Summertime Book Recommendations: 2015 Edition

Hola Todos!

Things tend to slow down during the summer and I always take the opportunity to load up on some excellent new books. We need to learn – we need feed our heads with takeaways (I like to call them nuggets) to create our knowledge base. Books are excellent learning tools (please see the previous 2013 and 2014 Book Recommendation posts) but this year I have some non-book recommendations as well. Welcome to the 2015 Summer Book (and a bunch of other stuff) Recommendation List!

These are in no particular order – go to Amazon or Google to find further detail on these items.  If you have a more particular interest, drop me an email and we’ll go deeper into a more specific topic OK.

ENJOY!

Dr. Dan-o

 

Book Recommendations

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo – This book is truly excellent (I finished it a month ago) and is perfect for all my past and present Professional Selling students. This might be the best one-stop-shop for learning verbal and non-verbal presentation skills.

The Small BIG: Small Changes that Spark Big Influence by Steve J. Martin, Noah J. Goldstein, and Robert B. Cialdini – Professor Cialdini is the godfather of persuasion research and anything with his name on it has to be nuggetworthy. His masterpiece Influence: Science and Practice (on the 2013 list) is the best persuasion book every written.

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson – I’ve been hunting for a book that can define Passion for sometime and this one is solid. He does a mean TED talk as well.

Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life by Brian Wansink, Ph.D., – What can I say? I’m a little thick around the middle and I need some nuggets from Professor Wansink who in my eyes is the model academic. Not only is he fantastic in the classroom, he also writes rigorous double-blind peer-reviewed research in the top academic journals in addition to, incredible popular press books based on his research. Now that is how it is done!

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen – For those of us who manager people – this is a book for you. For those of us you who depend on the evaluations of others for promotion – this book is for you.

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull – This is certainly the best leadership book written in the last year (period) and it might be one of the best leadership books of all time exploring innovation at creative firms – WOW.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk – this is Gary’s third social media book and it’s a good primer for those getting started in social/digital marketing (hint, hint Fall 2015 Direct Marketing/Social Media students).

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli – It wouldn’t be a Dr. Dan-o book recommendation list without something about Apple, correct? This book is a very interesting read and is a good yin to Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs yang. Schlender paints a very different picture of Jobs and spent significantly more time, as well as, time periods with Jobs compared to Isaacson’s 18 to 24 months.

 

CD/Audio Course

The Art of Storytelling: From Parents to Professionals by Hannah B. Harvey, Ph.D., (from the Great Courses) – I love storytelling and this 4-disk set is very, very comprehensive.

The New Yorker Articles

I’m a HUGE fan of the New Yorker magazine. While the topics can range to almost anything (truly anything), whatever lands in the magazine is done with amazing detail (i.e., New Yorker articles are more book-like than magazine-like). Here are some of my favorites from the last year or so (with links!).

Hollywood and Vine: The entertainment industry seeks the future in viral video by Tad Friend – An excellent viral video article…

The Virologist: How a young entrepreneur built an empire by repackaging memes by Andrew MarantzAnother excellent viral/social article…

Blockbluster: Who needs hits? by Kelefa Sanneh – An update to the Long Tail social media discussion…

The Cobweb: Can the Internet be archived? by Jill LeporeYes folks – stuff on the Internet never ever really disappears…

We Know How You Feel: Computers are learning to read emotion, and the business world can’t wait by Raffi KhatchadourianThis one will truly mess with your brain…

The Shape of Things to Come: How an industrial designer became Apple’s greatest product by Ian ParkerThis is without question the BEST profile ever written on Jony Ive. Moreover, it provides incredible back story to the development of Apple Watch…

 

Podcasts

I can clearly say that podcasts have been my #1 go-to source for picking up nuggets in the last two years. Moreover, podcasts are excellent when you’re doing mindless activities like commuting or cutting the grass. You can find these in iTunes or any of your favorite podcast players (i.e., Stitcher, Overcast). Here are some of my favorites…

 

The David Diehl Show: Sports, Tech, and a Bunch of other Stuff with Co-Host Dr. Dan-o – presented by Today’s Business – Of course my favorite podcasts is the one I helped create. David is an excellent friend and host and with Today’s Business, we created something unique that intersects the sports and tech world!

The HBR Ideacast – for those of you who had me in class – we read A LOT of Harvard Business Review articles. This podcast is on par with those articles…

Stanford’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders – It is absolutely amazing the caliber of speakers who appear on this show. I bet 50% of the books I purchased in the last two years are from ETL speakers.

Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner – This is probably the best “how-to” social media podcast out there…

The Marketing Companion Podcast with Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster – Since this podcast launched, I have not missed an episode…

NPR TED Radio Hour with Guy Raz – Spectacular! I also purchase a number of books from TED speakers. The other huge bonus with this podcast is it features multiple TED speakers on a similar theme. In other words, you get more nuggets from more people in a shorter amount of time…brilliant!

The Torch – presented by The Great Courses with host Ed Leon – from physics to history to business, The Great Courses has it all…

The Talk Show with John Gruber – the best Apple/tech podcast (period!) – the only Apple podcast that is influential enough to have Apple Sr. VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller as a guest.

 

Documentaries (try Netflix or Amazon Prime)

Both of the following documentaries explore the “dark side” (AKA user privacy) of the social media world.

Terms and Conditions May Apply

Generation Like

 

 

 

 

 

Milestone Post #300: A Major Podcast Announcement – The AskDDShow!

Hola Todos!

It’s been a long and winding road since I started the DigNuggetville blog in August 2011. Reflecting back, there is a lot to be happy about but particularly, DigNuggetville as remained focused on its mission since Day 1:

“The number one mission of this blog is to disseminate, distribute, broadcast, circulate, etc., nuggets.  As you recall, nuggets are takeaways – a kernel of information that you would like to stow away for future use.”

Going forward, I do not see the mission changing anytime soon. If there were one thing I would like to do more of in the next 100 posts, it would be more “nuggets” from the DigNuggetville community. Bradley Childs’ 2013 Seton Hall valedictorian speech is not only in the Top 10 of all time, its #1 (with a bullet!). Jenny Zhang’s question on the difference between market-driven and market-driving (marketing orientation) is #4 of all time. It would be fantastic to have another two or three posts coming from the DigNuggetville community make it into the Top 10 before I hit milestone post #400.

And now for the big announcement – something worthy of milestone post – How many times in class have I recommended a podcast (or made you listen to one because it was part of your grade)? There has to be dozens of podcast links in the previous 299 posts on DigNuggetville. So….

Dr. Dan-o is the co-host of a new podcast that will launch in the next week titled:

The David Diehl Show – Sports, Tech, and a Bunch of Other Stuff with Co-Host Dr. Dan-o – – presented by Today’s Business

Much thanks goes out to 2-time Super Bowl winner for the New York Football Giants and host of the podcast David Diehl. David is busy dude (NY Giants broadcast booth, Fox NFL Game Analyst, Sirius XM radio, even an extra in the new Entourage movie) but he still has time to hang out and have fun with the podcast. Extra thanks goes out to Tom Ottaiano (CEO) and Chaz Cervino (CCO) of Today’s Business for coming up with the idea for the podcast. Tom and Chaz have guest lectured in my classes, hired former Dr. Dan-o students for internships and currently have a former Dr. Dan-o student as a full-time employee – Brent Eppley who also happens to be the production manager (AKA Prime Minister) of the AskDDShow.

The AskDDShow is going to be a ton of fun! Follow us on Twitter and Instragram @AskDDShow and send us your sports and tech questions!

Something to watch (or listen to) in the next week…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Director, MBA Program

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Apple Watch: Did You Order Yours Today?

Hola Todos!

As I mentioned in my last post, Apple Watch is the most anticipated Apple product since the iPhone and Apple has gone to unprecedented lengths to promote this new product leading up to the April 24th launch. This week, two full days in advance of online pre-ordering, all the reviews hit the blogosphere and here a few of the best ones:

Re/Code’s Lauren Goode

Daring FireBall’s John Gruber

Yahoo Tech’s David Pogue

The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern

Australian Financial Review’s watch editor Bani McSpedden

These last two have excellent short videos that give you a good feel for what the watch can do now.

What I found most interesting with all the reviews I’ve checked out over the last 48 hours is even these Apple experts are having a difficult time deciding what it is and what it can do. Everyone says the same thing: It’s a beautiful product unlike anything Apple (or any tech company for that matter) has ever produced – yet even with paragraph after paragraph of text, no one is really comfortable with Apple Watch (yet).

[UPDATE 4/16 – almost a week later, the tech press is still not any clearer on what they thought about the Apple Watch – as per Philip Elmer-DeWitt of the Apple 2.0 blog]

And I guess that understandable as they only had one week to use Apple Watch while they have had 7 plus years to figure out iPhone. It’s just too new of a category for everyone to fully get something as new or “different” as Apple Watch.  Wired magazine more than hinted that even Apple doesn’t have it all figured out yet.

