Thursday, June 28, 2007

Beach (or Airplane) Business (mostly) Books for Exhibits People.

Here's a set of books for your Summer list that I've read or re-read recently.

The first set of books are primarily from the "business section" but I've found great lessons for idea generation, better collaboration, and ways to leverage tools like the Internet to make better exhibits (and let people know that you make better exhibits!)

The last couple of books are excellent novels by two gifted writers.

Seth Godin's Free Prize Inside! is a quick read that lobs lots of great ideas your way. The main idea being that making great products is the best form of advertising.

The Black Swan The author stresses how our brains are wired for narrative -- to tell stories. We look for order and repeatability, even though the "odds" are on the side of randomness.

Rule The Web Think you know everything there is to know about the Web? Guess Again ... and learn some new tricks from this book!

Made to Stick The two brothers who researched and authored this book set out to discover the common traits of "ideas that stick." Ideas, like "The Great Wall of China is the only human-made object visible from outer space", that even when they are shown to be incorrect, maintain a life of their own, and keep getting repeated because their ideas "stick" with people.

While the traits the authors come up with seem fairly obvious (Sticky Ideas usually have aspects of Emotion and Unexpectedness embedded in them...) the examples and questions the brothers Heath raise provide a good checklist to shift merely good ideas or exhibits into "sticky" ones.

The Creative Priority Jerry Hirshberg shares his experiences as founder and president of Nissan Design International and imparts some great lessons in how to motivate everyone in an organization to make creativity their priority.

A Death In Belmont From the author of "the Perfect Storm" comes this account of how Junger's family intersected with Albert DeSalvo, the presumed "Boston Strangler" during the 1960's in Belmont, a suburb of Boston.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay If you've never read anything by Michael Chabon, this book is a good place to start. Weaving threads of reality and fiction as he outlines the lives of those creating "fictional reality" in the golden age of comic books in NYC.