Monday, 22 September 2008

Books that are the business

I'm not a great one for buying business books but sometimes, if something jumps out at me often enough from the right sort of places, I may weaken.

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely has jumped out at me a few times in the last week: I spotted it on someone's desk and it was referenced in a couple of blogs that I respect.

The question is this: shall it join my dust-covered collection? Looking at what business books I possess, I've noticed that they tend to be read once (if at all) to say that I've read them - or to appear knowledgeable when a client starts going on about Blue Oceans or whatever...but there are very few that I go back to again and again.

My business books seem to go in phases: the first books I bought (or had given to me) in the early 1990s were very serious stuff by David Aacker and Jack Trout all about Building Strong Brand Equities and suchlike. At the turn of the millenium, everyone went all Brave New World with titles like The New Marketing Manifesto (still a great book, pity about the political party!) by John Grant or A New Brand World by Scott Bedbury or Welcome to the Creative Age by Mark Earls. We then got all those virus and meme-type books and the start of those from the New Business gurus, like Malcolm Gladwell.

The last good business book that I read - that is, one that won't be gathering dust - was Chris Anderson's The Long Tail. So, what does anyone think? Who's read Predictably Irrational? Is it one that will stay with me? Or just another dust-catcher?

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