Book Reports – Read well & prosper

Even when the Pixel Dreams Team is pressed for time, there’s always space for reading. Our ongoing support system of tracking helps us keep pace and lets us know if we’re slacking. Although our reading levels have dipped slightly this month, our fondness for the written word remains unbounded.

Here are our thoughts on the 8 books that the PDT read in the month of April 2017:

Top three books of the month

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
195 pages, Written by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters, published 2014, Amazon rating: 4.4

Daniel’s Review: Zero to One is loaded with contrarian thinking. It warns against competition, globalization, and social entrepreneurship. I especially liked the stories of Paypal’s founding, the chapter on Secrets, and the many valuable business lessons, including Thiel’s Law: a startup messed up at it’s foundation cannot be fixed. Be prepared for an overwhelming read, this is an ivy-league university course condensed into one power-packed book.

Poke the Box: When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?
83 pages, Written by Seth Godin, published 2011, Amazon rating: 4.6

Trevor’s Review: Poke the Box is a reminder not to ask for permission. As a manifesto, the book boldly argues that the only real way to succeed is to take initiative. It encourages us to provoke, create a ruckus, experiment, fail, repeat, learn, succeed. If you get knocked down, pick yourself back up and get on with it. Don’t wait for the “thumbs up” – Make moves!

The Art of War
99 pages, Written by Sun Tzu, published 1910, 1944, 2002, Amazon rating: 4.4

Sarah’s Review: If you think this military treatise is irrelevant to the business world, you’ve got a flawed understanding of business. Sun Tzu informs the reader on effective leadership and obliterating opponents with as little cost to the team as possible. Let it guide you in your efforts to conquering the business world and beating the competition.

Honourable mentions

Kal’s Review:
“The sales process is not the place for us to get our emotional needs met.” From the book Prospect by John Rosso. A super quick read filled with great ideas and sound philosophies on the subject of sales. Whether we like to admit, many of us are in sales at some point in our lives. Always an essential skill to improve.
Prospect The Sandler Way: a 30-day Program for Mastering Stress-Free Lead Development | 157 pages, Written by John Rosso, published 2014, Amazon rating (not rated)

Daniel’s Review:
The inside story of the Ford brothers, from their competitive youth to successful careers in business and politics. Part ode to eulogize ‘the People’s Mayor’ including remarks from friends and family. Part political manifesto, outlining the customer service philosophy of Ford Nation. This is a very personal take on family dynamics, the infamous scandals, and tragic end with cancer.
Ford Nation: Two Brothers, One Vision | 278 pages, Written by Rob Ford and Doug Ford, published 2016, Amazon rating: 4.0

Daniel’s Review:
This book is a warning about how brainwashing techniques utilized by cults and totalitarian movements are being employed by evangelists. It’s dense with philosophical concepts, real-life examples and on-the-ground investigations through America’s heartland. Although it was published over a decade ago, a very similar book could be written today about the intolerance of the radical left.
American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America | 239 pages, Written by Chris Hedges, published 2006, Amazon rating: 4.4

Mark’s Review:
Scrum teaches how to work faster and emphasises the importance of process-process-process. The book uses lots of insightful examples that inspired the methodology, including some fascinating life-saving military processes. Now I can better understand how Scrum became a workplace standard and why we’ve been doing it at PD from the get-go.
SCRUM: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time | 3238 pages, Written by Jeff Sutherland and JJ Sutherland, published 2014, Amazon rating: 4.5

Trevor’s Review:
The Think Big Manifesto tries to be inspirational, witty and honest, but it misses the mark. The book seems to want to be like other books, such as ‘LEADING’ and ‘Poke the box’, but ends up feeling watered down and desperate. It didn’t help that the first few pages were dedicated to pushing a website that no longer exists. Think Big? Think long-term…
The Think Big Manifesto: Think You Can’t Change Your Life (and the World?) Think Again | 166 pages, Written by Michael Port with Mina Samuels, published 2009, Amazon rating: 5

Sarah’s Review:
This book manages to get you excited about sales, an otherwise painful aspect of business. It’s clear, logical and effective. John Rosso presents the lay of the land and strategies on how to traverse it. Recommended to anyone who communicates with clients, vendors and industry partners. Your business will be better for it.
Prospect The Sandler Way: a 30-day Program for Mastering Stress-Free Lead Development | 157 pages, Written by John Rosso, published 2014, Amazon rating: (not rated)

Team Stats

We scored a power average of 327 pages-per-teammate with a total of 1963 pages read in April 2017.

Books are vital to our organization and if the numbers say we’re reading less, we will not take it lightly. By tracking our reading we know this was not our most prolific month but we still persevered through it with passion. Our love of books grows fonder with each new page. Happy reading.

The Author

Sarah Eskandarpour
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