Pages of Inspiration: My Q1, 2012 Book List

I was listing out a couple of the most recent books I’ve been inspired by for a friend a couple days ago and thought I’d list them out here as well to try and spread the enjoyment that these books have given to me over the last couple months.

It’s probably a slightly larger list than normal because of a nice vacation in January where most of my time was spent sitting by a pool reading so I hope you get to take a vacation soon too to catch up on your book list.

Little Bets: How breakthrough ideas emerge from small discoveries by Peter Sims — great book on innovation and how it’s not a big hairy monster but little things that can add up over time. Lots of great examples from companies like Pixar etc..

What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 by Tina Seelig — Tina runs the TVP program at Stanford, the eCorner (iTunes) series and is on the faculty of the d.School there as well.  GREAT examples and thoughts from her and her experiences at Stanford and beyond.

Lean Startup by Eric Ries great theory and actual science behind how to successfully build companies, products, services, etc.. Not just for start-ups – lots of stuff for inside major corporations too and the “Lean Startup” movement has really taken off across the world.

The Innovator’s Cookbook by Steven Johnson – a follow up to his first book about innovation this one is nice and broken up into 2 sections of his work and essays by others big in the innovation field.  Good thought starters on innovation.

Steal Like an Artist: 10 things no one told you about being creative by Austin Kleon — a nice very quick read on creativity and how it’s all around us and we can all be creative.

Read This Before Our Next Meeting by Al Pittampalli – any book on how to have more effective meetings should be standard reading – and this one is short and to the point.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain – also a great TED talk on the subject – she goes into how we need to recognize and appreciate the amazing power of introverts and why our current theories on group work and group think are flawed.

Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis — he has a great TED talk too on this subject but the book goes even more in-depth into some of the amazing stuff going on with technology right now.

Freedom is Blogging in Your Underwear by Hugh MacLeod — this one doesn’t come out till April but all the pre-reading is great and Hugh is always great. Sure to be a hit.

Everything by Seth Godin – some recent good stuff – “Poke the Box” and “We Are All Weird

Anything You Want  by Derek Sivers – great book from Seth’s Domino Project – Derek has an amazing story of starting CD Baby and more and shares his thoughts.

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes our Lives by Steven Levy – great insight into the behind the scenes of Google.  Makes you go, wow, on many pages at how smart some of the people are.


There you go, what recommendations do you have, leave them in the comments.

Matt Kane

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2 thoughts on “Pages of Inspiration: My Q1, 2012 Book List

  1. What a great list, Matt. These are most of the best books I’ve read over the past couple years.

    Abundance was amazing. I’m heading to Superhero You to see both Peter Diamandis and Stephen Kotler speak (in San Diego next weekend).

    Al Pittampalli is a friend and his book is a gift to meeting-crippled organizations everywhere. It takes such a culture change for that kind of disruption to take hold but he’s chipping away.

    I would add
    – “Getting More – How to Negotiate Your Goals in the Real World” by Stuart Diamond. A great book on negotiation and human psychology.
    – “Dare, Dream, Do” – By Whitney Johnson and
    – “Fables of Fortune: What Rich People Have That You Don’t Want” – by Richard Watts. Very interesting on wealth & human psychology.

    Great posts. Keep ’em coming.

    • thanks clay — yeah, i love Al’s book – I’ve given it to about 20 people on my team after meeting him/hearing him speak at Seth’s medicine ball event last dec.. Thanks! keep the recommendations coming and can’t wait to hear about Superhero you on your twitter.

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