Posts Tagged ‘business’

Book Review: Wired to Care

September 24, 2009
Dev Patnaik's book, Wired to Care

Dev Patnaik's book, Wired to Care

I don’t recall ever hearing the word ’empathy’ and ‘corporation’ in the same sentence…that is, until I picked up Dev Patnaik’s audio book, Wired to Care.

Through stories drawn from the histories of some of our best known corporations, such as Mercedes Benz, Nike, Disney, IBM, Clorox,  Harley Davidson,  Patnaik illustrates how a deeply empathic knowledge of  one’s market can be utilized to increase customers’ feelings of validation. This, in turn, attracts customers, because they are drawn to that which makes them feeling good about themselves.

The subtitle of this book, How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy, is well illustrated. However, this book isn’t only about prosperous companies, it’s also about making  this world a better place, calling on corporations to embrace a higher standard, and giving meaning to the work we do.

In one of my careers, managing a design studio at a university, and later, in my work as an information architect,  I learned the importance of knowing one’s audience and of always being able to see from their perspective. This is one of the most valuable competencies I have acquired on my career path so far. Many companies hire people for what they know about business rather than what they understand about their customer.

While listening to this book, I got many great work outs on a treadmill, and an elliptical trainer and was so enthralled, I finished reading the book in 4 days.

The audio book version of Wired to Care is available on  Audible.com. If you prefer having a hard copy, you’ll find it on Amazon.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Length : 7 hours, 42 minutes (Unabridged)
Narrator:  Dennis Holland
Release Date: June 2008
Publisher : 2009 Audible, Inc.

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Fast Company’s 30 Second MBA

September 21, 2009

For those of you taking my MBA (Master in Books of Audio) to heart, I just want you to know that I could have some serious competition. FastCompany is now offering a 30 second MBA.  One can listen to the nation’s most respected CEOs,  as they divulge  answers to such questions as “What is the single most important task for a leader?” or “How can teams make better decisions?”.  I’ve watched a few of these 30 second videos, and I have to say that I am not at all threatened.  I’m trying to master business by listening to Audio Books, Fast Company is attempting to make their audience smarter by watching merely a series of 30 Second Videos. Go figure!

I am currently listening to Wired to Care, a book I’ll be writing about in my next book review blog. Although I’ll be listening to a steady diet of audio books during the year ahead, I certainly would choose my own personal MBA anytime over a series of 30-second videos.

One last note, Fast Company, is one of my favorite publications. I subscribe, and even receive the digital edition via email. I did happen to notice that Audible now offers audio editions of Fast Company magazine. Since my life is quite busy I know for certain that I will eventually end up trying this format. When I do I’ll report back to you!

Book Review—The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm

September 12, 2009

The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm, by Kenneth Gronbach, came highly recommended as a must-hear (or must-read) and is a book for any players in the corporate world, entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations and even parents.

The Age Curve

The Age Curve

Having listened to The Age Curve, I never will look at a news story, business decision or politics in the same way. This book has added to my ability to think critically about trends shaping our country and about business models that exist today. It is one of the best business books I’ve heard or read.  Start to finish, this book is so informative that I have found myself re-listening to some of the sections.

And I wish to give a hand of applause to the author, Kenneth Gronbach.  He actually made a book about demographics that not only is informative, but also is entertaining! I especially appreciate his concise style.

I have a confession to make. When listening to the audio book, I found the subject matter so valuable for considering  long-term career goals  (the next 20 years at least) that I went out and bought the hard cover version for my book shelf. I know I will refer back to it from time to time. And although this is a blog about audio books and exercising the brain and body, I promise to read this hard cover version on a stationary bicycle!

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Length : 6 hours, 6 minutes (Unabridged)
Narrator:  Max Bloomquist
Release Date: June 2008
Publisher : 2008 Brilliance Audio Inc

Why Amazon Is Missing the Mark

April 25, 2009

I love tech toys and am always in the market for devices that are ‘unitaskers’, or multiple function devices. My new GPS plays a Spanish Language Instruction audio book, while I navigate the roads in Silicon Valley and in the Bay Area. My digital recorder records my band mate and myself (The Hope Street Band) AND plays audiobooks. The next mobile phone I purchase will also play audiobooks . . . and I’ll be able to use it as an eReader, GPS, appointment calendar. You get the idea.

I had assumed that Amazon’s Kindle did not play MP3 files or audio books. Recently, however, I was surprised to learn that Kindle is compatible with audio books purchased from Audible.com. These files can be transferred to the Kindle via a USB connection. What puzzles me is that because Audible is owned by Amazon, I think both businesses are missing a great cross-marketing opportunity—selling an audio book file packaged with a hard copy book of the same title.

How can Amazon capture the cross-over audience. Better yet, what changes would I need to see before purchasing a Kindle?

1. Package Deals. When Amazon starts offering the Kindle reader hard-copy books with the audiobook of the same title, I’ll buy one. I personally like owning both the audio format and the visual format (usually paperbacks) if it is a book I value highly. I know I could listen to the built-in robot voice read, but I will enjoy a book more if the narrator is good, as it usually is on an audio book.

2. Website usability.  Since Amazon owns Audible, downloading both audio books and ebooks could be made a seamless task.  Since I am a member of Audible, why would I pay full price for the audio book through Amazon, when it’s less expensive through my Audible membership? They don’t make it easy for us!

3.  Kindle book club. I really like a bargain.

How about you? Do you have any other suggestions to add to the list?