Summertime Book Recommendations

Hola Todos!

As you know, I believe in nuggets – or takeaways that you can use throughout your business career.  One excellent way to pick up new nuggets (and perhaps slide them in your journal) is to read an excellent book.  Many of you have been asking for recommendations so I decided to do a blog post on the topic.

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


Dr. Dan-o


The Classics (these are three of my top recommendations of all time)

How To Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie  – an excellent networking and persuasion book

Influence: Science and Practice, by Robert Cialdini – the best persuasion book ever written

Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath – the 2nd best persuasion book ever written


Anything by Malcolm Gladwell but particularly The Tipping Point and Blink – why you might ask? First, they are excellent and second, everyone else has read these so get in the loop!

Anything by Jim Collins but particularly Good to Great and Build to Last – see comments above about Gladwell


The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, by Barry Schwartz – my favorite consumer behavior/consumer choice book and the inspiration of much of my academic research at the moment


Other excellent consumer behavior/consumer choice book you ask?  Check out,

The Art of Choosing, by Sheena Iyengar

Nudge, by Richard Thaler & Cass Sunstein

Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely


I can’t forget How Customers Think, by Gerald Zaltman – a classic!


Social/Digital Media Books

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

The Wisdom of Crowds, by James Surowiecki (although this one pre-dates social media – it uses all the best theories to describe the power of social media)

The Long Tail, by Chris Anderson

Crowdsourcing, by Jeff Howe


Books I just finished this month:

Contagious, by Jonah Berger – a great persuasion/word-of-mouth book

The Storytelling Animal, by Jonathan Gottschall – I love books on storytelling

How Children Succeed, by Paul Tough – this is a child behavior/learning theory book which highlights the grit test


How can I forget about Apple?

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

Inside Apple, by Adam Lashinsky


Books I have for this summer:

What’s The Future of Business? By Brian Solis (I am reading this one right now)

Lean IN, by Sheryl Sandberg

The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

The Start-Up of You, by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha (a networking book from the founder of LinkedIN

The No Asshole Rule, by Robert Sutton – an interesting leadership book

Wired for Story, by Lisa Cron – I love storytelling books

This is Your Brain on Music, by Daniel Levitin – a neuroscience book that is close to storytelling


-The Why of Networking: Interpersonal vs. Social Networking, by Daniel M. Ladik and Chris Strom – sorry this one is not available yet – we’re writing it…



Did Apple Just Show Us the iWatch?

Hola Todos!

I was listening to NPR this morning on the way to Seton Hall and I heard an interesting Apple story.  To make a long story short, Apple seems to have found its mojo again with its most recent “Every Day” advertising campaign.  First, we got the “Every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone than any other camera” while the latest is “Every day, more people enjoy their music on the iPhone than any other phone.”

It’s this second ad that’s got the blogosphere all- a-Twitter. At approximately the 30 second mark, there is a close-up on a young hipster wearing a rather odd looking unknown watch.  In TV campaigns, nothing is left up to randomness so some are wondering if this is the new iWatch or just some prototype for Apple to gage the chatter?

WWDC is just two weeks away with a keynote from Mr. Cook.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

Something (the commercials) to watch today…

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o


Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

















One of the Best Valedictorian Speeches…

Hola Todos!

Well it’s that time of the year…graduation time.  Perhaps you just walked in the Izod Center a few days back.  Perhaps you will be walking in a cap and gown in a year or two.  Perhaps you walked a few years ago and are reflecting back on that day vis-à-vis your current career trajectory.  No matter what, graduation provides us with one of those lockdown “moments in time” on your life journey.  In other words, you will always be able to easily frame your past in terms of pre or post-college.

While sitting in the crowd this week, I had the pleasure of listening to Bradley Childs deliver the valedictorian address to the Seton Hall University Class of 2013.  I was one of Bradley’s 38 plus professors (he was in two of my classes) during his time at Seton Hall and to have a perfect 4.0 for 8 semesters straight is a special accomplishment.

