Wednesday, October 06, 2010

4 Must Read Books In Technology

When I shifted from a generalist PR agency to Twenty Twenty MEDIA, a specialist IT PR firm, I was unsure what to expect. After all, PR is PR. Whether it is IT or Automobile, does it matter I thought. But realized IT DOES MATTER ! :)

The one thing that I loved and dreaded was the need to do book summary as part of the Friday training program. Since 2000, when I finished MBA, I haven't had picked up a book. But now, R Narayanan (Naru), instilled the practice of reading books. It was like going back to school.

In the next few years, I managed to read some really nice books on the technology industry. Here are my recommendations on books that one should certainly read, if in the dynamic tech industry. 

Crossing the Chasm: Though my second recommendation is the one that I read first, this Geoff Moore's brilliant book is what I would call a foundation course. The book makes you understand why some technologies fail whereas other cross the chasm into the main market. The book revolves around Technology Adoption Life-cycle and explains how a technology moves though various markets which comprises of un-reference-able set of customers. It also enlists strategies that technology companies can make use of.

Selling the Wheel: If any book other than Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code that came closer to being racy is this masterpiece. Surprisingly, it is a wonderful fusion of fiction and technology market, though it may not be that obvious, thanks to the novel-type narration. No, it is not a sci-fi. The story is about a couple who invent the WHEEL and are at a loss as to how to take it to the market! I would recommend that one should read this soon after they have savored Crossing the Chasm. This book helps understand changes in consumers' requirements at different stage of technology penetration, how companies need to respond to those challenges and what sort of a sales person is required at each of these stages. I have always hoped someone will adapt it to make a play or movie.
Tipping Point: I was quite amazed when I started re-reading this interesting book by Malcolm Gladwell. I was connecting with the book much more than I did the first time. It has a wonderful model to create a successful communications model. While the Law of Few helps identify carriers, Stickiness Factor helps define the messages and the Power of Context provides insight on factors that influence the success. The book is packed with interesting case studies which is typical of Gladwell. Interestingly, this book mentions Geoff Moore and Crossing the Chasm. Delighted!

Fast Second: How Smart Companies Bypass Radical Innovation to Enter and Dominate New Markets (J-B US non-Franchise Leadership)Fast Second: This book is meant for large organizations on how to deal with a potentially disruptive technology that can threaten their base. It addresses the question of whether large organization should create or colonize. For me the book is interesting for the model on different types innovation based on the change in consumers' behavior and its affects the established firm's competencies and complementary assets.

Now, I am sure there are many books that can help you cross the knowledge chasm, but these worked pretty good for me. Am sure, they would be helpful to you, too. If you have any technology book recommendations that make a great read, drop a comment.
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