Review – Leading from the roots Ah, nature! A term that instantly generates positive emotions, ideas of wholesomeness and a feeling of belonging. And yet it is a thoroughly undefined expression that can mean anything you want, if you add some context. Some of its inferred meanings include literally everything in existence everything not explicitly created by humans everything that exists outside of human settlements everything that exists o...

Review – When the Monkeys Run the Zoo Early industrial companies were characterized by a strict hierarchy of power and decision-making competency. Giving employees a say in the company’s strategy would be like having the monkeys run the zoo, an indiscretion voiced by Frank Borman, CEO of Eastern Airlines, from which the book derives its title. The modern company is lean, flat, agile, disruptive, kind, regenerative and decentralized. This ...

A good 4% of 2019 have already passed, so it’s about time to have a look back to 2018! I managed to review 14 books (which, annoyingly, is one less than 2017). I managed to gain more readers (thank you so much, how do you keep finding me?). I managed to not break the site, although a lot of improvements didn’t happen. I still have a lot of plans for the site, but plans are cheap. Maybe this year? Best book reviewed in 2018 There were ...

Review – Careers for Dummies Careers for Dummies is a good book. But maybe I should elaborate on this. There is no shortage in how-to-find-a-job books. Some aim to give well-rounded general career advice, other focus on details like the perfect CV or the perfect job interview. In Germany, the benchmark is set by proliferous author duo Hesse/Schrader who alone have over 90 books for job seekers with their name on it, usually with regularly p...

Review – Parkinson: The Law Disclaimer: I have read the German version of this book, which states that the original was published in 1980 as Parkinson: The Law by Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. There seem to be different versions around. In the 1950s, C. Northcote Parkinson published his famous “law”, a half serious and half sarcastic description of the growth of bureaucracy. He found that “Work expands so as to fill the time avail...

Review – The Regenerative Business: What is a Regenerative Business? There are a dozen buzzwords describing the modern, desirable company. It is agile, lean, and nimble, disruptively innovative, robust, resilient, antifragile, sustainable and even kind. So what the hell is a regenerative business supposed to be? In the words of author Carol Sanford “Regeneration is a process by which people, institutions, and materials evolve the capacity...

Review – The Art of Thinking Clearly: The title of The Art of Thinking Clearly may provoke some wrong assumptions about the book’s content. It is NOT a self-help about mental training or concentration techniques. Author Rolf Dobelli collected a lot of logical fallacies – expectations or assumptions people intuitively make that are illogical or unhelpful – with a brief description and some typical examples for each. Originally,...

Review: Bad personal decisions are the leading cause of death, according to a study by Fuqua School researcher Ralph Keeney. So why should you learn making better decisions from a professional poker player, of all persons? In Thinking in Bets, author Annie Duke states that life is a lot more like poker than chess. In chess, both players have complete information. Every piece is visible to both players, and every possible next move is apparent. In...

Review: Recently I reviewed some books on acquiring wealth (this and this and this and this). Acquired Tastes explores some opportunities to spent large amounts of it. Being a famed author with a generous advance, Peter Mayle sets out to indulge in extravagances and vanities to write about them. From Cuban cigars over french truffles to British taylors, Acquired Tastes tells a charming and colorful story detailing the peculiarities of each pleasa...

Review: Maybe you have heard about digitalisation? Apparently, it’s something big. But what is it, what does it do, and how will it affect our lives? And why should you read Digital Darwinism instead of all the other books on the topic? Digital Darwinism avoids the usual pitfall of either praising or damning new technologies. In fact, author Tom Goodwin makes a point how this is completely irrelevant. Digitalisation is not about better WiFi...

Review – The Art of War
Review / December 27, 2017

Review: The Art of War is a collection of stratagems (bite-sized, aphoristic strategic teachings) by chinese military commander Sun Tzu (or Sun Zi or a dozen variations) – and well over 2500 years old. So why this review? Because The Art of War still makes the management book bestseller lists (like here, here, here or here). This review is based on the annotated german translation by Patrick Lindley of the 1910 english translation...

Review – Leading with Kindness
Review / December 24, 2017

Review: When it comes to books on leadership, Leading with Kindness  is about as generic as it gets. Two leadership educators interviewed a bunch of leaders (with a slight bias to banking and investment) and aggregated their leadership experiences. A good, efficient and ”kind” leader sets expectations, sticks to the truth and focuses on mutual gain and growth. Baker and O’Malley then simply define this set of features and behavio...

Review – Uncommon Sense
Review / November 21, 2017

Review: A tall tale of market efficiency, informed choice and the quest for the right discount rate. I’ve been reading on modern economics lately. Some authors challenge dearly held economic assumptions, others use new and radical methods. Uncommon Sense is the old-fashioned kind of economics. The kinda bad kind. Becker and Posner curated a collection of their blog posts, each one written by one author with a commentary of the oth...

Special Review – Kickstarter Roundup October 2017
Blogging , Special Review / October 30, 2017

It’s time for a special review, where I have a look at other media, and this time I want to talk about crowdfunding. I did support some projects in the past, so I wanted to look into Kickstarter.com,  the biggest crowdfunding website, to see if there are some interesting books to be found. For those of you who don’t know what crowdfunding is, here is a short introduction. A creator initiates a project by opening a project p...

Review – Everybody Lies
Review / October 24, 2017

Review: A good coffee should be dark, intense and rich in taste, right? That’s what you and me will tell when asked. Based on consumer research, coffee companies will create new coffee roasts that are extra dark and strong and full of flavour. Then you and me are going to completely ignore those and go buy something mild, probably with a lot of milk and sugar in it. Because everybody lies. There is a difference between action and inte...

Are Preorder Bonuses for Books a Good Thing?
Blogging / October 13, 2017

I already mentioned that I’m a big fan of Dilbert. Creator Scott Adams is apparently in the process of writing a new book called Win Bigly – Persuasion in a World where Facts don’t Matter. I do not really care about Adams’ non-Dilbert activities (especially not his political campaigning), I do not read his blog and I know absolutely nothing about the book, but recently a post headline got my attention. Adams is offering a bo...

Review – Barking Up the Wrong Tree
Review / August 17, 2017

Review: Many books on success out there summarize as “Look at these successful people! Study their habits and learn their ways, so you will be successful, too!”. Actually, I have reviewed a prime example here. Barking up the Wrong Tree presents a nice counterpoint and states that imitating the successful does not necessarily make successful. Instead we get a thorough analysis of perceived and real success factors, somewhat hidden be...

Book Bias
Blogging / June 22, 2017

There are a lot of books out there that claim to make you successful. Let’s discuss if there is actually some merit to this. A little guide how to use self-help success books, if you will. Most books go “Our research shows that successful people do X!” and “Successful people attribute their success to Y!” – and now I am going to explain why there is a crucial and fundamental difference between those two premises. Let’s...

Review – Homo Deus
Review / June 8, 2017

The End of Strife: The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are Famine, Plague, War and Death – pop culture does not always get this right – and after defeating the first three we might now just continue and conquer Death, too, and see, where this leads us as a species. Homo Deus starts with a rather bold claim: throughout history, famine, plague and war were the central topics of human life, and recently, all three of them have ...

New content coming soon!
Blog News / May 9, 2017

Wow, this blog has been quiet recently. At least I have a logo now! And I continue reading cool (and slightly less cool) books, so at least one new review should be up soon. I also plan to write on some general topics, be sure to check back often! Or you could also subscribe to receive updates and never miss anything (there’s a field somewhere on the right)! Besides that I’m still finding out how to fix some technical and ap...