Just as iPhone is much more than a phone, Apple Watch is much more than a watch and it’s going to take some time for everyone to get comfortable with it.  Am I going to buy one? Sure – eventually.  I waited a year to buy my first iPhone.  As intrigued as I was with the iPhone when it was released, version 2.0 in 2008 was way better than iPhone 2007 as the ecosystem around iPhone blossomed.

More than anything else, I think the fans of Apple made the decision for me. Last night, Apple’s entire allotment of Apple Watch sold out in less than 6 hours.  This product will be in high demand and limited supply leading all the way up to the holiday shopping season.

Something to think about today…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Director, MBA Program

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

Apple Watch: The Most Anticipated Apple Product Since The iPhone

Hola Todos!

Sometime later today, we will finally learn some hard details on Apple’s most anticipated product since the iPhone: Apple Watch. Last week, I was asked for some comments by the media and the text below were my thoughts in advance of today’s event. Beyond my comments, you can find some interesting roundups here and here, as well as, a solid profile of Jony Ive.

 

I believe there are a number of challenging angles on selling this new device from Apple’s perspective and I truly believe that getting the store experience right is one of them.  Granted, Apple has not reveled their Apple Store plans (I’m really hoping they talk to this point on Monday) but getting the channels/retail strategy wrong could easily doom a successful launch. This should be the first time we see Angela Ahrendts on stage and for Apple watchers – this is a HUGE deal. Jony Ive may be the designer for Apple Watch but Angela and her new team of fashion executives are the ones that will make it a sales success.

 

First, the price: this will be Apple’s most complicated product and pricing in the history of the company with one product going as low as $349 to as high as $15,000. I’m very curious on the pricing of the Edition category –  agreed that there may only be an ounce or two of gold in the Watch and even with their margins, Apple probably could have an Edition starting price in the ballpark of $4,995, but that is not the watch market they are going after.  The Edition is aiming for the Super-Premium crowd where gold watches cannot be found for under $20,000 (try and find a gold Rolex for under $25,000). I’m thinking $9,995 with some of the bands/options bringing it closer to $15K.

 

From the perspective of a consumer tech product, Apple Watch will be ‘shockingly’ high – from the perspective of high end watch marketplace – it was be ‘shockingly’ disruptive.

 

Second, I expect the watch to be modular – meaning the S1 System on a Chip can be replaced and upgraded – unlike current Apple tech.  It fact – its has to be – not even the filthy rich are going to drop $10K on something that in 2 to 3 years, would have 10% of the performance of what’s currently available.

 

In sum, I honestly believe that this platform will change/develop the wearables market the way iPhone changed the cell phone market.  I fully expect there to be loads of media attention on Apple Watch on Monday but at the same time, most saying this will NOT be a runaway hit like iPhone.  Now new Apple category introductions consistently have a slow first year.  Apple always keeps supplies low of new products to keep demand high.  Year 2 – after 12 months of everyone being comfortable with the idea of an Apple Watch – it will explode and then all those naysayers will say “I told you so…”

 

Something to “watch” out for this afternoon…

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o
Associate Professor of Marketing
Director MBA Program
Stilton School of Business
Seton Hall University

Super Bowl Ad Roundup: What’s with all the seriousness?

Hola Todos!

The Super Bowl is one of my favorite nights of the year on Twitter and Twitter is at its best when millions upon millions of people are all doing the same thing…such as, watching Super Bowl commercials.

Last night featured an unusual set of commercials – meaning mostly serious or inspirational ones.  It is almost like all the senior brand and creative executives met at a bar and decided to stick to common high-brow themes like “dads” or “going beyond oneself.”  A glut of inspiration results in a blending of the ads – it was much harder to stand out therefore, reducing any possible impact.  Moreover, the Super Bowl is a fun event and most watchers are with friends and family at a party.  PSAs, movie trailers, and “high-brow” themes are better for the Oscars as opposed to beer, dips, chips and nachos.  Make me laugh please…I’m at a party.

As for the rankings, the USAToday AdMeter got it largely right.  Bud with the “Lost Puppy” at #1, – Coke’s “Happy Internet” and Doritos’ “Middle Seat” in the Top Ten. Ads that I thought were solid and did not break the Top Ten were Bud Light’s “Pac Man,” Avocados from Mexico, and Turbo Tax’s “Boston Tea Party.” Special mention to Reebok who ran a great ad before the game started.  I also thought that SquareSpace’s “The Dude” spot was way better then where it landed and the BMW 3i spot was way worse then where it landed.

