to, they tell you things. - Richard Ford pg122
You want hearts, not eyeballs. Pg129
If, after hanging out with someone you feel worn out and depleted, that person is a vampire. If, after hanging out with someone you still feel full of energy, that person is not a vampire. Of course, the Vampire Test works on many things in our lives, not just people - you can apply it to jobs, hobbies, places, etc. pg135
The trick is not caring what everybody thinks of you and just caring about what the right people think of you. - Brian Michael Bendis pg153
We don't make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies. - Walt Disney pg172
Above all, recognize that if you have had success, you have also had luck - and with luck comes obligation. You owe a debt, and not just to your gods. You owe a debt to the unlucky. - Michael Lewis pg179
Anyone who isn't embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn't learning enough. - Alain De Botton pg197

Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success
Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success
by Kerry Patterson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.69
96 used & new from $1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So so. Repetitive and clumsy. The authors had tried too hard to make it structured and scientific, June 16, 2015
My review title had said it all. Perhaps I had read a few more helpful and fluent books of the same genre that I am surprised by the overwhelmingly positive reviews here. IMHO, "Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister", "The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal", and "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg" are far better alternatives.

The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day
The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day
by David J. Hand
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.92
53 used & new from $8.28

3.0 out of 5 stars Knowledgeable, yet a bit repetitive and clumsy, June 10, 2015
The Improbability Principle is the author's name for a set of laws of change which, together, tell us that we should expect the unexpected, and why. They include:-
- The law of inevitability - if you make a complete list of all possible outcomes then one of them must occur.
- The law of truly large numbers - with a large enough number of opportunities, any outrageous thing is likely to happen.
- The law of selection - you can make probabilities as high as you like if you choose after the event.
- The law of probability lever - a slight change in circumstances can have a huge impact on probabilities.
- The law of near enough - events that are sufficiently similar may be regarded as identical. No two measurements are identical to an infinite number of decimal places.

Whilst I am obliged to praise the author for opening my mind about probability with simple words and no equation at all, I think he can cut half of the book and still achieve his purpose well. As a pro trader and pragmatic reader, I find it much less helpful than "Black Swan and Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb". In short, readable, but not recommended for any reader's priority list.

p.s. Below please find some of my favorite passages of your reference.
Correlation does not imply causation. Pg17
Prophecies are often couched in cryptic terms, making them ambiguous and permitting multiple interpretations of their meaning. This can make them difficult to refute. It's tough to argue with a prophet who can always say, "Ah yes, but that was exactly what I meant," whatever the outcome. Sometimes a single "prediction" may even have two opposite interpretations. This is nicely illustrated by the story of Croesus, King of Lydia from 560 to 546 BC, who is said to have consulted the oracle at Delphi to help him decide whether to attack Persia. The oracle told him that if he crossed the river a great empire would be destroyed. Croesus took this as a favorable message and duly attacked - only to have his own empire destroyed by the Persians.....An abundance of predictions is also always a good strategy for would be prophets, since by chance they should expect to get some right - and they can then stress those and conveniently forget the ones that were wrong. pg22
Chaos: when the present determines the future, but he approximate present does not approximately determine the future. Unfortunately, we always have only approximate knowledge about the present. Pg47
If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having neither parts nor limits. He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what He is or if He must wager. It's not optional. You are embarked. Which will you choose then?....Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is." - Pascal pg53
If there are 23 or more people in the room, then it's more likely than not that two will have the same birthday. Pg88

If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat Participant's Guide: A 6-Session Journey on Learning to Trust God
If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat Participant's Guide: A 6-Session Journey on Learning to Trust God
Offered by HarperCollins Publishing
Price: $6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A good spiritual read on faith, courage and failure management, May 28, 2015
My review title says it all. Although it is not so great as "When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box", it is by all means readable and enlightening. In short, recommended!