So I guess it should not have surprised me much when Bradley nailed his address to the students.  First, the pace, tone, verbal inflections but most important, consistent eye contact (did he memorize it?) was impressive.  Second, and even more impressive was the content.  I have talked about storytelling a number of times here on DigNuggetville and Bradley employed multiple storytelling-like phrases such as “our book would be written on our own terms.”

Bradley was kind enough to share his speech with me so I could share with you today.  Think of it as a Super Topic Talk!  But more importantly, use this address to reflect back on where you were (or will be) on your life journey.

Bradley the floor is yours…


Valedictorian Address to the Seton Hall University Class of 2013 by Bradley Childs

1,359 days of wondering, wondering if we would make it to this day. Today marks the culmination of our 1,359 day journey – we are the graduating class of 2013. Fellow graduates, join me in welcoming our esteemed guests: Archbishop Myers, Dr. Arkes, Father Ker, members of the Board of Trustees, members of the Board of Regents, President Esteban, Senior Associate Provost Guetti, members of the Executive Cabinet, deans, faculty, families, and friends.

Graduation is one of those awkward times in our lives when we are torn between the joy of our memories and the excitement of our future. Should we look back on what were the greatest four years of our lives – times filled with joy from the boisterous sounds of that first spring day out on the green, the aroma of chicken finger day in the cafeteria, the resounding ring of the University bells, or the calmness of the chapel? Or instead should we focus on the next stage in this journey called life? We’ve been impatiently waiting for this day for four years – and now, we just want to hit pause. We want to slow it down, and enjoy the last fleeting moments. Our lives will be forever altered after we toss our caps into the air.

We entered the loving confines of our beloved Seton Hall University four years ago as an unwritten book eager to fill the pages.  It seems like just yesterday we were lugging our countless bags into Boland. It seems like just yesterday we had orientation and had the pleasure of doing uncomfortable icebreakers together. We walked onto campus for the first time as students in the fall of 2009 with a gloomy world around us stricken by a global recession.

As the months passed we grew, and we learned to not allow external circumstances to define us. That’s right, my colleagues, our book would be written on our own terms. The friends we sit with today became additions to our family and are undoubtedly some of the main characters in our book of life. We grew up together in South Orange, and at times in Hoboken and New York City. Our campus provided us not only with a place to learn, but a true home. We were fortunate to experience what the phrase emblazoned on that acceptance letter we received truly means – we learned what a home for the mind, heart, and spirit meant in its full reality.

The diploma that we receive represents success and achievement. But we must remember more the journey that accompanied this achievement – both the heartache and happiness. The diploma itself is gently tucked away in the appendix of our book, while the journey to attain it fills pages.

We are now set to begin the next chapter in our book. Our book will veer off from the outline we created, for therein lies the beauty of our journey. Seton Hall has instilled in us a tremendous fire, a passion for life, and a desire to make the world in which we live better.

We owe it to each other, our family, our professors, our University, our country, and our God to pursue our wildest dreams. Our professors and classmates have pushed us to the brink for four years.

As graduates of Seton Hall University, we can do anything.  In the words of the great Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” So, class of 2013, let us commit ourselves to the belief that we can accomplish anything. With this belief, our book is destined to be a bestseller.

We came onto campus 4 years ago with different backgrounds and different life experiences. We leave this campus 1,359 days later as a collective unit – we are the class of 2013. No matter the school we come from – whether Nursing or Theology, Business or Education, Diplomacy or Arts & Sciences – we are all members of this one University community. Let us put aside the joy of our memories and the excitement of our future for the time being. For as Mother Teresa said: “be happy in the moment, that’s enough.” At this moment, we are in absolute bliss. We are all Seton Hall University Pirates – and it does not get any better than that. God Bless. Elizabeth Ann Seton: Pray for Us.


Bradley Childs

Seton Hall University Class of 2013

Steve Jobs Book Summary: Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs

Hola Todos!

Soon after the publication of the Steve Jobs biography, its author Walter Isaacson wrote an excellent article  in the Harvard Business Review highlighting 14 leadership lessons he learned from his experience with Mr. Jobs.  While reading though the HBR blog the other day, I came across a presentation by Mr. Isaacson on this very topic. This presentation, as with the article on the same topic, is very nuggetworthy.

