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What were the Best Business Books of 2008?

I just put up a list of my favorite business books from 2008 on my blog and thought I'd cross post it here for discussion. Did I miss any that people are particularly broken-hearted about? Here's the link as a standalone in case you'd care to forward.

Happy New Year,

- Arik

P.S. - I'm hoping to gear up a big membership drive for the CI site between now and SCIP Chicago, so any ideas you have to get the word out are much appreciated.

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No immediate titles for you, will scope the list out later, but responding to your P.S..........

How wide open is the Ning? I've become aware of some valuable blogs because their authors key-tweet them and then the tweets flow into Facebook, or as in your case, I get a double reminder and LinkedIn gives me a quiet nudge. You could leverage LinkedIn groups for Ning PR, but I tend to follow thought leaders more, so I'd ask either all Ning members and/or key Ning members to tweet/blog/FB/wherever they're publishing to give it some juice.

Marcia Rodney
Thanks Marcia - there are separate RSS feeds for blogs, forum and all-activity on the site, so you could push/pull pretty much anything anywhere with an open API. For example, we could setup a Twitter account for this site (or a few) that would pull the feed and auto-publish onto Twitter - or vice versa, as I have done with my Twitter feed onto my profile page. Pretty much anything is possible so I'd be very eager to figure out ways to spread the word more socially.
Hi Arik,

Thanks!! Happy New Year... Cheers.. Rob
Well done Rob - looking forward to your next work!
Hey Arik,

Great list. Read some of those and just bought a few I hadn't read yet.

You never sleep.
Thanks Mel - as usual, I didn't read them all cover to cover or anything, but a few of them I did. Most got skimmed and then lent out.
Neat list. I must say, I found few business books that related to business this year. That is to say, business changed radically in 2008, and I found very little information in mass media that helped navigate that change. Honestly, I got more insight out of groups like this.

Don't get me wrong, as an author, I still believe there's a great place for long-hand, well explored arguments. Having experienced the publishing industry, I just don't believe that the 18 month wait time between proposal and publication helps the freshness of most temporaneous information.

Otherwise, my favorite book on your list was Seth Godin's Tribes. In a world of cacophonous mass marketing, he makes the terrific argument that your relationships must be won one person at a time. Since I believe we're about to shift from de-personalizing global businesses to local, connected enterprise in order to regain profit, I thought this was a timely, useful message.
Well said Eric, but I think books are still a unique form for exploring the contours of a central idea in a way that compel people to change the way they see the world around them.

I think that's why we have book clubs thriving today even as book stores face greater challenges. They're kind of the analog to how I think physical conferences are about to evolve in the years ahead: the scarce resource less represented by the ideas themselves as the human interaction of actually going somewhere offsite (no double entendre intended) to meet someone also interested in exploring those ideas. I think books are simple the best lens for collaborative study of new ideas - everyone reads the same title and then talks it over together.

Maybe we should have a book club group here, eh? Aw, heck - let's just make one and see:

Anyhoo... I'll grant that, the de facto credibility of the medium that is given authors by having a book published is diminishing as book publishing decouples from book publishers and acquisitions editors are no longer looked to as the vetting engine of the ideas themselves. In fact, online communities make for a far more rapidly iterative and immediate exchange of ideas to test them than the pontificating espousal of a single person's core thoughts happening without counterpoint by and between someone in whom a shared interested is invested... that is, editor and author.

Maybe our little CI community should do a collection of essays of our own as a crowdsourced e-book that we can all collectively edit, distribute electronically for free and then sell hard-copies of and donate the proceeds somewhere... the CI Foundation or another suitable charity, for example? Any thoughts?

For example, I'd love to do a collective work on the CI2020 idea Craig Fleisher and I are exploring at SCIP Chicago in an Active Dialog - what will CI look like in the year 2020... but maybe that's too speculatively sci-fi and abstract at this point for a book to evolve from? Something more concrete might be better... like: "How to Survive the Coming Upheaval" - that's got a ring to it.

- Arik
Hi Arik,

I don't have any books to add. Yet, you are on the right track. It is all about reading or so says Warren Buffett. This is an interesting article about how he gets his investing ideas.

Great stuff Joe - thanks for sharing!
Hi Arik,

Great list! My favorite on your list was Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Couldn't put it down, nor could my husband, the artist. Another I enjoyed was Advanced Presentations by Design by Andrew Abela, who taught a full day workshop at SCIP 07 in NYC. I liked how he got us to be more audience scentric as we designed the flow and content of a presentation. I look foward to hearing which one was your favorite!
I wasn't aware of Prof. Abela's book on the subject - do you have a link?


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