p.s. Below please find some favorite passages of mine for your reference.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails where daring greatly. So that his place will never be with those cold timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt pg11
Somebody once asked Winston Churchill what most prepared him to risk political suicide by speaking out against Hitler during the years of appeasement in the mid-1930s , then to lead GB against Nazi Germany. Churchill said it was the time head to repeat a grade in elementary school. "You mean you failed a year in grade school?" he was asked. "I never failed anything in my life. I was given a second opportunity to get it risk. Pg22
Imagine watching all the God might have done with your life if you had let him. Pg47
Work has become our new religion, where we worship and give our time. As people's commitment to family, community, and faith are shrinking, they begin to look to their careers to provide them with meaning, connectedness, identity and esteem. A calling, which is something I do for God, is replaced by a career, which threatens to become my god. Pg71
Jesus promised those who would follow him only three things....that they would be absurdly happy, entirely fearless, and always in trouble. - Gregg Levoy pg95
The POWs and hostages who triumphed over adversity share a common trait - they managed to reassert a sense of command over their future. Instead of becoming passive, they focuses as much attention as possible on whatever possibilities for control remained.
The single command in Scripture that occurs more often than any other - God's most frequently repeated instruction - is formulated in two words: Fear not. Do not be afraid. Be strong and courageous. You can trust me. Fear not. Pg117
People's perceptions and responses to failure make an enormous difference in their lives - more than IQ, physical attractiveness, charm and financial assets put together. Those who can learn from it, retaining a deep sense of their own value and marshaling the motivation to try gain, becomes masters of failure management. Daniel Coleman notes, what sets the very top performers in fields from athletes to music apart, is the doggedness that stems from certain "emotional traits - enthusiasm and persistence in the face of setbacks - above all else." Pg136
What I regret most as I look back on these experiences is not that I failed. Rather, I regret feeling the pain of failure so keenly that I backed away from owning it and learning from it, so I could not heal and move on. Pg141
In any area where you are concerned about failure, the single most destructive thing you can do is nothing. Psychologist David Burns write about what he calls the cycle of lethargy: When I'm faced with a challenge and I do nothing, it leads to distorted thoughts - that I am helpless, hopeless, and beyond change. These in turn lead to destructive emotions - loss of energy and motivation, damaged self-esteem, feeling overwhelmed. The end result is self-defeating behavior - procrastination, avoidance, and escapism. These behaviors then reinforce negative thoughts, and the whole cycle spirals downward. Pg144
The result of righteousness will be two character qualities. The first is the One who sustains me. It is the assurance that God is able....The second quality is quietness, the opposite of arrogance and boasting, a humble recognition of my limits. Pg183
Lord, help me to do great things as though they were little, since I do them with your power; and little things as though they were great, since I do them in your name - Blaise Pascal pg191
How big is your God? Pg191

Eyes Wide Open: How to Make Smart Decisions in a Confusing World
Eyes Wide Open: How to Make Smart Decisions in a Confusing World
by Noreena Hertz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.19
65 used & new from $0.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable. Enlightening., May 27, 2015
I had read many books of the same genre before, a combination of behavioural psychology and financial economics which a specific group of trader/investor like me are so fond of. Yet, I was still impressed by the author's good writing and organizing skills. Helpful for those who commit to apply the lessons. Enjoyable for those who simply read for fun. In short, recommended!