Two of the most talked about ads of the night were Nissan’s (90 seconds of dad racing – being away from the family) and the Nationwide’s “Boy who Died” spots.  The problem with the Nissan ad was the storytelling in the ad was contrary to the story in the “Cat’s in the Cradle” song that was used in the ad.  In the last stanza of the song, the son grows up to the be the same absentee dad – its not a happy ending – it’s a morality play. The Nationwide ad was well done but few people would react well to that type of theme when they are at a party.

All in all, I have to agree with my friend Ian Schafer, CEO of DEEP Focus; for as expensive as these ads are, one good night of branding should not make up for 364 of slacking.

Check out the links when you get a chance…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Director, MBA Program

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hiatus Over – DigNuggetville is BACK: Big Rocks First!

Hola Todos!

As we party into the holidays and wrap up 2014, it is time to end the longest hiatus in the 3-year history of DigNuggetville.  To be direct, a mantra that consistently echoes between my ears is BIG ROCKS FIRST.  In August 2014, I became the Director of the MBA Program in the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University while at the same time, taught overload for the fall semester. I had many BIG Rocks to take care of and DigNuggetville had to take a back seat for a short time.

It didn’t help that I had big DigNugggetville plans for the fall. The last post was #295 and in my head, I had a number of special posts leading up to milestone post #300. I didn’t have the time for the special posts, and I didn’t change my mind that posts #296 – #300 could be normal Dr. Dan-o nuggets, so I had to be patient, take care of my BIG Rocks first and plan forward.

Now that hiatus is over, I’m going to get those special posts rolling and make the announcement at post #300.  In the meantime, I am always finding interesting nuggets so enjoy the following links while I get writing.

-Marissa Mayer struggling at Yahoo?

-Additional Yahoo commentary by Daring Fireball’s John Gruber

-Tim Cook had one hell of a year!

-Bricks and Clicks will be a major trend in 2015?

-Why Companies Should Fire Bad Customers

-Guy Kawasaki on The Art of Social Media

-My newest – most favorite podcast – The #AskGaryVee Show

-A new blog that ranks/rates all the Marketing podcast out there…

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Director, MBA Program

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to DigNuggetville: Three years and Still Going…

Hola Todos!

Three years ago today, DigNuggetville was launched and keeping with tradition, I’m reposting the “Inaugural Post” outlining the mission and goals for DigNuggetville.  Except for the auto industry comment, the blog has been true to the mission outlined below.

As I have been hinting to in recent posts, Year 3 of DigNuggetville will feature something totally new – something I have been brewing up for the past 3 months or so. I look forward to its debut in the very near future.

Thanks for interest in DigNuggetville and keep reading those nuggets!

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

 

August 10th, 2011

Hola Todos!

I hope the summer has been treating us well.  For some time now, I have been cooking up the idea for – DigNuggetville – so WELCOME to the inaugural post.

The number one mission of this blog is to disseminate, distribute, broadcast, circulate, etc., nuggets.  As you recall, nuggets are takeaways – a kernel of information you would like to stow away for future use.

Now in class, I made you record things in your journal (and yes I know a few of you out there still keep your journal alive).  Either way, I want to continue our conversation and share more nuggets.

The recording of nuggets is strongly rooted in learning theory and is the foundation of my teaching philosophy.   Broadly speaking, the main thrust of our discussion will involve (but not limited to) my main areas of interest:

  • Marketing Strategy
  • Marketing Research
  • Servant Leadership
  • Web 2.0/Social Media
  • Personal Selling and Sales Management
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Books/Business Media Recommendation
  • Networking (e.g., the old fashion face-to-face kind, as well as, the newer social media kind)
  • All things Apple Inc, Google, and the entire auto industry (just kidding)

Most importantly, I would like to hear from you.  If you are having a problem at work or want to talk through a career related decision, these are things I help out former students colleagues with on a weekly basis.  In summary, if there is something you would like to ask, please post a question.

Again, welcome to Dr. Dan-o’s creation – DigNuggetville.com

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Innovation: What Can We Learn from Improvisational Comedy?

Hola Todos!