Something to check out today…


Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o



Bill Gates and Steve Jobs: A Rare Glimpse Into Their 30 Year Relationship

Hola Todos!

The story of Microsoft and Apple – translated to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs – are central figures in the history of personal computing.  In a fascinating but unfortunately short (under 6 minutes) video, 60 Minutes Overtime put together a number of interview highlights of Gates and Jobs by journalist Charlie Rose.

There no question these two had a complex relationship but there is also no question that their relationship was special and unique.  Gates his visibly choked up in one segment when talking about Jobs after his passing. One of the most interesting lines in the clip is when Gates tells about Jobs, in failing health, canceled a dinner at the last minute. “If he wants to know why,” Jobs told Gates’ secretary, “just tell him I’m an asshole.”

Something to watch today…



Dr. Dan-o



Leadership: Leaders See Greatness in Others

Hola Todos!

In an excellent Harvard Business Review podcast, renowned author Dr. Maya Angelou expressed one of the true axioms of leadership.  Towards the end of the conversation, Dr. Angelou was asked about her perspective on leadership.

Question: I’d like to wrap up asking about leadership. You’ve worked with some exceptional political leaders, from Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. So what you think makes a leader great?

Dr. Angelou: A leader sees greatness in other people. He nor she can be much of a leader if all she sees in herself.

I do not think I could have said it better myself.

Something to think about today…


Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o






Social Media Promo vs. Super Bowl Promo: Who Wins?

Hola Todos!

At first glance, the results from this study is exactly what I’ve been preaching in my social media classes:  new media (e.g., the interactive, two-way social kind) is much better than traditional media (e.g., the one way, untrackable, I don’t know what I’m getting for my money kind).

As I have mentioned a few times before, I have an ROI mentality and I do not recommend for anyone to spend their marketing dollars when they do not know what they are getting for those expenditures.  Digital media is not perfect but it is a lot better than wasting half of my advertising dollars.

In a study of 500 small businesses by office supply giant Staples, 41 percent of the participants indicated they would take two million fans, almost double the number that would prefer a celebrity endorsement (22%) or a one-time Super Bowl ad (18%).

At second glance, the headline is much better than the overall results of the study.  Not only is 500 a relatively small sample size, it only includes small businesses (which goes undefined).  In addition, how much each of the survey participants spend on advertising is also unclear.  In summary, it makes a nice blog post but the results are not generalizable to larger firms nor other small businesses.

Something to think about today…


Dr. Dan-o

More Than Just Clicks: Where is the Social ROI?

Hola Todos!

A friend forwarded me this link yesterday from TechCrunch highlighting comments from the TechCrunch Disrupt NY conference. At the event, senior advertising managers from Google, Facebook, and Twitter discussed/argued the value of digital advertising. Surprisingly, the panel spent more time discussing the value of a click than anything else.  Not surprisingly, the three firms stated that their brand advertisers are most concerned with the reach, frequency and results of their ad campaigns.

As my students will surely attest, I have an ROI mentality and discussing how much a “click” is worth is mostly uninteresting.  Of the three panelist, only Facebook mentioned  they have “been doing quite a bit of research in an attempt to tie online ads to offline purchases.”  In the article, Facebook said they are working with “Nielsen and DataLogix” which means they are really working with our friends at Catalina Marketing, which is the only firm that can link online behavior to offline purchases.

Something to read today…


Dr. Dan-o



Persuasion: Tell people what is in it for THEM

Hola Todos!

While reading through my inbox today, I came across an excellent quote from Philadelphian Benjamin Franklin:

“If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect.”

This not the first quote on DigNuggetville nor do I expect it to be the last from Big Ben.  Mr. Franklin’s quote reminds me of one of my top nuggets or takeaways from my Principles of Marketing class:

“Tell people what is it in for them, because if there is something in it for them, they will be interested in what you have to say.”    

In sum, if you want to be persuasive, appeal to the individually personally – it’s better then using pure logic or an argument.  Wikipedia’s persuasion entry has an excellent round-up on persuasion ideas and theories.

Something to check out today…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o