p.s. Below please find some favorite passages of mine for your reference.
Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everybody you meet. - General James N. Mattis pg28
Before you make a decision based on a number, think about what the number is capturing, and also what it is not telling you. Risk is another area where our attempts to assign clear measures are often bound to fail. Pg31
If we are to make smarter decisions, we need to make sure that we are not overly swayed by what we've seen most recently, or by the information that's most easily available, or by our initial assessment, or by what it is we most want to hear. Pg39
The key is not to be overly wedded to our past successes and failures, or our experience based instincts, so that shifting tides or new information are ignored. Nor should we assume a linear trajectory - more so now than ever, as we attempt to navigate today's uncertain and unpredictable digital world, in which things are changing with an ever greater rapidity. Pg41
Do not get so attached to past successes or failures that they inhibit your ability to think cogently, and to assess the present challenges with an open and objective mind. Be acutely aware that the interplay between our environment and its outcomes is ever changing. Understand that all trends will come to an end at some point. Consider the possibility that the same ingredients at another time may not make a tasty cake or a hit movie. Don't allow success to breed either arrogance or complacency. Pg43
Barack Obama advised David Cameron that "The most important thing you need to do si have big chunks of time during the day when all you're doing is thinking. Without that you lose the big picture." Pg47
Two groups were giving a slightly different opening sentence to the report. The first began, "Crime is a beast ravaging the city of Addison." The second, "Crime is a virus....". Participants who had been told that crime was a "beast" were significantly more likely to propose "catch and cage" strategies....whereas the group who were given the word "virus" leaned disproportionately towards "heal and cure" methods of deterrence....This was regardless of whether they were Democrats or Republican, conservative or liberal minded, young or old, male or female. Pg60
If you are trying to get a favorable response, you might want to touch someone on the forearm when making a request. Pg68
When the facts change, I change my mind. - John Maynard Keynes pg93
We need to value what our Nobel Prize winning economist Friedrich Hayek described as "local" knowledge - the dispersed wisdom of those on the ground. That means casting our nets much wider than we are traditionally prone to do, and seeking out the most experienced and best placed lay experts, wherever they happen to be. Pg110
No wonder Prime Minister David Cameron now monitors unemployment figures on his iPad via Google Trends rather than waiting for official data to come out from the Office of National Statistics. Pg145
Not the participants with the most muted emotions, but those who were most self-aware, and therefore best able to identify their emotions and their potential biases. These subjects made significantly better investment choices than the others. Pg231
The monks' training in "mindfulness" - the concept that we should continuously note, but not judge, our emotions - meant that their mood management thermostat was second nature. Pg233
People arrested for a range of impulsive criminal actions...often suffer from low blood sugar.....You know the old adage, don't act on an empty stomach. Pg237-8
President Clinton, in an interview with CNN, confessed, "In my long political career, most of the mistakes I made, I made when I was too tired....You make better decisions when you're not too tired. So that would be my only advice." It's no wonder then that staff at MI5 are told to make sure they get enough rest, even at times of huge national emergency. pg242

Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others
Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others
by Andrew Sobel
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.59
78 used & new from $8.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very powerful indeed!, April 27, 2015
My appreciation of this book is beyond words. The authors truly demonstrate how a good question is already half the answer. Indeed, they have provided tons of excellent templates to help readers to get the desired/right replies/solutions. Definitely a very useful tool book for people from all walks of life. Highly recommended!

p.s. Below please find some favorite questions of mine for your reference.
Good questions challenge your thinking. They reframe and redefine the problems. They throw cold water on our most dearly held assumptions, and force us out of our traditional thinking. They motivate us to learn and discover more. They remind us of what is most important in our lives. Pg4
Rather than offering advice, Drucker would pose simple but penetrating questions such as, "What business are you really in?" And, "What do your customers value most?" "When a journalist once referred to him as a consultant, Drucker objected. He said he was actually an "insultant" - a nod to the tough, direct questions he liked to ask his clients. pg4
The client asks, "Why don't you start by telling us about your firm (you)?" DeWitt pauses thoughtfully. He looks up, and asks, "What would you like to know about us (me)?" Then he is silent....The client suddenly gets more specific...."I'm curious. Can you say more about "working together internally?" DeWitt asks. "What prompted you to raise that?" pg9
They won't buy ....if the four conditions have not been met. 1. Is there a problem or opportunity? 2. Does the person "own" the problem? 3. Does the buyer have a healthy dissatisfaction with the current offering or the rate of improvement? 4. Does the buyer trust you and believe you're the best alternative they have? Pg22
You can engage with someone, draw them out, and learn their story by asking "How did you get started?"....."How did you decide to do that at the time?" "What was the toughest lesson you had to learn?" pg35-7
When you're trying to define an organizational role, to restore a sense of purpose and pride, or just understand what makes people tick, ask" Why do you do what you do?" pg45
When you want a clear, unequivocal answer, ask an unequivocal closed ended question. Ask, "Is it a yes or a no?" pg62
"What questions haven't I asked?" A well-known marketing expert calls this his killer question for wrapping up a sales call.....I prefer to ask instead: "Are there any issues we haven't discussed that you think are relevant to this particular challenge?" or, "Is there anyone else you think I should talk to in order to get additional perspective on this issue?" pg68
Gain more information and open the other person up by asking, "Can you tell me more?" Ask it often. It is to conversations what fresh-baked bread with soft creamery butter is to a meal....follow up questions: When/What/How/Why? Pg85-6
Can you tell me about your plans? Pg118
Start creating a culture of decisiveness. Before you begin each meeting, ask, "What decisions do we need to make today?" After every meeting, ask: "What have we decided today?"...follow up questions: "What is needed in order for a decision to be made on this?"" Do we all agree about that?" pg143

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