You never really know where a great nugget will come from and when I was reading Tina Fey’s memoir Bossypants (actually, I was listening to it in the car), her description of improvisational comedy sounded like something that would be very useful for coming up with new ideas.  First, I will paraphrase her thoughts from the book and second, I will give you my interpretation on how improv could fit with innovation.

 

The Rules of Improvisation

The first rule of improv is to AGREE. Always agree and SAY YES.  When improvising, this means you are required to agree with whatever your partner has created.  The Rule of Agreement reminds you to respect what your partner has created and to at least start from an open-minded place. Start with YES and see where that takes you.

The second rule of improvisation is to not only say yes, but to also say YES, AND. You are supposed to agree and then add something of your own.  YES AND means, “Don’t be afraid to contribute.”  It’s your responsibility to contribute.  Always make sure you’re adding something to the discussion.  Your initiations are worthwhile.

The third rule is to MAKE STATEMENTS.  This is a positive way of saying “Don’t ask questions all the time.” In other words, whatever the problem, be part of the solution.  Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles. We’ve all worked with that person and that person is a drag.

The final rule of improvisation is THERE ARE NO MISTAKES only opportunities. In other words, there are no mistakes, only happy accidents.  And many of the world’s greatest discoveries have been by accident.  I mean, look at Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or Botox. 

I could not write down these ideas when in the car so I went to the library and took out the book to get the word-for-word translation.  I thought these four rules would work well when the task at hand was to develop totally new ideas from scratch. When people are positive, the creative juices flow. Having teammates add something to your original idea will take it somewhere you didn’t expect it to go. Not asking questions or being negative will keep the stop signs from popping up. And not worrying if the idea is a good one or a mistake will free those cognitive juices up to focus on idea development.

Something to try at work today…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Leadership: Remembering Warren Bennis

Hola Todos!

Today we remember a true leader, Warren Bennis, who passed away last week.  Professor Bennis was a leadership scholar who penned nearly 30 books, which have explored the importance of judgment, the need for transparency, the importance of being adaptive and the secrets of genius teams.

An excellent tribute published in the Washington Post summarized many of Professor Bennis’ leadership theories:

For Bennis, leadership was a personal journey, something individual and introspective that must be learned through life’s experiences. He was a staunch believer that leaders are made not born, formed out of “crucible” moments and struggles that prepare them to lead. As he wrote in On Becoming a Leader — essential reading for anyone — leadership is about self-discovery and self-expression. “Before people can learn to lead, they must learn something about this strange new world.” For Bennis, leadership was a personal journey, something individual and introspective that must be learned through life’s experiences. He was a staunch believer that leaders are made not born, formed out of “crucible” moments and struggles that prepare them to lead. As he wrote in On Becoming a Leader, leadership is about self-discovery and self-expression. “Before people can learn to lead, they must learn something about this strange new world.”

My favorite line from the quote above is “he was a staunch believer that leaders are made and not born.”  I have linked to Professor Bennis’ ideas three times on DigNuggetville.  The first was, not surprisingly, was to stress leaders are made, not born.  The second was to stand on the shoulders of giants to highlight one of my favorite leadership quotes.  Professor Bennis said,

“Three words leaders have trouble dealing with: ‘I don’t know.’  I think good leadership will often start with questions whose answer is: “I don’t know, but we’re going to find out.”

Finally, in learning to fail…forward, I passed along Professor Bennis’ concept of the crucible.  A crucible is an intense learning experience and for almost all of the leaders profiled in his book Geeks & Geezers, their crucible was a horrible failure. Leaders learn from their (horrible) experiences. They fail, but in failing , they then moved forward with their lives to do something even better than before.  Without the their crucible, these leaders would have never reached this better place without their failure.

Go to a bookstore and pick up something excellent from Professor Bennis today…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

Nugget Keyword Dictionary – What is Bootstrapping?

Hola Todos!

Yesterday, we had an interesting nugget keyword – click bait – so let’s continue the trend and have another nugget keyword, bootstrapping.

Investopedia defines bootstrapping as, “A situation in which an entrepreneur starts a company with little capital. An individual is said to be boot strapping when he or she attempts to found and build a company from personal finances or from the operating revenues of the new company.”

The upside to bootstrapping is the entrepreneur maintains full control as no angel or venture capital money or influence is needed.  The downside is, depending on the situation, it may take longer to scale as the entrepreneur only has personal funds and/or operating revenues to build the business.

As I hinted in yesterday’s post, I will have an announcement for something new coming soon and yes – it will be bootstrapped.

Stay tuned…

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University